Nearly blind by cataract, twin sisters Shivamma and Mahadevi aged 20 & 16 years groped their way to our camp at Raichur on 4th Dec 2013 They each underwent surgery in one eye . That was in December 2013. Yet another camp, different place and time. Place –Devdurga , date 27th Mar 2015. Elapsed time between the two camps: 14 months. The two sisters were there again. Ready to undergo surgery in their other eyes. Happy to be back at Sevashrama camp. After surgery no more groping to find their way. This episode raises a few questions. Is it that people in these areas have to wait so long to get relief from cataract and no other organization was able to help like these sisters in the intervening period? Or, did the sisters prefer only Sevashrama ? We have not come up with an answer.
Creased and wrinkled skin. Matted hair. The face speaks of years spent exposed to harsh sun. Poverty writ large even for a decent haircut. He is one of many we see in our camps. He came to our camp at Hagaribommanahalli in Bellary District of Karnataka state. Imagine him visiting a glass and marble outfit of a high end hospital. Certainly he would be un-welcome there. But not in Sevashrama. He goes out, the world looking bright, clear and different.Creased and wrinkled skin. Matted hair. The face speaks of years spent exposed to harsh sun. Poverty writ large even for a decent haircut. He is one of many we see in our camps. He came to our camp at Hagaribommanahalli in Bellary District of Karnataka state. Imagine him visiting a glass and marble outfit of a high end hospital. Certainly he would be un-welcome there. But not in Sevashrama. He goes out, the world looking bright, clear and different.
Ningesha is all of 8 years. Born partially blind to a dirt poor family he was brought to our camp at Kampli. His surgery at our camp was a big news in many local editions of newspapers This is how local edition of Vijayavani reported. A heart-warming story and as per the paper a first for the District of Ballari.
It is merely not one Ningesha that makes a heart-warming story. Take Shobha, a 13 year old lass, almost blind with cataract. Apprehensive of what lies ahead for her after surgery, she was seen crying, almost reluctant to undergo surgery. Stoically she faced the surgery. Come next day, it was time to open the bandage on her eye. The world looked bewilderingly different, bright and beautiful. Smile came back to her face. The story does not end here. She wanted surgery for the other eye too. Yes, her other eye was operated. Imagine her happiness when a new world opened up. Sevashrama brings back light from darkness to people. The story does not end here. She was ready for another eye to be operated on the very next day of the camp. The surgeon obliged her to open her other eye to a new and brighter world.
You may wonder why this photo shows only two legs and not anything else. Where is the patient? He is hunch back and our volunteer has to improvise to keep his legs up so that the surgeon can concentrate on the surgery. Not a unique case. Often Sevashrama volunteers have to resort to many out of the way techniques and help the patients to reach the OT. Thus Sevashrama deliver vision to the sight less in its avowed mission of serving the poor and marginalised especially in remote parts of Karnataka. In pursuit of its mission, Sevashrama makes no compromises in any way in delivering the quality cataract surgeries to the deserving.
This girl was brought to our Base hospital by her mother with scepticism and little hope of any help. Dr Chetan identified it as a case of dense and mature cataract. After surgery in one eye the mother and daughter came again .With the dramatic restoration of vision in both eyes the child is upbeat and rearing to go to school to pursue her studies that was cut short. Yet another happy story.
Before and After surgery There is every reason for him to smile. Hear his story. He was born blind and deaf, Cataract blind from birth. Add to this the poverty of the family. Marginal farming and shepherding were the only means of livelihood. Fatherless at young age mother was the sole bread earner. Growing up and entering adulthood no way he could contribute to the family earnings hobbled as he was by his deformities, Enter Sri Vivekananda Sevashrama into the picture. On one of the scheduled monthly visits to the Anekal town, he came with his mother. Told about the free eye surgery, neither he nor his mother could understand the benefit of this exercise. When the boy was asked to lie down and a torch was flashed in to his eye all hell broke loose because of fear. The mother's consoling entreaties not working the doctor had to administer a slap to subdue the howling boy before being wheeled into the OT. Though unusual both eyes were operated upon on the same day Forward to Anekal a month later. There he was again beaming with a smile and asking someone to meet the surgeon. Told that, that the surgeon would be available only at the end of surgeries he was all patience embodied. When surgeon came out, his joy knew no bounds for gift of sight he received from the surgeon, a heartwarming sight indeed. With the gift of the sight now, he is an asset to his mother lending a helping hand in tending cattle and farming. This is one of many stories among, after 40,500 surgeries Sevashrama could tell.