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Blind Walk inspires people to donate corneas

The march was to raise awareness of the fact that India needs more people to donate their corneas after death

About 700 politicians, religious leaders and young people walked a kilometer blindfolded near the Indian parliament in support of visually impaired people.

People with low vision led the rest on the Oct. 13 Blind Walk that ended with participants taking a pledge to donate their corneas after death. The marchers held placards and walked slowly and silently.

The walk was part of an international program that took place in 55 locations across five countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, U.S. and India. 

Some 15 organizations including two Catholic dioceses supported the New Delhi program aimed to raise awareness on hardships faced by visually impaired people and the need for donated corneas that might help restore their sight.

The walk was part of the Project Vision movement that Claretian Father George Kannanthanam began in 2003 to encourage people to donate their corneas after death.

Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara lauded the young people at the march and stressed the social responsibility of the nation to take care of people with low vision. "We need to have a heart for them, extend a helping hand and respect them," he said.

Chetnalaya, the social service wing of Delhi Archdiocese, was the main organizer. Others included the National Federation for the Blind, Young Men's Christian Association and Arts of Living. 

A cornea can be transplanted to people who have damaged vision and can help restore the sight of some visually impaired people. 


Catholic leaders Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad Diocese and Father Susai Sebastian of Delhi Archdiocese join Swami Agnivesh and federal minister Krishan Pal Gurjar to pledge their eyes on Oct. 13 World Sight Day. ( photo)

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