In a classroom where there was supposed to be chaos and noise, Silence was golden. From innocent questions like “After eyes are donated, can the eyes still recollect what we used to see after it is given to someone else???”… to brilliant questions like “blood groups being different and nerves being different, how will doctors match the eyes of one person to another…and draft them ?” were the kind of questions the doctors got from over 60 deaf and dumb students of Adarsh PU College, Chamarajpet, the only college which teaches students of this special disability jointly with other normal children. The big challenge was to communicate with them, and that was made possible by Ms. Sreedevi, their teacher and Mr Nataraj and Ms Pavithra from Giftabled, an NGO that works with the differently abled.
This ‘Silent Eye Screening’ was a special one among the hundreds of rural and urban outreach camps conducted by Narayana Nethralaya. Here, a team of Ophthalmologists from Narayana Nethralaya were up to a double challenge of Explaining about Blindness to the Deaf and Dumb. The team this year has also screened Traffic Department personnel, KSRTC drivers, staff of Karnataka Fire & Emergency Services and very recently drivers from around 250 – 300 educational institutions in a workshop conducted by RTO officials of Yelahanka & Yeshwanthpur.
If not for Ms. Sreedevi who teaches these Hearing Impaired children and Pavithra & Nataraj from Giftable, it would have been a tough time for us to screen their eyes and communicate the importance of Sight in their lives. Sreedevi, who herself has two Deaf children at home made our job easy by communicating what we had to convey to these special children who were more than willing to be a part of the whole exercise. We are really very happy to have done this exercise because Eyes being their main source of communication, needs all the attention to see their dreams grow big said Ms. Sreedevi, the main interpreter for the Hearing Impaired students of SRN Adarsh PU College, Chamarajpet.
Apart from spreading awareness about eye donation among people who have the gift of vision, the Eye Donation Fortnight from August 25 to September 8 at Narayana Nethralaya called Drishti Santhe was organized by the Hospital focusing on creating awareness on Corneal Blindness and importance of Eye Donation. One continuous effort of curbing blindness has been conducting Eye Screening camps and creating awareness on Eye Donations through these camps. Lot of Eye Hospitals across Bangalore have been conducting Eye Screening Camps. But, this camp which was conducted at SRN Adarsh PU College at Chamarajpet was a very different and unique from the other regular eye screening camps conducted and got immense joy to us said Gp. Capt. (Retd) SK Mittal VSM, the newly appointed CEO of Narayana Nethralaya
We at Narayana Nethralaya have been making religious efforts in narrowing the Demand supply gap of number of Eyes required to number of eyes being collected. At every given opportunity, we have been trying to create awareness on eye donation and have been able to manage getting eyes pledged from potential donors. The biggest challenge however has been to convert these pledges. We don’t need occasions like Eye Donation fortnight or World Sight Day or anything as such to create awareness. We are utilizing every single opportunity to create awareness for the citizens of Bangalore said Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Nethralaya. Narayana Nethralaya has been striving really hard in contributing to a blindness free society by being very regular in creating various awareness programmes, totally as a community service.
Dr. Shetty also took this opportunity to thank Ms. Maya of Maya films. Film Maker Maya of Maya Films is working on a documentary of the boy called Harish. Earlier this year, Harish had met with a horrible accident and his body was split into two but, even during his dying moments, he wished to donate his eyes, thus inspiring many people including everyone from his village to pledge eyes. Narayana Nethralaya also took this opportunity to introduce an award in the name of Harish for the hospital which collected highest number of eyes and handed over the First award to its Doddaballapur Eye Collection centre. Around 200 villagers pledged their eyes as a mark of respect to the boy of their village and we also got around 200 + pledges from college students with the help of Maya Films who screened the trailer of Harish’s documentary.
Talking on the occasion, Mrs. Sukanya Chattopadhyay, Principal of SRN ADARSH PU College, who is proud to say that theirs is the only college which teaches students of this special disability jointly with other normal children was very happy to have associated with Narayana Nethralaya for the noble cause. It not only helped them and the students with Hearing disability boost their confidence, but also was a Value Added Education they got due to this whole exercise.