Bhubaneswar: Eyes are the most beautiful gifts that God has bestowed on us. We need to care for eyes. Besides, we should also involve ourselves in the eye donation campaign of the Government to enable hundreds of our visually-impaired brothers and sisters to see the wonderful creation of God, State Health Minister Prasanna Acharya said.

Addressing the 12th State level World Sight Day function at Jayadev Bhavan, jointly organized by voluntary organization Bhoomika, the State Health and Family Welfare Department and National Rural Health Mission, Mr. Acharya said, Orissa Government has taken a number of steps to provide quality eye-care services to people across the State through district headquarters hospitals and eye-banks. He appealed the gathering to popularize the eye-donation concept so that more and more people would come forward to donate their eyes which would enable visually-impaired persons to see the world. Apart from this, Mr. Acharya also called upon people not to neglect their precious eyes.

Commissioner cum Health Secretary Ms. Anu Garg said, there should be concerted efforts to reduce the current blindness from 1 per cent to .3 per cent by 2020. Stating that there were over 1200 seats for eye-care services in 30 district headquarters hospital, Capital Hospital and Rourkela Ispat General Hospital, Ms Garg said the Government was working to enhance the number of beds and improve the standard of treatment.

Joint Director of Orissa Public Health Department Ms. Radharani Nanda said; focus on taking nutritious food for maintaining good eye-sight. Mr. Upendra Sahoo, Director, State Health Services, called upon people to keep away from smoking and alcohol consumption to protect eye-sight. He also advised the diabetics for regular eye check-ups.

Secretary of Bhoomika Bishma Prasad Rath, while underlying the importance of eye-donation mission, suggested that creating awareness on proper eye-care facilities should be made through government and private agencies. Mr. Ananta Sahoo, Director, Health projects, gave vote of thanks.