Syed Kirmani, former India wicket-keeper, recently pledged to donate his eyes at an awareness campaign held by Rajan Eye Bank and Rotary Club of Madras, T Nagar, only to retract later, according to a Times of India report.
“Naan en kankalai dhaanam seikiren, neengalum kan thaanam seiyungal (I am donating my eyes, you too donate your eyes),” TOI quoted him speaking at the campaign.
Speaking to TNM, Kirmani confirmed that the report indeed is true and that, due to circumstances he was unable to live up to the pledge.
On the issue, Kirmani responded by saying that promises sometimes are meant to be broken due to circumstances.
“How many people here live up to their promises? Sometimes they are meant to be broken when you cannot commit to them,” he said.
The 68-year-old clarified that he was unable to honour the pledge due to his religious belief.
“Most religions are against what I have said. In Islam, we are not supposed to take out or donate the organs of a dead body,” Kirmani said.
The topic of organ donations, in itself, is debated within Islamic circles, with certain groups permitting donations that are done out of free-will and for non-monetary reasons, while other outfits banning it citing mutilation of a corpse as anti-Islamic.
Syed Kirmani said that his words were only an attempt to inspire people to donate their eyes for a cause. “I want to spread awareness to like-minded people, bring light to people living in the dark,” he said.
He further argued by citing the scores of doctors and other professionals who fail to commit to their oaths after taking them.
“Tell me how many doctors honour their pledged or religiously commit to them after taking their oath. Big hospitals are completely driven by commercial interests. Do they all live up to their pledges? Doctors such as Mohan Raj of Rajan Eye Care, restore our faith in the profession by providing free surgeries to the deserving,” he said.
According to Kirmani, being associated with the Indian Blind Cricket Team is what inspired him to join the eye donation cause. He will also be accompanying the team to Dubai for the Blind Cricket World held later this month.