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Tej Kohli Foundation to donate Rs 1,50,000 every month for corneal transplants

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After the success of Gurgaon's "Walk for Vision", the Tej Kohli Foundation, named after a Costa Rica-based philanthropist and entrepreneur, has announced that it would cover the expenses of corneal transplants performed by the Niramaya Charitable Trust.

This would entail an amount of Rs 1,50,00 per month for transplants in Gurgaon and an additional Rs 1,50,000 for each additional city in which the programme is extended, a press release from the foundation said.

Mr Kohli had pledged his support to the programme during a recent visit to India. "I hope to help at least 1000 people receive corneal transplants," the release quoted him as saying.

"If we raise awareness of the need for corneal donors we can overcome this tragedy and help make a big difference in the rest of these children's lives," he said.

Niramaya Secretary Virender Pankaj said that 168 eye donations were executed in Gurgaon in the first five months of ths year. Dr. Hitendra Ahooja, Medial Director of Niramaya, agreed with Mr Kohli that the number would exceed 1000 per annum in Gurgaon.

According to the release, the foundation hopes the number would rise to 5,000 transplants in the second year and to 7,500 to 10,000 in the third year.

About 3,000 people, including cricketers Mithun Manhas and Pradeep Sangwan, had participated in the blindfolded "Walk for Vision" on August 29. The walk was led by Mr Sukhbir Kataria, Minister of State for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Haryana, and Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal.

They walked the entire stretch, pledged eye donations and encouraged everyone to do so. In addition, about 20 schools participated in the event, making 1800 children aware of the issue.

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