Eye Donation Program

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Eye Donation Program

Ever wondered how life would be for the blind? A world of unrelenting darkness! Lucky are those who have the gift of vision but not everyone is equally fortunate. Every year thousands of people are losing their vision due to various factors – but fortunately many of them have a second shot at regaining it, thanks to the cutting-edge corneal transplant procedures. However, surgery alone is not the solution!

The eye donation scene in India is very grim. If statistics are to be believed, of the 45 million blind people across the world, 15 million live in India. The sad fact is that 75% of these cases are of preventable blindness, but thanks to the nation’s acute shortage of donors, most of the cases either go untreated or inadequately treated. A meager 25000 corneas are collected for transplants against the annual demand of 2,50,000.


By donating your eyes, you give vision to two blind people and make their life meaningful, productive and normal….doesn’t this give tremendous satisfaction? So, take the pledge, donate your eyes and become a part of the god’s own work!

To pledge your eyes or the eyes of any deceased loved one, go to the nearest eye bank and ask for a pledge form (You can also use the pledge form available online at our website). Fill this form with the correct contact details, get it signed by at least two witnesses and submit it back to the eye bank. Once you have done that, the eye bank will issue a donor card with their particulars on it. Carry this card with you all the times or keep it in a place where any family member can access it. You must also let your family know that you wish to be an eye-donor, because without their consent, the donation won’t proceed . At the time of death, the family or friends may inform the concerned eye bank. There is no maximum age limit for eye donation. Even a person with poor vision, or previous history of eye surgery can become a donor.

Vision the most precious gift god has ever given to mankind. So, don’t turn a blind eye to this noble cause and help someone see the world. Pledge Now!

How to Donate Eyes

We all know that there is a severe dearth of eye donors in India. The reasons are many, including a lack of awareness among general public, rigid traditional beliefs coupled with infrastructural barriers, which make this noble act an uphill battle. According to the recent statistics, there are more than 3.5 million corneally blind people in India, with 25000 new cases being added each year.

The patient line-up, cost of the surgical transplant in addition to unavailability makes it practically impossible for Indians living below the poverty line to be able to ever see again! This, therefore, brings focus to the pressing need of eye donation.

Explained below is a stepwise guide to help you pledge your eyes for donation:

Step 1 – Pledging your eyes

  • Visit the nearest eye bank and pledge your eyes for donation by filling up a simple pledge form available there.
  • Fill this form with all the necessary details like your age, address, contact details etc. Get it signed by atleast two witnesses and submit it back at the eye bank.
  • Once the pledge form is verified, the eye bank will issue you a DONOR card carrying contact details of the eye bank.
  • At the time of the donor’s death, his or her relatives or friends, who were a witness for the pledge form, or any other family member who is aware of the deceased’s intention to donate eyes, should call the nearest eye bank immediately.
  • An important thing to be noted here is that pledging your eyes for donation is merely 20 percent of the work done. The real onus of executing an eye donation lies on your family members! Hence, it is very important that you discuss your intention of eye donation with your family and relatives, because the actual decision of donating your eyes is ultimately made by your legal next-of-kin at the time of death.

Step 2 – Donating the eyes

  • Regardless of whether the deceased has pledged his or her eyes or not, eye donation can still take place. The objective of pledging is only to create awareness and a reminder to us all to do this job.
  • If a death happens in your family, pick up the phone and call your nearest eye bank. Remember, you as a family member bear the moral responsibility as well as the right to donate the deceased’s eyes. Here are a few other noteworthy things that you must take care of:
  • Obtain the valid death certificate as quickly as possible.
  • Keep the eye lids of the deceased closed.
  • Cover the closed lids with moist cotton wool.
  • Switch off the fan (Switch on the air conditioner if possible)
  • Raise the donor’s head by 6 inches by placing two pillows under it.
  • Make sure that the eyes are collected with 6-8 hours of death.
  • One must always remember that death is an inevitable truth. By donating your eyes, you can rest a little easier knowing that even if you are not around, your kindness and benevolence will live on, as your eyes will give a new life to 2 blind persons.

Do’s and Dont’s

Following are some important Do’s and Dont’s About Eye Donation

  • Do pledge your eyes for donation.
  • Do keep your donor card with you all the times.
  • Do encourage others to donate their eyes too.
  • Do let your family know about your intentions to donate your eyes.
  • Don’t lose time in informing the nearest eye bank.
  • Do inform the eye bank within six hours of the person’s death.
  • Switch off the fans, but keep the air-conditioner on.
  • Close the eye lids of the deceased gently and cover them with moist cotton.
  • Raise the deceased’s head using a pillow.

Myths and Superstitions

There are a number of myths associated with eye donation in India that prevents a lot of people from donating their eyes. Given below are some of the most prevalent myths about eye donation:

Myth 1 – If I donate eyes, it will leave holes in the place where eyes existed and will cause face disfigurement.

Truth – in reality, only the cornea of the eye is removed and thus there is no disfigurement of the face or hole is left

Myth 2 – If I donate my eyes, I will be born blind in the next life.

Truth – This is a total misconception, no religious book ever supported that and there is no written evidence about this. Eye donation is a very noble cause and as they say good always begets good. All religions endorse eye donation as noble deed and one of the best donation one can ever make.

Myth 3 – How my relatives and parents would react if I pledge my eyes for donation?

Truth – You must realize that a little hindrance should not refrain you from doing this good deed. In fact, instead of giving up you should try to convince and rather motivate your family for pledging their eyes as well.

Myth 4 – a person with a previous history of cataract or glaucoma cannot pledge his or her eyes for donation. Or, a person is very old and thus not a suitable candidate for eye donation.

Truth – if a person has been operated and treated for cataract or glaucoma, he or she can be considered for eye donation. Furthermore, there is no age limit for eye donation. Practically, anyone above one year of age can donate their eyes without any upper age limit.
Eye donation is one of the greatest gifts one can ever give. So, don’t hesitate to donate your eyes and give someone a new life. At least, if the worst has come to pass, you can rest a little easier knowing that your kindness and benevolence will live on even after you’ve gone.


Facts about Eye Donation that you must know

  • Anyone can donate eyes irrespective of age, gender, blood group or religion.
  • Eyes can be donated only after death of a person.
  • Eyes must be removed within 6 to 8 hours of death.
  • Eyes can only be removed by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Eye removal procedure takes only about 20-30 minutes and hence does not delay the funeral.
  • A small quantity of blood is taken to rule out communicable diseases.
  • Eyes can be donated even if the deceased has not formally pledged his or her eyes.
  • Eye donation does not leave any scar or cause face disfigurement.
  • All religions and their institutions support eye donation.
  • There is no maximum age limit for eye donation. Anyone above 1 year of age can donate his or her eyes.
  • Even if your wear spectacles, have cataract or have undergone successful eye surgery, you can donate your eyes.
  • People with the history of hypertension and diabetes can also donate.
  • The eye bank itself will send a doctor to the donor’s home. No fee is charged for this service.
  • Eye donation gives sight to two blind persons. One cornea is grafted to one person.
  • The identities of both the donor and the recipient are kept confidential.
  • On reaching the eye bank, the corneas are examined, treated and used for corneal transplant withing 36 hours .
  • The cornea is used for transplantation to the patient’s eye by a trained corneal surgeon.
  • The donated corneas are transplanted to patient’s eye, who are on the waiting list in conformity with the guidelines to avoid malpractices.
  • Donated eyes are never sold or bought. It’s a gift you can only give.
  • An eye donation is never refused.