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Volunteers take pledge to donate eyes

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N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu, presenting the Sight Ambassador award to Rajinibala of Apollo Hospitals during the National Eye Donation Day programme in Chennai on Tuesday. T.S. Surendran, vice-chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, is in the picture.
N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu, presenting the Sight Ambassador award to Rajinibala of Apollo Hospitals during the National Eye Donation Day programme in Chennai on Tuesday. T.S. Surendran, vice-chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, is in the picture.

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: As part of National Eye Donation Day celebrations, about 442 people took a pledge on Tuesday to donate their eyes to Sankara Nethralaya after their life time.

On its part, Sankara Nethralaya honoured 24 persons from various walks of life with ‘Sight Ambassador’ award for rendering yeoman service to the cause of eye donation.

The awards were presented by N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu to doctors, volunteers, movie houses, journalists, social workers and pensioners’ association.

In his welcome address, A.P. Irungovel, Manager – Medical Sociology, HOD - Eye Bank said the number of corneal blind people in India was 4.6 million and 90,000 people were being added to the list every year.

While giving a brief presentation on eye donation, he said that Sankara Nethralaya’s C.U. Shah Eye Bank had completed 30 years of service. Till date, it received 13,302 eyes and carried out 8,390 corneal transplantation surgeries. In 2008, it received 1,158 eyes and carried out 702 surgeries and this year it was 812 eyes and 391 surgeries respectively. T.S. Surendran, vice chairman, Sankara Nethralaya lauded the media in creating awareness of eye donation and said Nation Eye Donation fortnight was observed from August 25 to September 8.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Murali recalled how he had been a big beneficiary of Sankara Nethralaya that offered same type of treatment to all.

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