L V Prasad Eye Institute’s Whitathon Run, flagged-off by Sri Anjani Kumar, DGP, Telangana!

L V Prasad Eye Institute’s Whitathon Run, flagged-off by Sri Anjani Kumar, DGP, Telangana!

  • Whitathon is L V Prasad Eye Institute’s annual cause-related running event to raise awareness and funds for children with retinoblastoma eye cancer. 
  • Retinoblastoma eye cancer most commonly affects children below 3 years of age (90%).
  • 20 to 25% of cases of eye cancer worldwide in children are from India, and 50% of cases worldwide lose their lives due to late detection and inadequate treatment. 
  • Retinoblastoma is curable if the tumour is detected and treated early, thus saving the life, eye, and vision of the child.


Hyderabad, May 2023: Sri Anjani Kumar, Director General of Police, Telangana State, was the Chief Guest and flagged off L V Prasad Eye Institute’s WHITATHON RUN, today, at the University of Hyderabad Campus. Over 2500 runners including personnel from the Air Force and Army, participated in it. Whitathon is LVPEI’s annual cause-related running event aimed at raising awareness and funds for the early diagnosis and treatment of life and vision-threatening retinoblastoma eye cancer in children.


Speaking on the occasion Sri Anjani Kumar said, such a pleasure to be here early Sunday morning for a great cause. It’s a great initiative by LV Prasad Eye Institute for a healthy eye, for early detection and prevention of eye cancers. The city is becoming more and more global, when we say we have evolved, the criteria is we run for a cause, we run for creating an awareness, we just don’t run for our fitness, that is what human civilisation is about, you have concern for the others and also for the future generations, because so many young children are here. It is a heartening sign to see so many children here, they are the ones after 20 or 30 years will lead the country and the way technology is changing, I don’t know where AI will really take us to, these kids will be running AI technology then. My good wishes to all of you to stay healthy and spread the light of health to everyone.     


Dr Swathi Kaliki, Ocular Oncologist and Head of the Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer at L V Prasad Eye Institute, stated, “It is crucial for parents, caregivers, and the community to be aware of the common symptoms of eye cancer in children, with white reflex being the most important one, and to seek timely medical care. Retinoblastoma eye cancer is curable if the tumour is detected and treated early, thus saving the life, eye, and vision of the child. We are delighted by the impact Whitathon has created over the last five years, and we are confident that the momentum will only continue to grow. We are honoured to have Sri Anjani Kumar as the Chief Guest for this event and extend our sincere thanks to him. We express our gratitude to all the participants for their heartening response, our sponsors for their generous support, our volunteers, and Hyderabad Runners for their continuous support of this initiative since its inception.”


Dr Prashant Garg, Executive Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute; said, this morning is very special because it’s for a special cause. We are all here to increase the awareness of an eye cancer which affects young children. We at LV Prasad Eye Institute assure you by the year 2030, that we will ensure that no child dies needlessly because of this cancer. The most common symptom of this cancer is the White reflex in the eye and that the reason why this run is called Whitathon. This is the fifth edition and the funds collected will be used to treat all those children who can’t afford the expensive treatment. LV Prasad Eye Institute is present in the three states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. We have one Secondary care centre in Karnataka. We are in 275 locations. Through our vision centres we are taking care of uncorrected refractive errors, but more importantly we are spreading awareness in the communities about problems of vision loss and blindness. It is through our volunteers who go into communities we want to detect cancer early, so that we can not save lives but save the eye as well.   


Well known Oncologist Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, said, the eye cancers can be cured and therefore need to be detected and treated early, that way we not only save the kids life, but save the vision, give complete cure from cancer and enable such kids to lead a normal life. Awareness is created across the globe about eye cancer in the month of May, because parents are not aware of the symptoms of eye cancer and therefore can’t detect it. This awareness drive helps to sensitise parents about eye cancers in children. LV Prasad Eye Hospital has been having this eye cancer division since 1999 and patients from across the globe come here. LV Prasad Eye Institute has been providing sophisticated eye cancer treatment to children and patients who can’t afford the treatment are provided free care.    


WHITATHON, initiated in 2018, is L V Prasad Eye Institute’s annual cause-related event focusing on raising awareness and funds for early diagnosis and treatment of Retinoblastoma – a Life and Vision-threatening Eye Cancer in Children. One of the most common symptoms of Retinoblastoma is White Reflex (white glow) in a child’s eye. Through this run, LVPEI aims to raise awareness among the public that if they spot a ‘White Reflex’ in a child’s eye, it could be a sign of eye cancer that needs immediate medical intervention. Treating eye cancer can be a costly and prolonged affair. The funds raised from this run go towards providing free treatment to children from less privileged backgrounds who are afflicted with retinoblastoma. Additionally, the funds help to further research into developing innovative treatment alternatives for this ailment. The funds raised from WHITATHON have supported the treatment of more than 2000 children with retinoblastoma eye cancer. 


The winners at the L V Prasad Eye Institute’s WHITATHON RUN, are as follows.


In the Women’s 10K run Winner Yankey Dukpa, finished the run in 49:45 Seconds; 1st Runner-up Kitu Sheoran in 50:21 Seconds and 2nd Runner-up Suparna Das in 50:59 Seconds.


In the Women’s 5K run Winner Pinki Kumari, completed the distance in 31:03 Seconds; 1st Runner up Lovneet Saini took 32:11 Seconds and 2nd Runner-up Meenal Agarwal finished in 34:40 Seconds.


In the Mens’ 10K run Winner Anand completed in 44:36 Seconds; 1st Runner-up Raja took 45:26 Seconds and 2nd Runner-up Santosh finished in 45:31 Seconds.


In the Mens’ 5K run, Winner Mohd Younus took 23:22 Seconds; 1st Runner-up Meneni Sahishnu completed the distance in 23:35 Seconds and 2nd Runner-up Sharadi Viresh finishes the race 28:51 Seconds.


Support received for WHITATHON 2023: Diamond Sponsor: GTN Industries Ltd and Alcon Laboratories (India) Pvt Ltd Gold Sponsors - Techwave Consulting India Pvt Ltd, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Ltd, GebauerMedizintechnik GMBH and Essilor Luxottica Group; Silver Sponsors - Vision RX Lab Pvt Ltd, BiomedixOptotechnik & Devices Pvt Ltd and Carl Zeiss India (Bangalore) Pvt Ltd; Bronze Sponsors - IDBI Bank Ltd, Delta Lens Pvt Ltd, Cure Foundation, Alkem Laboratories Ltd and Celon Laboratories Pvt Ltd; Supporter - Alankar Traders, Asian Surgical Company and Asian Engineering Company and GSR Hospitality Services; Medical Partner: EMRI Green Health Services; Volunteer Partners: Synchrony Financial Pvt are the volunteer partners; Prize Partners: Park Hyatt Hyderabad Hotel and Residences, Radisson Blu- Banjara Hills and Taj Deccan.


About LVPEI: Established in 1987, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness, is a comprehensive eye health facility. The Institute has ten functional arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development. The LVPEI Eye Care Network has 275 Centres spread across the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka in India. The institute's mission is to provide equitable and quality eye care to all sections of society. The LVPEI’s five-tier ‘Eye Health Pyramid’ model covering all sections of society right from the villages to the city, provides high quality and comprehensive - prevention, curative and rehabilitation – eye care to all. It has served over 34.14 million (3 crore 41 lakh people), with more than 50% of them entirely free of cost, irrespective of the complexity of care needed.