A young woman from India turned a family tragedy into an opportunity to make a difference for thousands of people. Isha Kishore Shah’s father died of a heart attack in early December. Shah, who was participating in Landmark’s SELP programme, arranged to have her father’s eyes donated to an eye bank, and worked to have hundreds of other people agree to donate their eyes after their death. The story was covered in the December 23 edition of the Mumbai Mirror. That story is presented here.
Girl banks on eye donors to get over grief of losing dad
Convinces 500 people to donate their eyes in just 15 days after her father’s death
Kandivli resident Isha Kishore Shah was devastated when her father passed away in November. Not wanting to let go, she and her mother decided to keep him alive in some way by donating his eyes. For the 24-year old, this came as an eyeopener and she started a drive, urging others to donate their eyes. In the past 15 days, Isha has managed to convince 500 people to pledge their eyes.
Isha, who lives in Kishore Kunj on M G Road at Kandivli West, started the project on December 8, days after her father Kishore Shah died of a heart attack. Though her father’s name was not registered for eye donation, she and her mother Renuka Shah managed to get in touch with an eye bank and donated his eyes. "By donating my father’s eyes, I can say he is still alive. Isn’t it beautiful?" said Isha. She and her mother decided right then that they too would donate their eyes.
Soon after, Isha got in touch with eye banks and studied the process of donation.
"I thought two eyes would give life to two persons, but I was wrong. Because of three layers of the cornea in each eye, one person’s yes can actually give vision to six people. collecting 500 pledges means 6,000 blind people will see one day. It gives me immense pleasure to do this work," she said.
Before her father’s death, Isha was pursuing a leadership programme through a private educational institute, but has now taken on eye donation awareness as her new project. "My project name is No More Darkness – Two Eyes, Six Visions."
"So far, I was pursuing my personal contacts, but now I will go from door to door," said Isha, an interior designer by profession, who is now the sole earning member of her family. Still, she has decided to devote half of her time to raise awareness about eye donation, and is busy getting people registered with the Rotary Eye Bank.
Her proud mother, who is helping Isha take the project forward, said, "I am spreading awareness among women. We now plan to get in touch with different mahila mandals across the city."