Jamshedpur Eye Hospital, from where Roshni runs, on Thursday. (Bhola Prasad)
Fifty-year-old Naru Gopal Mahto of Bengal’s Purulia died at Tata Main Hospital on December 23, but will live on, literally, in the eyes of two persons.
NGO Roshni successfully harvested the corneas of Mahto after he died of a heart attack at the ICU of the city hospital.
“This was the first success of our hospital cornea retrieval programme. Our mission to make people aware of eye donation is moving in the right direction,” said Roshni secretary Rajnish Kumar.
The credit for this goes to Mahto’s son Ujjwal.
When Tata Main Hospital’s doctors counselled Ujjwal about eye donation, he agreed,” the Roshni official said.
It took a villager of Pakbirah village in Bengal’s Purulia district to teach many city folks that eye donation of a dead relative was perhaps the noblest way to honour the departed soul.
The process of eye donation is scientific, but even educated people suffer from superstitions.
“When Mahto’s relatives agreed to the donation, we were informed and we sent Roshni treasurer Shivendra Kumar Dubey, doctor Shanti Pore and Jamshedpur Eye Hospital technician Ravindra Prasad to the hospital for some further counselling. Then, as both corneas of the deceased were found in good condition, they were harvested successfully,” said Kumar.
The corneas were transplanted to two blind persons, who were registered with Roshni, Jamshedpur and were in the waiting list of possible recipients. While one of the operations was done on Tuesday, the other was transplanted on Christmas evening.
Roshni has asked the media to respect the privacy of the two persons who gained sight.
“It is admirable that so many people have already volunteered to donate their corneas. But, real change will come when donating corneas would be as common as donating blood,” a Roshni functionary said.
A team from Roshni would visit Purulia on December 31 to hand over a certificate and a plaque to Mahto’s kin.
Roshni has a website with a page Be a Donor, and phone number 0657-2432203.