#BeTheChange: She encouraged 1,000 people to donate their eyes
Varsha Ved Photograph: (WION)
After she contracted conjunctivitis when she was about 40 years old, Varsha Ved from India's western Mumbai city lost almost 90 per cent of her vision. The doctors recommended her to go through an eye transplant surgery as soon as possible, however she had to wait for almost two years till 2003 before she found a donor.
Throughout her ordeal as a visually-challenged person for two years, Varsha did not succumb to depression. Instead, she started campaigning for the cause of eye donation. She realised how difficult it was for people who could not see and started educating people about donating their eyes.
Varsha currently works with an eye bank and several hospitals to spread awareness about eye donation. (WION)
According to figures revealed by a national survey conducted by government of India in 1986-89, 1.5 per cent of the Indian population (12 million people) was visually-challenged.
Currently, India has only 109 eye banks for world's second largest population. Shortage of facilities and eye donors leads to a situation where visually-challenged people have to wait for a long time before they can be treated.
Main causes of blindness in India as listed in the survey are:
- Cataract (more than 62.6 per cent)
- Refractive error (19.70 per cent)
- Glaucoma (5.80 per cent)
- Posterior Segment Disorder (4.70 per cent)
- Surgical complications (1.20 per cent)
- Corneal blindness (0.90 per cent)
- Posterior Capsular Opacification (0.90 per cent)
- Others (4.19 per cent)
Varsha currently works with an eye bank and several hospitals to spread awareness about eye donation and has counselled more than 1000 people to donate their eyes. She hopes to make India eye-donation friendly.
(Contributed by: Zeba Khan)