Sewa Bharati lights a lamp in 226 lives
By Pramod Kumar
Moga, a small city in Punjab, is in the news today. It is not because of any educational activity or any extraordinary development in this famous foodgrains market, but because of awareness on the importance of eye donation. Though, Moga has been very famous for eye treatment due to famous eye surgeon, the late Dr Mathura Prasad who was said to operate on the eye even in a moving train. Eye donation is fast becoming a common occurrence in the city. Credit for this revolution goes to Sewa Bharati, Moga, which has so far brought light in the lives of over 226 people.
The eye-donation work began about 15 years ago with the initiative taken by the then general secretary of Sewa Bharati, Rajkumar Aggarwal who, before advising and persuading others, donated his mother'seyes. Initially, the eye transplantation was carried out at Ludhiana or Patiala. But now the Sewa Bharati has acquired the services of two leading surgeons who conduct the whole procedure in Moga itself. So far a total of 114 people have donated their eyes in Moga.
Giving the details of the project, Shri Jagdish Bansal, RSS Bhatinda Vibhag Sanghchalak, said that the Sewa Bharati activists launch campaigns to persuade people to donate eyes without hesitation and also help persuade others to do the same. ?We have adopted a unique method. Whenever we receive the news of the death of any person, the Sewa Bharati activists reach there and express their condolence on behalf of the Sewa Bharati. At the same time, they also request the family members to donate the eyes of the deceased. In the beginning, the response was not encouraging and people expressed resentment. But now they have understood the importance and willingly come forward themselves for eye donation. In fact, this change came with the statement of a person who, with the efforts of Sewa Bharati, was able to see the world after 40 years of life,? he said.
The eye donation campaign received a boost when after sudden death of RSS Moga Zila Sanghchalak, Amritlal Bansal, with the consent of his family members, his both eyes were donated and transplanted on two persons, one 30 years old and the other 24 years old. In order to encourage people to donate their eyes, both these persons were called at the shradh ceremony of the late Amritlal Bansal and told to narrate their experiences. This so inspired people that now, whenever there is any death, people themselves call the Sewa Bharati activists to donate eyes of the deceased. Through this project the Sewa Bharati has earned respect and pride among all sections and religious groups of Moga city. Inspired with such activities Nestle Company, a multinational company, donates Rs 5,000 to Sewa Bharati every month.
Besides encouraging people for eye donations, Sewa Bharati also organises camps for detecting eye disease. In November 2002, an eye camp was organised in which 500 patients were treated. About 115 patients of them were selected for operation and 79 were successfully operated upon by inserting lenses inside their eyes. A medical van also runs around in sewa bastis six days of the week and provides free medicines. Under the tuberculosis eradication campaign, 95 patients are being provided with free medicines. Besides the medical activities, 10 bal samskar kendras and 3 cutting-tailoring centres for women are also being run. About 60 talented poor patients are being provided with monthly scholarship. The Sewa Bharati also encourages people for body donation after death. (FOC)