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Eye Donation Movement launched in Changanacherry Archdiocese : Archbishop pledges to donate eyes

Published On : 16 Nov 2016   |  Reported By : Fr George Kannanthanam

Bengaluru: Mar Joseph Perumthottam, Archbishop of Changanacherry, pledged to donate his eyes after death at the meeting of all the priests of the Archdiocese today. Fr Joseph Mundakathil, Vicar General, archdiocese of Changanacherry .who is the manager of the St Thomas group of institutions, handed over the eye donation certificate to the Archbishop. About 300 priests of the Archdiocese joined the Archbishop to express their support to start an eye donation movement in the Archdiocese.

Archbishop also launched the “Share Vision” Project for eye donation program of the Archdiocese. Share Vision project will be coordinated by the St Thomas Hospital, Chethipuzha. An eye collection centre has been started at the St Thomas Hospital. A common eye donation number has been launched for easy access to eye donation. Any one can call 9207846999 in the event of death. Specially trained persons will come home or hospital to collect the eyes.

Archbishop Perumthottam said that eye donation is a beautiful act of mercy that can be done by all people. Archbishop explained that eye donation is very spiritual and religious act. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that ‘free gift of organs after death is a legitimate and meritorious act’ (No. 2301). He encouraged all the people to donate their eyes so that all people waiting for an eye transplant can get sight. He said that all the Churches and institutions in the Archdiocese will work together to promote eye donations.

Speaking on the occasion, Fr George Kannanthanam, Director of Project Vision that coordinates an eye donation program nationally, said that Kerala State had about 240,000 deaths in 2015. But only 633 persons donated their eyes. In a country that has 30 lakh visually challenged persons waiting for an eye transplant, this is a dismal situation for the most literate State. India has one third of world’s 39 million blind people - 15 million. Kerala can generate enough of eyes for the whole country.

Fr George explained that anybody could donate their eyes. At any age, people can donate their eyes. People with any diseases also could donate their eyes. Fr George explained that only the cornea is taken and not the whole eye and therefore there will not be any disfigurement.

Project Vision is a global movement based in Bangalore under the leadership of Fr George Kannanthanam with the vision, ‘let everyone see’. It has undertaken eye donation program in various States in India and various countries. Share Vision can take the lead for this movement in Kerala.

Fr Thomas Mangalathu, Director of St Thomas Hospital along with Fr James P Kunnath, Asst Director, Dr Thomas Zacharia, Medical Superintendent & Ophthalmologist and Mr Paul Mathew, PRO Manager of the Hospital will take the lead for the Share Vision program.

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