Fully Eye Pledged Church in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: About 500 persons pledged to donate their eyes today from the St Mary’s Church in Bommanahalli. They pledged their eyes with the Project Vision, an initiative of the Claretian Fathers, working for creating a national movement on eye donation. All of them signed up the pledge form and were given certificates of eye donation.
Fr Antony Payyappalli handing over eye pledges of over 500 persons from St Mary’s Church, Bommanahalli on Sunday
Fr Antony Payyappally, Parish Priest of St Mary’s Church handed over the eye pledges from the people to Fr George Kannanthanam, Founder and Director of Project Vision.
Members of Pithruvedi, an organization of the elders of the Church of the Mandya Diocese, agreed to do the coordination of the eye donation in the event of death. The members will visit the house of the deceased person, convince the family and coordinate with the Eye Bank. Such persons are called as Vision Ambassadors in Project Vision. This is the missing link in the eye donation campaign in the country and the reason why the national eye donation campaigns have been a failure.
There is a severe shortage of eye donation in India. There is a need for about 150,000 cornea transplants annually where only about 40,000is generated now. The effort of Project Vision is to bridge this gap between demand and supply of corneas in India.
Project Vision is creating awareness on various aspects of eye donation . There are many misunderstandings due to which people are not donating their eyes. At any age, people can donate their eyes. There is no age limit for it. Persons wearing glasses also can donate their eyes. Persons with any sickness are also eligible to donate their eyes.
One of the major concerns that prevents people from donating their eyes is that the face will be disfigured if eyes are donated. After the eyes are taken, an artificial eye is placed to cover the eyes. Thus there will not be any change on the face.
Fr George said that in last two years more than 30,000 persons have pledged to donate their eyes with the Project Vision. Already more than 30 persons eyes have been collected, thus giving sight to 60 persons.
Various institutions like educational institutions, corporate offices, clubs, social organizations, Churches etc have come forward to do eye donation for all the members, making them fully eye pledged organizations, after awareness programs conducted by Project Vision. St Thomas Church, Dharmaram, St Peter’s Church, Doddaballapur, St Jude, Karahalli and Assumption Church, Rajajinagar are the other Churches in Bangalore which have become fully eye pledged parishes in Bengaluru.
Fr George and team are making all efforts to spread this movement to the whole country as a part of the program of the Year of Mercy. Already some inroads have been made in the North Eastern States and Kerala, apart from Karnataka.