“I wish my blindness was cured for her sake” — A story of sight restoration | #2030InSight
When Jagat Bahadur Tamang’s wife passed away, he chose not to remarry as he worried about the kind of treatment his new wife would bestow upon his three children. Being only 35, and other villagers constantly pressured him into remarrying — however, he would not budge. Instead, he dedicated his energy towards providing a quality life for his three children.
While they did not have much, Jagat was able to provide his children with basic needs — his eldest daughter was married and lived in another village, his son was settled in Kathmandu with a stable job and family, and his youngest daughter married close to home. For Jagat, he was content — and continued to live his life in his humble home while attending to his farm and poultry for food supplies.
Around a year and a half ago, he began to lose his eyesight. Jagat shared:
“While my vision was impaired, I could get about with my daily chores. But since the past three months, I am unable to see anything”.
Speaking of his youngest daughter whilst waiting for an eye assessment, Jagat said that:
“I am dependent upon her. She has her own family that she has to look after her. Now, she has to take care of me as well. I wish my blindness is cured, and have agreed to come to this camp only for her sake”.
After a few hours, it was Jagat’s time for surgery. His surgery was performed by Dr Sanduk Ruit, co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation.
At the Doramba camp, where Jagat’s life-transforming cataract surgery was performed, 333 patients returned home with restored eyesight — in one of the biggest district camps ever to have been conducted so far. The Doramba camp was also attended by Mr Tej Kohli, co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, a philanthropist who believes that investment in sight restoration programs has the power to turbo-charge communities by reducing extreme poverty.
Tej Kohli, who had been enthusiastically following his foundation’s impact over the course of the year, as the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation staged one microsurgical workshop after another in some of the remotest and underserved districts of Nepal, made it a point to witness the transformation for himself.
Jagat’s patches were removed early morning the next day — jointly by co-founders Dr Ruit and Mr Kohli. Slowly opening his eyes, Jagat was in disbelief that he could see again. After several moments, he finally registered his eyesight — and then came the smile.
Later in the day, he remarked upon the beauty that surrounded him, as he prepared to head home with his daughter.
“I am very thankful to the people who have helped me see again”, he said. “Now I can go home, and continue to live my life without any dependency. My house and fields must be a mess. The first thing I will do is tend to them. And also, I will again rear poultry”, he added with optimism as he prepared to return home with restored eyesight.
Meanwhile, for the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, the journey is far from over. They continue in their mission to cure 300,000–500,000 of preventable blindness as they take their outreach programs to some of the most underserved regions of Nepal, and in a few months across Asia and Africa.