Eye donation is surrounded with a lot of myths and false benefits. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu suggested to launch massive multimedia campaigns in every state in their local languages, where celebrities and icons can create the awareness among the people.
Speaking at an event to mark the 36th National Eye Donation Fortnight, Naidu pointed out the huge gap between demand of donor cornea tissues and their supply.
"It is unfortunate that so many people are suffering from corneal blindness because of lack of donor cornea tissues for transplant. The need of the hour is to increase awareness among the people about the importance of eye donation," he said.
Naidu said that people should be made aware that the noble act of donating their eyes would enable people with corneal blindness to see the beautiful world by restoring their vision.
"If all of us make a pledge to donate our eyes, we can treat the entire backlog of cases waiting for corneal transplant. Therefore, this is an achievable goal and we should strive untiringly to accomplish it," he said.
The Vice President stressed the need for a structured eye-banking system to bridge the gap between demand for donor tissues and supply by promoting awareness, facilitating generation of donor tissues and ensuring their equitable distribution.
Reiterating that 'share and care' is at the core of Indian philosophy, he said, "Ours is a culture where kings and sages like Shibi and Dadhichi had donated their bodies. These examples are built around the core values, ideals and 'sanskars' of our society."
He also called for redefining those values and narratives in a modern context to inspire people and promote organ donation.
"By donating an organ, one not only helps a person lead a more fulfilling life, but also sets an example for others to work towards the larger good of the society," he added.
Calling for increasing eye care facilities to treat cataract, glaucoma and other ophthalmological problems, the Vice President said there is an urgent need to devise a multi-pronged strategy for strengthening preventive and curative eye care across the country.
Observing that large segments of the rural population are deprived of quality eye care, he said that many people living in the rural areas cannot afford the high cost of treatment at private hospitals.
"Therefore, we must equip our public sector eye care hospitals with the latest technologies to provide quality treatment to the people," he added.