Gurgaon gets its own Carnival and a noble cause
Till yesterday Gurgaon was thought to be two distinct cities, Old and New Gurgaon. Both came together as thousands gathered on a sultry afternoon to participate with full enthusiasm in the first ever Gurgaon Carnival. About 7000 participants comprising of NCC cadets then CRPF, BSF, State Bank of India and 3000 students coming from dozens of schools and colleges were the enthusiastic cheerleaders and maintained high energy levels throughout the 3.3 kms route. Presence and active support of Arya Samaj, Sanatan Dharam, Church of Gurgaon, Anjuman Charitable Trust, Shri Guru Singh Sabha and Dera Sacha Sauda, underscored approval of all religions, sects towards eye donation. Onlookers cheered and welcomed carnival in traditional way with shower of flower petals and sweets for children. Gurgaon Carnival was dedicated to the noble cause of eye donation with colours used to underline message that Corneal Blind too can see these colours if a donor cornea is available. It must be remembered that one eye donation leads to vision restoration for two corneal blind.
Shekhar Suman, noted Film and TV personality flagged off the Carnival along with a galaxy of VIPs. State Bank of India pitched in with generous support for the carnival as Principle Sponsor and a large SBI contingent was led by Mr. Rajeev Verma, General Manager. Rao Narendra Singh, Haryana Minister for Health and medical Education and Mr. Sukhbir Kataria, Haryana Minster for Sports & Youth Affairs, Police Commissioner Mr. S S Deswal and local councilors led the Haryana Govt. representation. Noted film director Anand Mahendroo (director of blockbuster TV series Dekh Bhai Dekh) camped in the city for a fortnight to direct arrangements.
It must be reiterated here that India has 2.1 million persons who suffer from Corneal Blindness. They can see if a Cornea transplant is performed. Only source of Corneas for transplant is eye donation which must be performed with in about 6 hours of death. Against this, average no. of eye donations in India languishes at about 38,600 per annum implying that even an impossible wait of 112 years will not help most. With in India, North India lags behind with only 11% of the donations.