Taking up the cause of India’s blind people to help them get a chance to see the world, Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons on Tuesday said that he favoured a legislation to make eye donation mandatory after death as is being done in Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the launch of Blind Walk — the world’s largest campaign for eye donation being held in 250 locations on the same day across five countries, Alphons said he would write to the Information and Technology and Health ministries to introduce a telephonic hotline for eye donation and make it mandatory after death.
Alphons is also likely to participate in the Blind Walk in Delhi on October 12 along with around 600 participants including visually challenged persons. October 12 is observed as World Sight Day.
“Like Sri Lanka, we can think about having a legislation, where on death it is mandatory and compulsory to donate eyes. I am just saying that can we think about it. I will definitely take it up with the health ministry,” the Tourism Minister said.
Sri Lanka donates about 3,000 corneas a year and has provided tissues to 57 countries in half a century, according to the non-profit Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society.
Alphons also recalled that when he was not minister that time too he had written to the information and technology ministry to have a formal number for eye donation — just like ‘100’ for police — so that people can contact directly if they want to donate.