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Chennai Lions Eye Bank Trust

Chennai Lions Eye Bank Trust & RIO-GOH Research Foundation

Chennai Lions Eye Bank Trust

Full Description

When we have an excess of anything be it wealth, talent, knowledge, ability or experience we have an obligation to share that excess with others In ways that make a difference. From time memories philanthropists experience great joy and satisfaction in donating money for noble causes eg. (Annadhannam), Education (Kalvi Dhanam), Clothing and for Medical Treatment of the needy. The noblest of all donations undoubtedly is the gift of sight. Unlike other organ donation, which are from live donors, eyes are removed only after the death of the individual. Why burn or bury the eyes of your loved one when they can be used to restore sight to two visually handicapped people. Your loved one will continue to live through the eyes of the recipient.

The concept of eye donation is age old. Kannappa Nahyanar is believed to have lived about 2000 years ago in a place called Potthappi Nadu in the Northern part of Tamil Nadu. He belonged to the Hunter community. His parents were King Nagan and his wife Thatthai. Kannappar’s original name was ‘Thinnanar’. While hunting Thinnanar found a Lingam (one of Lord Siva’s forms) in the Kalathi Hill. He had a great affection and Love for the Lord and hence used to offer all that he hunted and he used to stay near the Lingam day and night. Lord Siva wanted to show the love of his devotee to the world. So he induced severe bleeding from the Right eye of the Lingam. Thinnanar was very much upset and tried all measures to stop the bleeding. Finally he gouged (enucleated) one of his eyes with his arrow and transplanted the same in to the Right eye of the Lingam. To his surprise the bleeding from the Right eye stopped. Thinnanar was very happy. But there was bleeding from the left eye. Without hesitation Thinnanar kept his leg over the left eye of the Lingam so as to identify the position of the eye and then tried to remove (enucleate) his left eye. Suddenly Lord Siva appeared before him calling him as “Kannappar” and stopped him from removing his other eye and blessed him restoring both eyes.

Corneal Grafting

In the field of organ transplantation, cornea is the 1st organ to be transplanted. Although there are reports about corneal transplants done in the 18th country, the 1st successful corneal transplant was done on 7th December 1905 by Dr. Eduard Zinn in what is now the Czeach Republic. In India, the 1st successful corneal transplantation was done in 1948 by Dr. R.E.S. Muthayya, the then Superintendent of Government Ophthalmic Hospital, Chennai-8. He is credited with establishing the 1st EYE BANK in India 1948.

The general public are of the opinion that the whole eye is replace, which is not true. Only the corneal which is the circular outer coat in front of the eye (identical to contact lens) is transplanted. So, patients with corneal opacities that cause defective vision or blindness are the people who benefit from cornea transplantation.

Eye Bank

Though the first Eye Bank in Government Ophthalmic Hospital was established in 1948, eye donation was not prevalent in Chennai and Tamil Nadu before 1981.

In 1981 Lions International President Lion, Murugami gave a call to Lions all over the world to give the gift of sight to Corneally Blind persons through eye donations.

Lions N.R.Dave the Dist. Chairman of erstwhile Dist324-A took up the challenge of propagating and procuring eye donations from the Lions Community and general public

Prof. Dr. E.T.Selvam the then Superintendent of Govt. Ophthalmic Hospital helped N.R.Dave by providing a place in GOH to establish Lions Eye Bank. To start with 500 sq.ft. was allocated in the first floor of the New Building. The then Hon’ble Health Minister Gove. of Tamil Nadu Dr. H.V.Hande inaugurated the Lions Eye Bank on 19th September 1981. The Lions undertook the Herculean task of propagating the message of eye donation to fellow Lions, their family members, relatives and the public. In the first year 14 pairs of eyes were procured and 28 visually handicapped people were given the gift of sight by the corneal surgeons of Govt. Ophthalmic Hospital.

The Eye donation calls were received 24 hrs a day. The Govt. Ophthalmic Hospital duty staff (doctor and paramedical) were picked up from the hospital by car and after procuring the eyes from the deceased, they were dropped at the hospital. Lion N.R.Dave the founder secretary of the Lion Eye Bank used to tome per4sonally in his car and assist the team which needs a special mention on this occasion.

Lions Eye Bank propagates the eye donation message constantly through Radio, Newspapers, TV, pamphlets, lectures, seminars and so on. Succeeding District Governors who were made chairman of the trust during their Governorship, Directors and Superintendents and Cornea Chief of Ophthalmic Hospital and members of Lions fraternity supported the activities of Eye Bank.

The Government of Tamil Nadu supported the project and passed a G.O. to charge only a nominal rent of Rs.10/- per month for the eye bank in the year 1987-1988.

Is a totally charitable organization. All Patients are treated totally free of cost.

This is the only one of its kind in our country which is a model of NGO working with Government continuously for 25 years, and also will work in the years to come.

We expect the achievement of procuring around 750 pairs of eyes per year which will be doubled in the forth coming years.

Those who wish to donate their eyes can sign the will form (pledge) and get and ID from Chennai Eye Bank Trust & RIO-GOH Research Foundation.

The best way is, if your close relative or friend is dead, kindly call 1919 or 28555281 so as to enable the Eye Bank team to reach the place and procure the eyes within six hours of death. A team is available round the clock to attend to this eye donation call.

There is absolutely no disfigurement after the removal of the eyes from the body.

Instead of Burying or Burning donate the eyes so that, two Corneally blind people can see the world.

The Lions and other dignitaries who have visited our Eye Bank are as follows.

Lions Corneal Block, Govt. Ophthalmic Hospital,
Egmore, Chennai-600 008,.
Phone : 2855 3840,2855 5281, 2855 4540 | Cell : 98410 41064
Toll Free : 1919





eye bank

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