Pataudi donated eye before death


New Delhi : Former India cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who lost his right eye at the age of 20 in a car accident, helped some 1.5 lakh visually challenged people to get back their sight. And continued to do so even after his death when he donated his eye.

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Pataudi, who died Thursday and was laid to rest in his native village Pataudi Friday, has donated his eye to the Delhi-based Venu Eye Institute, of which he was a brand ambassador since 2001. Someone will benefit from his generosity in a couple of days, an official said.

Pataudi, 70, had been helping Venu Eye Institute host eye clinics in Pataudi, some 60 km from here in Haryana, every month since 1991.

“Every month, some 400-500 people are treated at the clinic and Mr. Pataudi took special interest in these eye clinics. We roped him as a brand ambassador in 2001. He was a true brand ambassador and in the last 20 years he has helped some 1.5 lakh people to get back their eyesight,” Tanuja Joshi, managing director of Venu Eye Institute, told IANS Friday.

Joshi said Pataudi, for whom limited eyesight was never a handicap, was always enthusiastic about organising eye clinics and went out of his way to help the eye institute.

“Since 2001, he never missed our annual programme and always urged people to donate their eyes. The only time he missed was couple of months back but made sure that the family was represented by daughter Saba,” said Joshi.

Joshi said Pataudi had expressed his wish to donate the eye to Venu Eye Institute to his wife, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore.

“A few days before passing away, he made the wish to his wife, who made sure that after his death the eye is donated to Venu Eye Institute. A person will benefit from the eye donation in the next couple of days but we cannot disclose his identity,” she said.