Lawrence & Mayo launch eye donation awareness campaign

| < a href = '/news/corporate-brand-marketing' > Marketing | July 17, 2012 | News

Laurence & Mayo (L&M) partnered with Virag's Artist Trust campaign ‘Roshni Zindagi Mein' to promote the cause of eye donation and create awareness through music and art. The campaign was launched on July 16 and is slated to go on until July 28.

The campaign aspires to increase the number of cornea donations from 20,000 a year to 2 lakh. A special universal number 1919 has been created to contact the nearest eye bank for donations. To begin with, a video promo from the album ‘Kaash' was unveiled by Vivek Mendonsa, Founder and Marketing Director, L&M, and Virag Wankhede of Virag's Artist Trust promoting the cause. This is being followed by school and college contact programs that include drawing contests revolving around the eye donation and blindness theme. Cultural gatherings evoking awareness through the medium of music will help bring the cause to the forefront. Key districts in Maharashtra, including Pune and tier I and tier II cities, are to be targeted.

Virag's Artist Trust is an NGO working towards educating, entertaining and engaging audience on social causes through art and music. Speaking on this initiative, Wankhede said: "At Virag's Artist Trust, our endeavour has been to reach out to people through music and art, which have a universal appeal. Through the ‘Roshni Zindagi Mein' initiative, our prime endeavour is to break existing myths and increase response levels at the grass root levels to the appeal for eye donation. Against an existing demand of 2,00,000 corneas, only 20,000 are being donated. Relying on music as the story telling medium, we want to highlight the helplessness and agony of the sightless, and convey the message that with one simple call to universal number 1919, one can contact the nearest eye bank and transform a life." Wankhede is a world record holder for ‘Non-stop solo singing for six days and six nights without food and sleep' pushing human body limits and setting new benchmarks.

Other organizations that have extended their support to this cause are National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), National Programme for the Control of Blindness (NPCB), Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and National Service Scheme (NSS).

Padmashri Dr. T. P. Lahane, who is involved with Roshni Zindagi Mein initiative, said: "A key ingredient of Vision 2020: Right to Sight programme from the Govt. Of India, is to sensitize people and involve opinion leaders and NGOs working with community at the grass root level in advocacy and communication appealing for eye donation. We need personnel with high knowledge and awareness levels, a positive attitude and appropriate skills to enable delivery of quality service, including proper content and coverage. It is indeed gratifying to have the involvement of highly capable, committed individuals like Virag Wankhede and Vivek Mendonsa working for this worthy cause. We feel confident that as we take the campaign to advanced stages and cover more states, we will be gaining ground and moving closer to meeting our set target."

Talking about the campaign, Mendonsa said: "Responsible citizenship and Lawrence & Mayo have always gone hand-in-hand. As part of our community welfare programs, we conduct multiple activities to raise awareness on prevention and treatment of loss of vision. We felt an instant connect with Guinness Record Holder Virag Wankhede's noble objective behind the ‘Roshni Zindagi Mein' campaign - to draw more cornea donations and bring light into lakhs of lives languishing without sight. Starting with Maharashtra, we plan to take this humble effort to the national level and bring about a sea change in people's attitude to donating their eyes."

L&M has actively participated in warding off blindness and promoting suitable treatments through its many initiatives. Regular eye donation camps are organized at the outlets encouraging citizens to pledge their eyes for donation. Forms are available on Facebook as well as at the outlets. The ‘Eye Bank Co-ordination & Research Centre' (EBCRC) and other partnering eye banks issue eye donor cards through L&M to each and every donor. Old spectacle collection drives and free eye testing programs are some other efforts made by L&M in this field.

Commenting on the importance of optometry, Mendonsa said: "At Lawrence & Mayo and as part of my role as President of ASCO (Association of Schools and Colleges on Optometry), we have been working hard to build awareness on optometry as an ideal career option for students passed out of the 12th grade from the general science stream. India needs 10,000 qualified optometrists annually, against which we have a mere 1,200 enrolments happening. If we are to achieve success in collecting corneas on time; ensuring proper storage; reaching the intended recipient on time and in the right conditions, we need to have ten times the number of capable optometrists available today. Qualified optometrists have lucrative multiple employment options across all cities in India and overseas."

Virag’s Artist Trust to further its Roshni Zindagi Mein initiative through the association with L&M.

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