Bangalore: Nikhil Sebastian, an 11th grade student from Greenwood High International and an active youth member of the charitable organization, Rotary International, in association with Ys Mens Club of Green Aster has taken the initiative and conceived a unique humanitarian project to create awareness about eye donation and raise funds to provide free cataract surgeries to the economically weaker sections of the society.
Nikhil has worked for the success of this campaign, approaching multiple organizations, institutions and individuals, all with the aim to help those in need. The tangible fruits of his efforts are seen in the collection of almost Rs. 5 lakhs towards the initiative. The campaign hopes to further reach out to donors who are willing to be a ray of hope for the deprived who lack the means to overcome avoidable blindness.
“The Gift Sight, Gift Life initiative is a humble attempt to honor the dream of millions affected by avoidable blindness by providing them a chance at sight. We have been able to reach out many individuals and institutions to seek support for this initiative and will continue to do so in the future” said Nikhil Sebastian.
He added, “It is unfortunate to see millions suffering solely due to lack of access to affordable and quality treatment. Our hope is to reach out to these people at the earliest and help them live their lives completely.”
“Corneal diseases cause blindness in millions in the country, among which around 7 million are affected due to cataract. While blindness caused by cataract can be easily corrected with a reconstructive surgery, many people living under limited means are forced to live with avoidable blindness. This initiative hopes to connect these people with the treatment and help brighten their lives” said Rtn. V. Krishnamoorthy, Director-Community Services, Rotary Bangalore East.
“Cataract surgeries are expensive and can cost anywhere between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 60,000, per eye. This comes as a burden to most economically strained families. The Gift Sight, Gift Life initiative aims to provide such affected individuals an opportunity to restore their vision without bearing any cost” said Ysm. Stephen Samuel, Secretary, Ys Mens Club of Green Aster.
The initiative that has forged tie-ups with leading eye hospitals like Sankara Nethralaya has made it possible to extend 100% free cataract surgery to one person with a donation of Rs.1000 only. The campaign is set to continue until the 13th of October 2017 and will draw to a closure on World Sight Day, keeping with the objective of the initiative.
Commenting on the initiative, Niru Agarwal, Trustee, Greenwood High International School said “It is our duty to encourage empathy in our students to allow them to grow into socially responsible people. We will provide all the necessary support in the noble cause.”