The act of donating one's eyes after his/her death is termed as eye donation. At least 1,000 people took part in a walkathon alongside differently-abled people to raise awareness on eye donation in Chennai. Project Vision, a non-profit organization had organized the walkathon titled 'Blindwalk' at Marina beach.
About 500 people walked blindfolded along with 150 visually-impaired persons and 100 volunteers. Treasurer of Society for Rights of Women with Disabilities (SFRWD), P Aruna Devi, a visually-challenged achiever herself, also participated in the walk. Devi said, "They are ready to donate their eyes after their death. Also live life when they are living. Today I am standing here because of my supported sighted friends, and then only I have studied."
The walk saw people from different walks of life participate in the event. Consulate General of Belgium in Chennai, De Groof Bart, who flagged off the walkathon, said, "I felt that to make life easier for visually-impaired people, it is important to have friendly structures and buildings. It's really a challenging experience I must say. You never know what will happen to you. There can be all kinds of obstacles and it's very difficult to find your pairings. So, I think most important are two things- first of all, the infrastructure should be such a way that we have as less obstacles as possible that we don't have problems crossing the street and getting access to buildings, and, second thing is also very important. I think for all of us that if we see to have little bit difficulty because they are visually impaired, I think all of us should have the intention to help."
Findings of a survey conducted by Project Vision suggests that the state has exceeded its targets in eye donations in the last few years. Presently, there are nine government eye banks and 14 eye banks run by NGOs across the state.