Ahmedabad: Gujarat is all set to emerge as a state with the maximum number of eye donations this year. And this is despite the fact that in terms of number of eye banks, Gujarat stands fifth nationally, with Maharashtra and AP having more than double the number of eye banks in the state.
From 2000 to 2006, Gujarat topped nationally in the number of eye donations, with Tamil Nadu emerging second. However, the numbers decreased in 2006, and Tamil Nadu secured the top position.
In the current year though, the numbers have already touched 3,590 in Gujarat by July 2010, while Tamil Nadu stands at 3,286. This indicates that Gujarat is likely to top in the number of eye donations this year as well, notes a detailed health report on eye donations in India by indiastat.
Gujarat collected 6,468 eyes in 2008-09, while Tamil Nadu was way ahead with 11,917.
The decrease in number of eye donations in the state between 2006 and 2009 is ascribed to the limited number of eye banks in the state, lack of awareness, social taboos and religious myths. Development of infrastructure is a major requirement for Gujarat to again become the topmost state for eye donations in the country, say experts.
The maximum number of eye banks in the country is in Maharashtra (82), followed by Andra Pradesh (74), Karnataka (41), Uttar Pradesh (36) and Gujarat at the fifth position, with only 33 eye banks, notes indiastat's report.
Dr Deepak Mehta, director of M & J Institute of Ophthalmology, Civil Hospital, stressed the need to inform family members of the persons who have pledged their eyes for donation, so that their wish can be fulfilled after death.