2016 October 2 to 5, JKEC, Kalimpong, India:
Our most recent free micro-surgical cataract program was held in India at the Jamgon Kongtrul Eye Centre (JKEC), a project of Paramita Charitable Trust. The program, like the eye centre, was conducted in technical collaboration with Nepal’s Tilganga Eye Centre under the direction of the esteemed Dr. Sanduk Ruit.
The JKEC screened 1,960 patients in 8 remote areas in District Darjeeling prior to the surgical program. Among them, 178 were found suffering from cataract. They were mobilised to JKEC for free surgeries and intra-ocular implants. The oldest was 102 years old, the youngest was 11 years old, and 4 had advanced cataract in both eyes. All surgeries went very well. 100% success!!
The Special Highlight of this program was an informal visit by HRH Princess Beatrice of United Kingdom. She had come to observe Dr. Ruit’s benevolent work. Everyone was touched by her presence and her caring way with our local people. Princess Beatrice’s interest in promoting community eye centres like JKEC touched and inspired us greatly!
A case for thought: Meena Tamang, 51 years old, from Upper Pedong is illiterate and one of the 4 bi-lateral cataract patients. As wife, mother and grandmother, she was the centre of her family life. She had not been able to see for more than a year and her husband struggled alone to cope with their family, their little farm and with caring for her. He had no hope that Meena would ever recover her sight. So it was like a miracle when he took her to JKEC’s screening program in their village and was told that her blindness can be treated! Meena and her husband were overjoyed after success of surgeries on both her eyes. They left for home with great joy and renewed confidence in their life ahead.
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