Meet Gayathri, retriever of eyes from cadavers

Meet Gayathri, retriever of eyes from cadavers

Gayathri Narayan

Imagine a 57-year-old woman travelling to the burial ground at night to retrieve the eyes from a body.

Gayathri Narayan C A from Madhugiri, Tumakuru district, who has been engaged in eye donation activities for the past 30 years, had to experience this too.

Gayathri has been involved in retrieving eyes and transporting donated eyes through a cold chain to various eye banks in Bengaluru.

“I have visited homes of the deceased and have even travelled to the burial ground, though women from my community are forbidden from going there. The only thought that comes to my mind while doing my job is that the retrieved eyes will help at least two blind persons see the world,” says Gayathri. With no donations or support from the government, Gayathri is also a certified eye retriever who has helped doctors retrieve eyes from 250 donors of which she alone has retrieved eyes from 35 donors in the past one year.

“Though I have studied just until Class X, I learnt how to retrieve eyes from a deceased person. Lately, I was even trained and given a certificate for it. Narayana Nethralaya has given me a kit to store the retrieved eyes and many a time, I have sent the donated eyes through a cold chain by KSRTC buses to the city,” says Gayathri.

It is not easy to visit a house where there is a death in the family and speak to them and their relatives and convince them about eye donation, especially when they are grieving.

“I have been scolded an abused many a time by the family members who have even accused me of selling the eyes. But we need to carry on with our work,” she adds. Gayathri runs “Sanghrahana Kendra” part of Sri Varadahini Seva Trust where she is the president and the funds collected through meagre donations from her trust are what are used for transportation. “I completely depend on public transport for my work and only if there are no buses, will I take cabs, which is very expensive for me,” added Gayathri. Gayathri can be contacted on 9632861043.