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H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji | | Commemorating the Netra Kumbh in Delhi
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Commemorating the Netra Kumbh in Delhi

Jun 26 2019

Commemorating the Netra Kumbh in Delhi

DELHI: The commemoration ceremony of the grand success of the Prayagraj Netra Kumbh took place in Delhi recently, graced by Hon’ble Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhanji, blessed by HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President, Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh and joined by Dr. Krishna Gopalji, Joint Secretary General of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Dr. G.N Rao, Chairman, LV Prasad Eye Institute and several other eminent leaders.

Pujya Swamiji had blessed and inaugurated the initiative in the Prayagraj Kumbh Mela in January 2019 as well as spoke in great appreciation of these momentous efforts throughout the Kumbh. He was glad to join in Delhi and looks forward to the next Netra Kumbh in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

Kumbh Melas’ widespread reach and popularity make them a natural launching point for service projects. Netra Kumbh, an initiative undertaken during Prayagraj Kumbh 2019, was one of those projects. Sight is especially significant because the World Health Organization estimates that there are around 180 million visually impaired people worldwide. Of these, between 40 and 45 million people are blind, and India is the home to 15 million of them. Tragically, 75% of these people suffer avoidable blindness.

This new Kumbh Mela sought to address those staggering numbers, and the event witnessed as many as 2, 02,020 people who were screened, of which 1, 56,020 patients were given free spectacles. 6,660 people treated for eye issues & surgeries – a number three times more than the last record of 2,067.

Commemorating the event, the ceremony at Manekshaw Centre featured Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan ji, who stated, “Vision problems are very common across the country and there is also a lack of understanding and knowledge about eye health among the population of India. Netra Kumbh is indeed the need of the hour and is a major step towards decreasing the burden of vision-related problems. I would extend my warmest congratulations to everyone for this magnificent initiative.”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also presented an award to HEAL Foundation for “Exemplary contribution to the Grand Success of Netra Kumbh at Prayagraj Kumbh 2019”. HEAL Foundation, a not for profit organisation, aims to nudge masses towards healthier practices by spreading awareness around relevant health issues.

Blessing the event Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatijiji reflected that, “according to statistics, one out of every three blind people in the world – 15 million people – is Indian. This is a huge figure, and a serious situation. 15 million people! Imagine that! We can change that. We can make a resolution, today, to donate our eyes to offer vision to our blind brothers and sisters by offering our eyes to them when we no longer need them. “Within each person,” Pujya Swamiji continued, “exists Divinity. Therefore, to serve humanity is to serve God! Service means to share light, God’s light, with others. To prevent others’ from suffering by offering light in their lives is to me the greatest worship. It is this compassion that will help others to live better lives, to help communities come together for a better world.”

Pujya Swamiji gifted the Netra Kumbh Team with a sacred Rudraksha sapling as His blessing and continued love for these divine and historic efforts.

Speaking about the prestigious award, Swadeep Srivastava, Founder of HEAL Foundation, said, “Netra Kumbh is indeed a visionary attempt for vision related problems. We are very happy to be associated with such a significant platform. HEAL firmly believes that by changing the health behavior of all individuals and making health a priority for everyone, India’s disease burden will decline and our health status shall improve leading to country’s growth at all levels.”

Dr. Rashmi, Member of Executive Committee of the Netra Kumbh, also addressed the gathering, saying that “Around 11 million people live in a state of avoidable blindness in India and most of these have not even visited an eye specialist in their life. Netra Kumbh assessed thousands of people every day with a distinction of being the longest eye hospital camp in the world, which ran throughout the length of the Prayagraj Kumbh. This was Netra Kumbh’s first Mela! With the response received from visiting pilgrims and support of our partners and well- wishers, we would now like to make it a regular affair at all Kumbh Melas!”

A special documentary and an exhibition around Kumbh were also showcased. Netra Kumbh was supported by partners like Saksham, Antodaya Health Mission, Sir Ganga Ram Kolmate Hospital Delhi, National Medicos Organisation, and Rajendra Singh Smriti Nevanya. In addition to organizational sponsorships, 400 doctors and thousands of volunteers were engaged in this initiative. https://www.facebook.com/himalayannewslive/videos/471268446967510/

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