Gurgaon residents, primarily school children, got together in Sector 4 on Sunday morning to run, walk, dance and paint, taking a pledge to go green and raise awareness on eye donation.
A marathon was organised by Niramaya, an NGO dedicated to restoration of vision, and Youth Social & Cultural Association, which is working to make the city cleaner and greener.
The marathon had three distance categories - 10K, 4K and 3K. The event also included yoga and zumba sessions which were thoroughly enjoyed by the people. Besides, a team of skaters enthralled the crowd.
Children were seen motivating the crowd by carrying placards with social causes written on them.
President of Niramaya Dr TN Ahooja said that he just wanted the youth to take home a simple message of ‘planting a tree and donating an eye’. “Gurgaon has a population of 1.7 million and with about 20,000 annual deaths, it can surpass the entire country’s annual eye donation if all people donate their eyes upon death. If one in every two citizens plants a tree, we will have one million trees that will definitely help improve air quality,” Ahooja said.
Meanwhile, president of Youth Social & Cultural Association Pramod Sharma thanked the participants for taking up the challenge of making Gurgaon greener. He reminded the youngsters that increased green cover was important for future generations. The volunteers of Youth Social & Cultural Association distributed saplings to all the participants. “Over the last fortnight, hundreds of saplings have already been planted across Gurgaon and we are in the process of planting more,” Sharma said.
India has 2.1 million persons who suffer from corneal blindness. The only source of corneas for transplant is eye donation, which must be performed within four to six hours of death. Against this, the average number of eye donations in India languishes at about 38,600 per annum.
Citizens can call on a toll free helpline 1919 or 0124-2254848 if they want to donate eyes.