Bengaluru: Through its Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank, Narayana Nethralaya has been able to create awareness about the importance of eye donation since 1994. Now it has launched an exclusive number – 8884018800 – through which those who wish to pledge their eyes as a donation can register their names.
This exclusive number has been set up by the Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank of Narayana Nethralaya. Pledging eyes means making a formal and voluntary commitment to donate eyes after your demise. Those who wish to pledge their eyes as a donation have to give a missed call to 8884018800. The eye bank will send a link to a form that has to be filled out to complete the formality of pledging. Once the form is filled out and submitted, the intended donor will immediately get an “eye pledge certificate’ and further instructions for eventual eye donation.
The exclusive number was formally launched on Wednesday by film star Raghavendra Rajkumar , who lost his younger brother, popular star Puneeth Rajkumar, two months ago. Puneet Rajkumar’s eyes gave sight to four people, thanks to a new technology adopted by Narayana Nethralaya.
Raghavendra Rajkumar announced the launch of the exclusive number at the Samadhi of Puneet Rajkumar, where he along with some of his family members had come to pay his respects and perform rituals to mark the punyatithi.
Addressing the media here, Raghavendra Rajkumar said the many including him realised the kind of social service done by Puneeth only after his demise. “Today Puneeth is more seen as a role model by the people than an actor. My father used to often tell us – Vaidyo Narayano Harihi , which means that a doctor should be seen as a form of Lord Narayana. I believe in this. I am grateful to Narayana Nethralaya, and in particular Dr Bhujang Shetty for creating so much awareness among the people to donate eyes,” he said.
Dr Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and MD, Narayana Nethralaya said the hospital’s eye bank has witnessed a huge swell in eye donation pledges. So far more nearly 12,000 people have pledged their eyes. “I am expecting at least seven lakh people soon to pledge their eyes with the missed phone call facility we have launched today,” he said.
Dr Shetty said that ever since Puneet Rajkumar’s eye donation, the number of people volunteering to pledge their eyes has surged dramatically. The generosity of the actor has inspired people, he pointed out. For the last 25 odd years, Narayana Nethralaya has been running an eye donation pledge programme.
Dr Shetty observed that offline pledging is a cumbersome process. Many people may have good intentions but don’t know how or where to pledge their eyes. The helpline would encourage more people to donate, he added. Dr Shetty also said the number of eye donation pledges in November 2021 was 10,000. This is a record of sorts in Karnataka, he pointed out. Now it has touched 12,000.
In November 2021, 234 eyes were collected from the donors and up to December 27th the number collected had been 209. This month, so far more than 2,000 people have already pledged their eyes. Previously, in a month, the eye bank would only get anywhere between 100 to 200 pledges.
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