Worked extensively with innovations to promote the noble cause of Eye Donation awareness in Punjab from 1992 at grass root level especially in rural area with success by public co-operation on selfless basis by the means mentioned as below: 16 years of vast clinical experience in providing eye care services, especially to under privileged patients of Rural and poor who can’t afford high tech facilities and surgery either totally free or at very low cost.
Started work in ophthalmology especially in rural area at Mansuran, a small village in Distt. Ludhiana in 1993. Shifted residence with family in village to provide 24 hours services to village population especially when Punjab state was suffering from disturbed atmosphere of militancy.
With public co-operation and hard work, free eye operation camps were organized in rural area especially remote area, with limited resources. Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and many social organisations helped in the blindness control programme. Initially rural public was totally unaware about the noble cause of eye donations, but by providing selfless services they gradually demonstrated good amount of confidence in eye donations.
Apart from strong motivation and easy availability of doctor, concept of “local procurement and utilization” helped a lot in promoting eye donations among rural area. It means if some donated their relative’s eyes posthumously, the cornea transplantation was performed on person of same or nearby village’s blind person. By the time public and masses got aware about this noble cause on selfless basis, the promotion of eye donations received good momentum as it was promoting sense of selfless service, kindness and brotherhood, feelings of national integration and far away from caste and creed. Even the person afraid of blood donations had pledged for eye donations after their death at religious gatherings.
Public was totally unaware of facts of eye donation, full of ill faith regarding eye donation, leaders were afraid of militancy no body was working for such social cause but constant persuasion, motivation and hard work, by providing free eye camps services, public regain faith, Eye Donation movement got momentum. Eye Donation awareness seminars, in school, colleges social & religious gathering, Eye Donation awareness exhibitions at public places during social functions, attending Bhog ceremonies of Eye Donors and providing concept of totally transparency instilled confidence in public for noble cause of eye donation movement and got the good results.
District Administration (Punjab Govt.) honoured for the selfless services for blindness control at Republic Day in 1997, Independence Day in 2001, Republic Day in 2004, and State Award honour was given by Chief Minister, Punjab in 2005 for Eye Donation movement in Punjab at Independence Day.
Presented oral presentation of eight minutes in International Conference held at Prague in Europe in 1996, paper was well appreciated by all International Eye Banking bodies. This was first time in Punjab that a doctor of Punjab from rural area presented paper in International conference on eye banking. This also boosted morale that if work of a doctor working in rural area can be accepted in International conference then we can achieve lot more in humanitarian service. Distribution of large number of pamphlets about eye donations, display of eye donation hoardings at cremations grounds, motivational lectures at social gatherings, songs, dramas, skits and street plays were organized among public to promote the Eye Donation cause.
Presentation of cornea recipients at Antim Ardas Bhog ceremonies of eye donors to depict that free corneal transplant for noble cause, helped further among masses. Beneficiaries of cornea transplants are from rural areas of whole of Punjab, Himachal Pardesh, J & K., Haryana, Rajasthan, U.P., Bihar, Assam, Utranchal, Delhi, Nepal and even NRI`s from U.S.A., U.K., Canada etc.
In India there are about 30 million corneal blinds persons out of this, 10 million are children and youths, they can contribute to nation building if they can see again through the eyes donated by someone after death. At that time Punjab’s contribution in cornea procurement was neglible now improved to about 2%. Government’s encouragement can put great inputs in movement.
Special Health Education Drive: Apart from promotional activities of eye donation, health education journal started in 2008 under name “PUNARJOT” with motive to promote movement of eye donation, sense of selfless service towards humanity, topic of general health education, eye care, and social literature especially for Indian families in Punjabi & English on Quarterly basis. Total project is being looked after as Chief Editor. It has got good response from public. It is being circulated through out the world for Indian population highlighting the need for control of blindness.
Community diabetic Retinopathy screening programme (“SANJH” PROJECT) : Under Punarjot Health Education Drive a special general public screening programme for diabetic retinopathy started under the name “SANJH” with active participation of public in 2008. Under “Sanjh” project special free eye check up camps are organized in villages and slum areas. Literatures regarding diabetes are distributed in the locality to sensitise the public.
Health education exhibition regarding diabetes retinopathy displayed at camp site, power presentation wherever possible, group discussions and counseling conducted before starting of eye check up camp. Team consists of ophthalmologist, optometrist, paramedical staff, counselors & driver from ‘Dr. Ramesh`s Superspeciality Eye & Laser Centre’. All diabetic patients are dilated and screened for diabetic retinopathy, patients having signs of diabetic retinopathy referred to base hospital for further evaluation. Free fundus photograph and Counseling for all referred patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s are done If needed free retina consultation by visiting vitreo retinal consultant is taken, very poor patients, & laser treatment are free, very low rate charges from general public who came in “Sanjh” project.
Till date 210 eye check up camp for diabetic retinopathy screening conducted whole project is partially sponsored by Punarjot Eye Bank Society (Regd.) and partially by base hospital. Free medicines to camp patients, free IOL surgeries (Phaco/SICS) to cataract patients screened in eye check up camps done at base hospital.