The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Naina under eye donation cloud

Mumbai, May 19: Leading ophthalmologists in the country have moved court against a film featuring Urmila Matondkar, claiming that the movie could prejudice eye donation as it shows a cornea transplant in a wrong manner.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Dr S. Natarajan, chairman of the scientific committee of the All India Ophthalmic Society and president of the Maharashtra chapter of the National Society for Prevention of Blindness, Bombay High Court ordered that the producers of Naina were to carry full-page advertisements of the film in newspapers tomorrow, stating eye donation is not dangerous.

In New Delhi, secretary of the All India Ophthalmic Society Dr R.V. Azad filed another PIL today. But the petition will be heard on June 1.

The National Association for the Blind has also joined the cause. “We have written a letter to the film producers’ organisation, IMPAA, asking them to review the film and drop certain sequences if its members think fit. We have no intention to stop the film,” said Dinu Gandhi, secretary of the association.

Naina is produced by iDream Production and directed by stock marketer-turned-filmmaker Shripal Morakhia.

The protesters said eye donation is in a dismal state in the country and the film could only make matters worse if the donation was not attended by positive advocacy.

The PIL in Bombay High Court stated that people were hesitant about opting for cornea transplant in the first place and exhibition of such a film would further deepen the fear.

“We have only seen promos of the film on the Net and television. They show a girl who loses her eyesight in an accident. Twenty years later, she gets back her vision following a cornea transplantation. But she starts seeing things. As one promo puts it, the operation is followed by ‘one week of hell’,” Dr Natarajan adds.

“The film suggests that the spirit of the person whose eyes the girl gets passes into her. It suggests that people hallucinate after an eye transplant.”

The petition had said that the public should be made aware of the fictitious nature of the film and also informed that there was no harm in undergoing a cornea transplant.

Morakhia, group chairman of SSKI Securities and who started iDream five years ago, was not available for comment.

Email This Page