On September 8th, 2022, National Eye Donation Day, Sankara Nethralaya (SN), and the SN C. U. Shah Eye Bank organized a rally at its Dr. V. G. Appukutty campus at St. Thomas Mount. Each year, India observes National Eye Donation Fortnight from August 25th to September 8th, 2022. During the two weeks, eye donation awareness activities are organized throughout the city to educate the public.
This year, Sankara Nethralaya’s C. U. Shah Eye Bank in collaboration with the Elite School of Optometry marched for eye donation awareness. Joining the 12 km rally were Mr. Nanda Kumar, Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Chief Guest, Dr. Anuradha N., Principal, Elite School of Optometry (ESO), Dr. Rama Rajagopal , Director, and Dr. N. Radhika, Deputy Director, Department of Corneal Services, Dr Veena Baskaran, Incharge – Community Ophthalmology, the students of ESO and The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA), and staff of Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai.
The Chief Guest, Mr. Nanda Kumar, Addl. Commissioner of Income Tax, Indian Revenue Service (IRS) was felicitated by Dr. Rama Rajagopal. Special guest, Mr. Raman, Dasaya Trust (NGO) was also present to encourage the participants in their laudable endeavour. Mr. Nandakumar appreciated the efforts of Sankara Nethralaya and Elite School of Optometry in organizing the event. He extolled the spirit of community service and said that the visually challenged only needed opportunities to prove themselves. Dr. Rama Rajagopal advised the audience to remember the noble cause of eye donation throughout the year. She reminded everyone that eye donation was not a disfigurement and that only the cornea would be donated.
During the fortnight, consultants from Sankara Nethralaya’s Department of Cornea Services, Dr. R. R. Sudhir, and Dr N Radhika gave interviews on major Tamil News Channels to raise awareness about eye donation.
Anyone can pledge their eyes regardless of age. While the term “eye donation” is commonly used, there is no whole eye transplantation. Usually, only corneal tissue is donated. One person’s cornea donation can restore sight to 4 people. Corneal or eye donation is one of the ‘universal’ donations where donors are not restricted by blood type, age, eye colour, and eyesight.