Project Drishti - a unique initiative by RIL and NAB

Released on: February 7, 2008, 3:36 am

Press Release Author: Manu Dagar

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: Project Drishti crosses 5,000 nationwide corneal graft
surgeries for the underprivileged and the largest corneal grafting drive undertaken
by a single corporate in India

Press Release Body: Mumbai, India: Project Drishti - a nation-wide corneal grafting
drive to bring light into the lives of visually challenged from the underprivileged
segment of society - has restored the gift of sight to over 5,000 Indians.

A unique initiative between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and National
Association of Blind (NAB), Project Drishti has undertaken 5,000 keroptoplasty
surgeries in less than four years since it was started - all free of cost. It is now
the largest corneal grafting surgery project enabled by a single corporate entity in

Project Drishti, under the leadership of Smt Nita Ambani, President, Dhirubhai
Ambani Foundation is working zealously to bring light into the lives of millions who
have so far lived in darkness. The objective of the project is to give sight to the
sightless from the underprivileged segment of the society at no cost to them.

Smt Nita M. Ambani, President, Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation says, "We are committed
in our endeavor to bring light into the lives of visually challenged brethren."

"In more ways than one, we can make this a century with better vision than ever. We
need to see life a little differently even after we have passed on. Life would
undergo a change of appearance if you donate your eyes because beauty also lies in
the eye of the giver", Smt Ambani said.

The challenges for corneal grafting surgeries are Herculean, more so for the
underprivileged segment of the society. Industry estimates indicates that annually,
about 13,000 to 15,000 individuals donate eye balls, which means around 30,000 eye
balls get donated.

Of this, only 35 - 40 per cent is fit for corneal grafting purposes, i.e. 12,000 to
13,000 eyeballs are available for corneal grafting. Further the success rate of a
corneal graft surgery is 70 to 80 per cent, which brings down the actual number
available to around 10,000 eyeballs.

The acute scarcity of good corneas results in a long waiting list for people whose
world is black. And, it is an assured stark black if the visually impaired person is
from the underprivileged segment.

In its endeavor to ensure that the visually impaired from the most under-privileged
segment of the society reap the benefit from this initiative, Project Drishti, in
association with National Association For the Blind - extends support through
specialized eye-hospitals spread across India. NAB is a non-profit institution which
has been serving the blind in India for over five decades. The Drishti project has
conducted corneal grafting surgeries in over 16 cities India and efforts are on to
take the initiative to far-flung moffusil areas of the country.

In addition to its drive of corneal grafting drive, Project Drishti has actively
participated in several blindness prevention activities and also in creating
awareness about the compelling need for eye donation.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Manu Dagar
New Delhi

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