Choosing Between Saving His Mother or Fathers Eyesight
Over the last week, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation has been working hard in Kalikot, Nepal. Kalikot district is located in the western region of Nepal. It is one of the poorest districts in the country with over 60% of the population living below the poverty line. The main source of income for the people in Kalikot is agriculture, followed by animal farming.
Dilli Prasad Simkhada lives in Sanni Triveni Rural Municipality, Kalikot with his elderly parents. One year ago, both his parents sight began to deteriorate. He constantly worried about his parents and began saving money to take them to the hospital in Surkhet.
Compared to his father, his mother lost sight more rapidly, and by May, 2022, his mother became completely blind. Things had to be done urgently, and the family had a hard choice to make between choosing whose sight to cure first. The family decided the mother should get treated first. Still short on funds, Dilli borrowed money from other villagers, and took his mother to Surkhet. After spending Rs. 30,000 over seven days in Surkhet, she returned home with restored sight.
Meanwhile, his father’s sight began to deteriorate further. Already drowning in debt, there was no way he could manage or even borrow additional funds. Any additional funds he would borrow, he would be unable to repay. Dilli was sick with worry.
Then one day, when he was tending to his cows, he heard on the radio that an eye camp was arriving in his village. He became hopeful, and on the day of the surgical camp, he was one of the first to arrive at the camp. At the camp, Dr Manish Khatiwada operated upon both of Amarnath Simkhada’s eyes, skillfully removing his cataracts and inserting intraocular lenses. After a short surgery, Amarnath’s operation was complete, and he was patched up and sent to the waiting room.
The next day, Amarnath was very quiet as Dr Manish removed his patches. He slowly opened his eyes and quickly realised he could see again. Dr Manish conducted a small vision test to check his vision, and moved to the next patient after he was satisfied his vision was restored.
Meanwhile, an extremely happy son and father shared wide smiles with the team.
“I am very happy, my blindness has been cured. I could not recognize anyone, see anything, but now I can see clearly”, he shared. “Now I will go back and resume my life — I will look after my cattle, and do other work without assistance”, he said before departing from the camp.
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation was founded in March 2021 by London philanthropist Tej Kolhi and Kathmandu ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit. As of November 2022 the NGO had screened 170,022 patients and cured 22,663of blindness at 91 outreach camps in Nepal, Bhutan and Ghana. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682. The Foundation targets the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing poverty by making large-scale surgical interventions to cure blindness at the grassroots in the developing world. All treatments are provided completely free, with 100% of the funding coming from Tej Kohli and the Kohli family.