Helen Keller once remarked, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision”. Imagine not being able to see the blue sky ,shining stars,a velvety blade of grass under your feet,the people you love and a zillion other things that we take for granted because we are blessed with vision.
One leading ophthalmologist, Padma Shri Dr. S. Natarajan is a “titanic” name in the field.Apart from excellence in his field, Dr. S Natarajan is a humanitarian and has been consistently dedicated to serving the needy –specially those with eye problems—by holding awareness and free check-up camps all over Mumbai and in other parts of the country.
A dynamic personality, you can catch him shaking a leg at a disco when he is not jet-setting to different parts of the world to conduct path-breaking surgeries. Quite naturally he has quite a few high-flying patients too—one of them being Hrithik Roshan’s grand-father whom he has been treating for years. After watching the trailer of Kaabil and Hrithik’s powerful performance as a blind man, the good doctor contacted Rakesh Roshan asking if Hrithik would like to pledge his eyes for donation. He was pleasantly surprised when Rakesh said “Yes”.He was moved by the interactions with the blind while preparing for Kaabil and Hrithik pledged to donate his eyes on his birthday ( January 10) but requested the doctor to keep it under wraps lest anyone misconstrued the act as a publicity stunt for the film. So, with minimum fuss and no paparazzi, Hrithik pledged to donate his eyes . Certainly, a Kaabil-e-Tareef gesture!
By 2020, 10.6 million Indians will suffer from unilateral corneal blindness. To treat them 2 lakh corneas will be required every year, yet only 45,000 are retrieved annually. Of the 45 million blind in the world, 15 million are in India. Dr. Natarajan says,” this is avoidable but are inadequately treated or untreated due to superstitions and lack of awareness,If actors like Hrithik, who have a huge fan base come forward to pledge their eyes, it will inspire others”
Chairman& MD of the Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital and the founder & managing trustee of the Aditya Jyoy Foundation for Twinkling Eyes ( a non-profit body), Dr. Natarajan has, of late , made several trips to Srinagar where he has been treating hundreds who needed urgent surgery for removal of pellets. He has requested the J& K government and the Centre for better facilities and equipment and has offered his services honorarily to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital(SMHS)Srinagar.