Visually challenged man helps 90 people gain vision through eye donation campaign

Minnu Venugopal

Irumbanam native Ramkumar, aka Unni, lost his eye sight completely 28 years due to glaucoma.

Ramkumar with his wife Sathi and daughter Aiswarya. Photo- TK Pradeepkumar

Kochi: People have cursed Ramkumar for awaiting someone’s death and who shamelessly seeks donation of organs from families of the deceased. Some people have even tried to push him out of their homes. However, Ramkumar was not disheartened by any of this and managed to bring the power of sight to 90 people.

Irumbanam native Ramkumar, aka Unni, lost his eye sight completely 28 years back due to glaucoma. Ramkumar does not just hand over the consent form to eye banks. Instead, he asks the permission of the family members of the deceased directly as it is often the family members who stand in the way of organs being donated, even if consent form is signed.

Ramkumar has visited more than 200 homes with his request. He was forced out in most of the homes. 90 people were given sight out of the eyes of the 45 people whose families he was able to convince. If the eye is not donated within 6 hours of the person’s death, it cannot be used any longer. Ramkumar works with the help of Angamaly Little Flower Hospital, Cornia Andhatha Mukth Bharath of Amritha hospital and Sakshama- an organisation working for specially abled people. Ramkumar is a telephone operator in Cochin Refineries.

Ramkumar lost his eye sight in 1992 after failing to detect glaucoma early. Moly Koshy, wife of former director of Cochin Refineries Koshy Varghese, was committed towards social work. Once she invited Ramkumar to visit some homes with food and medicines along with her. They ate from a restaurant on the way back, when she asked Ramkumar if the food was tasty. She told him that they distributed medicines to cancer patients, who have lost their taste buds due to their condition. After listening to that, Ramkumar has never complained about his condition.

Ramkumar’s family consists of his wife Sathidevi, children Aiswarya R Menon, Aparna R Menon and son in law Ajith Mohan.

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