From the 16th of Apri to 18th April, 2021, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation conducted its second high volume microsurgical camp in Nepal’s Solukhumbu District – the foothills of Mt. Everest. Although the actual camp was held on the above mentioned dates, the groundwork for the camp was laid from much before.
Unlike Lumbini, they could not ask patients to come to the screening centre. Therefore, a medical team had to reach remote corners of the district to identify patients with cataracts.
Amongst them was Shri Mani Rai, an elderly woman who had been blind due to cataracts for the past four years. She lived alone in the remote Himalayan outback, and was dependent upon her daughter who lived fifteen minutes away.
“Shri Mani had been living with great difficulty, and she, along with her family was overjoyed to hear that she would receive a second chance to sight at the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation’s microsurgical camp.
The medical team identified several other cases of cataract blindness – and everyone was invited to visit the camp.
A medical team led by Dr. Sanduk Ruit, co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation duly arrived in the community eye centre on the said date. Over the next three days, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Dr. Sagar Ruit assisted by eye healthcare workers and volunteers conducted 172 cataract surgeries.
The patients, all from different walks of life, and from varying age groups including a 14 year old girl were treated for free. Bipana, the fourteen year old girl who received a second chance to sight at the camp was extremely worried that her worsening cataracts would bring her ongoing education to an end. The schools in the remote Himalayan outback don’t have provisions for the visually impaired. If not treated, Bipana would have been completely blind. Unable to work, and dependent on her family members, she would have led a life of hopelessness and despair.
Thankfully, with the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation microsurgical camp, Bipana received a second chance to sight.