After losing her husband, her children were the pivot of her life. But she lost both of them as well; she made sure they lived as much in death as in life.
"My children were my world. Their death shattered me. I had decided that their death would not go in vain and thus decided to pledge their eyes. Today I am contented and in peace that because of both my children two other individuals are able to see the world. I feel that both my children are alive in them," says Sonia Kapoor, who lost her children to a congenital heart disease.
Kapoor lost her 14-year-old daughter this January and had earlier lost her 12-year-old son in February last year. It was after the death of her son that she had fortified her to donate his eyes; and when her daughter passed away in January, she did the same.
"I feel everyone should pledge their eyes as it may give someone a new lease of life. Families of the deceased should ensure donation," she adds.
Vijay, a 10-year-old boy from Hoshiarpur, who lost his vision due to cataract, is still waiting to get his complete vision back.
His mother tells HT, "Vijay was just three when he started losing vision. We took him to hospitals in Jalandhar, Amritsar and came to PGI as well, but there was a long queue at PGI. Then someone referred us to Dr Sujata and within a month Vijay was operated successfully in one of the eyes."
Vijay, however, is still waiting for someone to donate eyes so that he can get vision in his second eye too.
Dr Amit Gupta, associate professor, PGIMER, Chandigarh, said the waiting period could be as long as one year as the PGI had nearly 500 patients in the queue.
According to Dr Sujata Dwivedi, general ophthalmologist at Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust in Sector 24, Chandigarh, "All of us know about eye donation, but not many come forward. I feel there are certain myths, which deter people. It does not take much if you want to donate eyes. Even a close relative of the deceased can make this decision and no prior approval of the deceased is required either."
She further said that since Bharat Vikas Parishad is a charitable trust, they accept eyes from all eye banks and the maximum waiting period was 30 to 45 days.
Major General Rajendra Nath, chairman of the Institute of Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, who takes care of around 110 students, has appealed to the people to come forward and contribute towards this noble cause.
He says that there is a gap between the donors and recipients, therefore, more and more people should come forward to pledge and donate their eyes after the death.
Box: Experts Speak
Dr Amit Gupta (associate professsor and honorary secretary PGIMER eye bank Chandigarh): "Not all people who pledge their eyes end up donating. The donation process is a short procedure. Our team is available round the clock and responds to all tricity calls within an hour and a half.
2012 to 2013 (till date)
Number of pledges: 2,000
Where can you pledge your eyes
For donating eyes and LVA equipment to the Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust: Call 24 hour helpline number 99887-07040 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
24-hour helpline numbers at PGIMER- 98140-14464, 98554-64464