GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - At a time when people, young and old alike, have turned a blind eye to organ donation, Assam has found its youngest person to officially pledge for eye donation in a Class III student.
Pooh-poohing all the taboos associated, seven-year-old Debolakshi Sarma on Thursday vowed to donate her cornea for therapeutic use at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), government record states.
Till date, the youngest to pledge for eye donation in the State was around 13 years, who had pledged with the Sankaradeva Nethralaya in Guwahati.
Sources at the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology at the GMCH said Debolakshi pledged to donate her eyes along with her parents and one of their family friends.
Debolakshi�s father Dhrubojyoti Sarma told The Assam Tribune, �We discussed the matter at home and decided to contribute to the cause. It was heartening to find that she happens to be the youngest in Guwahati, if not in Assam, to do so.�
�She being a minor, I had to give consent on her behalf,� Sarma said.
An official of the Ophthalmology department of the GMCH, while confirming the development, said, �It is a fact that the number of people coming forward for eye donation is far from satisfactory. Further, there is also a gap between those who pledge and those who actually end up donating. Having said that, such gestures would only motivate others to come forward.�
Assam, at present, has five eye banks including the GMCH and two other medical colleges at Dibrugarh and Silchar. A recent finding of the Eye Bank Association of India revealed that only 158 eye collections materialised in Assam in 2017-18 compared to 214 in 2016-17. As per the 2011 census, the number of visually impaired persons in the State stands at 80,553.