Rare sight: Sixty nuns see the grim reality, pledge their eyes

Rare sight: Sixty nuns see the grim reality, pledge their eyes

Submitted by alvin on Tue, 2016-03-01 19:11 Bengaluru: There are about 39 million visually challenged people in the world, out of which 15 million are in India alone. What if every citizen pledged to donate their eyes? What would be the outcome of such generosity?Moved by the goal of 'Project Vision', which is working for the visually challenged persons, about sixty nuns from various congregations across the country pledged to donate their eyes in a programme organised at the Indian Institute of Spirituality in Bangalore. Not content with pledging their eyes, the nuns have also decided to take this message back to their congregations and places of work becoming Vision Ambassadors.As Vision Ambassadors, they will be playing an important role of coordinating between the bereaved family and the eye bank in the event of someone’s death. They will talk to the family members to encourage them to make a decision to donate the eyes of their family member. If they are ready, the nearest eye bank will be contacted so that the eyes can be harvested within six hours for transplant.The Project Vision movement is an initiative of the Claretian Fathers under the leadership of Fr George Kannanthanam. An awareness programme for the Sisters motivated them to work for this cause. During the programme, the different ways of helping the visually challenged were presented.Fr George termed it “biblical work” since “Jesus had a special love for the visually challenged, as expressed through the six bible miracle stories of curing them."The life of visually impaired is truly miserable due to the physical, social, psychological and economic challenges they face. Most of them are unable to cope and give up. Eye donation sadly has not become a norm in the society. India needs about 140,000 cornea operations a year, but only about 40,000 corneas are donated, leaving about 100,000 people in the waiting list for a cornea transplant.