Although the state boasts of being home to hospitals that provide the best eye treatment, not many willingly agree to donate their eyes. India, which is known to have over 12 million blind people, continues to have high numbers due to the lack of donations.
“One of the biggest problems in eye donation is superstition. People believe that if someone dies and his eyes are donated, he will be blind in his next birth. However, in a country like Sri Lanka, eye donations are extremely high as most of the population is Buddhist. In Buddhism, there is a philosophy that if you donate your eyes, you will become a better person,” said Dr Amar Agarwal, chairman, Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals.
“Hospitals should hire counsellors to be present with the family before their loved ones are declared brain dead. It will surely take the family time to come to terms with the loss and donating organs will be the last thing on their minds,” said Dr Sridhar, senior consultant surgeon, Kauvery Hospital.