HUBBALLI: ‘Abbe’, as she is fondly called by her younger family members, is all set to turn 100 this week. And her family members decided to make the occasion more memorable, and have together planned to pledge for eye donations, and are in talks with a Sirsi-based eye hospital. The 100th birthday celebrations of Devamma Hegde, a resident of Chapkhand village of Joida taluk in Uttara Kannada district, will be held on January 22. At least 15 members of the family are expected to sign for eye donations and more are expected to join them on the birthday.
“We are proud that our grandmother is healthy at 100. We wanted to make the occasion memorable and pass on a social message in it. We discussed our idea of pledging for eye donations with doctors at a Sirsi hospital. The team of doctors were happy with the idea, and they will be presenting an awareness programme about eye donation during the birthday celebrations,” said Narasimha Hegde, grandson of Devamma.
Another family member noted that till 85 years of age, Devamma used to do all the work that one can do in a farmer’s family. “She used to even go into wooded areas at that age to get firewood and green fodder for the cattle. Even at this age, her eyesight is fine and she can hear clearly. Our grandmother was widowed at the age of 12, and since then, she has been living here. Her way of living and healthy eating are the main reasons behind her long life,” informed the family member. Narasimha pointed out that there are a lot of misconceptions attached to eye donations and at the rural level, the amount of awareness is even lesser.
“Even today, in many villages people fear pledging their eyes. The government agencies are doing their bit, but it’s also our responsibility to ensure such work is taken up by all. My grandmother has been an example throughout her life and this could be the best gift that we could give her,” he added.