Courtesy: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Following Aishwarya Rai's example, Juhi Chawla has also pledged to donate her eyes. Juhi did this a few days ago, while on a visit to the Dhamecha Eye Hospital in Porbandar, where a camp for free cataract operations was on.
When contacted, Juhi was initially reluctant to talk about the "personal" decision. When pressed, she admitted, "Yes, I have pledged to donate my eyes. It just happened.
When I had read about Ash pledging to donate her eyes, I had thought it was a good thing. It was something I cared about but never got around to doing. When I went to the eye hospital, I got carried away."
"A few months ago, I had gone to Porbandar on a family visit. Jai's (her husband) family is from there, and very well-known (Jai Mehta's grandfather, Nanji Kalidas Mehta, was a noted industrialist and philanthropist, who founded a number of educational institutions).
When I went there, I was asked to lend my support to an eye donation camp that was carrying out free cataract operations. When I went back to the Dhamecha Eye Hospital, I was told that because of my support, they got 40,000 pledges for eye donations in three months.
This time when I went, they made a special occasion out of it. While there, I pledged to donate my eyes. They do such wonderful work that my deed seems like a drop in the ocean. But if every such deed helps to light up someone's life, then why not?"
Friend went further
Is it true that she has also pledged to get seven more people to donate their eyes? "No, that's not true," laughs Juhi. "I never said that. I have only put myself on the line. The family friend who accompanied me pledged to donate the eyes of his whole family."
Right now, the actress is busy with two films - Gurdas Mann's Waaris, and Onirban's next with Sanjay Suri and Urmila Matondkar. She also keeps up with singing and music lessons.
"There is no end to it," she says ruefully. "Music is like a whirlpool... it keeps sucking you in and there is always so much to learn."