A unique festival ‘Of the Blind for the Blind’
Bengaluru, Aug30, 2015:August 25th to September 8th every year is observed as National Eye Donation Fortnight. As part of the National Eye Donation Fortnight, Narayana Nethralaya and its two eye banks, Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank in Rajajinagar and Dr Shankaranand Eye Bank in Electronic City organized “Drishti Santhe” at its Narayana Nethralaya Hospital, Rajajinagar.
The objective of the programme, as always was to create awareness on Eye Donation & Eye Pledging as more than 1.5crores of our countrymen, women and children who are corneally blind are currently waiting for someone to donate their eyes. Every year during this fortnight, we conduct events and awareness programs to encourage pledging and to dispel misconceptions.
Most of us are aware of the problems faced by visually impaired people and sympathize with them. But we are rarely able to stand in their shoes and experience their problems. Some of us move a step ahead in helping them when they are around us and some of us make a mile of a difference in bringing smiles in their lives by pledging our eyes. Every year, hundreds of visually challenged people wait with a thin ray of hope of them getting sight through a sensible donor.
Narayana Nethralaya, in an effort to sensitize the importance of Eye Donation & Pledging eyes, organized a unique festival for the Visually Challenged called “Drishti Santhe”, a festival with a theme ‘Of the Blind, For the Blind’. A unique festival and first of its kind, people who participated in the festival could really feel and experience how a life of Visually Challenged was.
From Folk Dance to singing latest favourites, to performing an orchestra, the visually challenged almost proved the absence of the word Impossible in their world. The Energy these less fortunate children emitted was so powerful that one could really feel how confident and enthusiastic they were in comparison to a normal person.
The colorful festival provided a great opportunity for the visually challenged to exhibit their talent and skills. They not only participated in Elocution contests, Painting Competitions, Story Telling, Fancy Dress competition and quiz competitions in which they participated with other normal school children across Bangalore, but also exhibited their skills in hand made artificial flowers, different products and services for persons with vision impairment and other braille education products.
The fun fair also provided opportunity to sell products like cloth paper bags and hand-made paper bags of different sizes, candles, candle holders, decorative glass plates, painted diyas with and without wax, bead jewelry, envelopes and many more products made by mentally challenged adolescents.
The Event was inaugurated by Mr. Raghavendra Auradkar, IPS (ADGP, Recruitment & Training). Other guests of honor of the event were Mr. Shekar Naik, Captain of Blind Cricket team of India and Dr. Rajdeep Manwani, Department of Commerce, Jain University.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya said, “We at Narayana Nethralaya have been consistent in putting efforts to create awareness among the citizens of Bangalore to meet ends of demand & supply of eyes. Every single day, we have been putting forth the significant message to peoplepromoting the eye donation process and creating awareness & importance of eye donation or eye pledging and have been striving to give normal life to the less fortunate who have not been able to see the light of the day. We are proud to inform that for the Year 2014, we collected a record 1372 eyeswhich is much more than 1/3rd of the total eye collection in the state. We have been proud to be a part of this noble cause since its inception in 1982.
The Programme concluded with a candle march which was organized by the Narayana Nethralaya Team where thousands marched along with candles to create awareness on Eye Donation & Eye Pledging in & around Rajajinagar, Colombia Asia and Orion Mall.