Jamshedpur Eye Hospital, which shelters the office of Roshni. (Bhola Prasad)
One hundred and forty six successful transplantations and 99 donations later, city-based voluntary organisation Roshni that works in tandem with the Jamshedpur Eye Hospital waits for its centurion donor.
The NGO, which has been creating awareness about eye donation and restoration of sight for the corneally blind since 1994, has close to 3,000 donors registered with it currently. According to norms, a trained professional can only remove the eyes of a pledged donor after consent from his/her kin within a few hours of his/her death.
“We have been working to create awareness towards eye donations and the response has been positive so far. We hope to get the centurion donor sooner than later,” said Rajnish Kumar, secretary of Roshni, Jamshedpur.
He added that since this would be the 100th donation, they had decided to make it special and fete the kin of the deceased at a small function. Roshni NGO operates from the Sakchi Eye Hospital premises and represents Eye Bank Association of India in Jamshedpur.
“Life of all the people who received donated corneas have changed dramatically. They have moved from a world of darkness to one where they can sustain themselves and their families. Many are now employed, some of them are married,” Kumar said.
The secretary added that they had generated quite a lot of interest in not only the district but also in places like Ranchi and West Singhbhum.
“Some NGOs from Ranchi and West Singhbhum have approached us for help. Depending upon the number of pledges, we will do our best to reach out to as many patients as possible,” he said.
The organisation had also last year approached state director general of police G.S. Rath with a request to help them facilitate cornea transplantation in medico-legal cases.
“Accident and suicides are on the rise in Jamshedpur. However, we are not informed of such incidents immediately. By the time news reaches us, precious hours are lost. Ideally cornea transplantation should be done within six to eight hours of death,” Kumar explained.
He added that even if they reach the spot on time and are given the go-ahead by the kin of the deceased, a lot of medico-legal issues crop up.
“But we are thankful to the DGP for having directed Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police to help us in medico-legal cases,” Kumar said.
In a letter addressed to all police superintendents of Jharkhand in October last year, the DGP said all help should be provided to eye bank officials after they are given the go-ahead by the relatives of the deceased. The police should provide information to the officials so as to facilitate donation of cornea without any loss of time, the letter read.