Amala lives in a remote island called Rakshaskhali, one of the 106 islands of Indian Sundarban which is known for the Royal Bengal Tiger. The islands, surrounded by salt water, are not suitable for cultivation and there is only one monsoon crop in a year. During the rest of the year the island’s inhabitants earn a living by fishing or they migrate to towns for work.
Amala lives with her three daughters and father-in-law while her husband works in Gujarat as a manual laborer. When Amala was 9 years old she began to lose her vision due to cataracts. Her parents were very poor and could not afford to take her to a city for treatment. Instead her uncle took her to an unqualified doctor who performed surgery on one of her eyes. Her surgical experience was horrifying. Her left eye was operated on without proper anesthesia in a village clinic. As she recalls this story tears flow down her cheek as she describes how her legs and hands were tied throughout the operation. Later, her right eye was operated on in one of the teaching hospitals in Calcutta. In both instances, the cataract was removed but an interocular lens implant was not inserted to replace the clouded lens. Instead, Amala manages with thick glasses.
When Amala’s youngest daughters, 8-year-old twins named Ganga and Yamuna, began to lose their vision due to cataracts, Amala was scared. She knew her daughters needed cataract surgery but was concerned that they might experience the same dreadful experience as her and be operated on without anesthesia. She knew that cataracts didn’t just limit her daughters’ vision, it limited their future.
Without proper care, kids like Ganga and Yamuna would struggle to finish school, be dependent on a caregiver, and face difficult, life-long challenges.
When outreach workers found Amala, Ganga and Yamuna and heard of their fears they reported it back to the ophthalmologist, Dr. Asim Kumar Sil and the hospital staff. The team knew they had to go visit the family and assure them that proper surgical procedures would be followed and that the family would be transported to and from the hospital. The anesthesiologist spoke with Amala and reassured her that her daughters would be well taken care of and not experience the pain and agony that she went through.
Amala, Ganga and Yamuna were transported to the hospital and the twins received sight-restoring cataract surgery. Now Amala can relax knowing her daughters’ sight has been restored and they can go to school, play with their friends and grow up to lead productive lives, helping to lift their family out of poverty. Today Ganga and Yamuna are finishing their studies and are looking forward to a fulfilling their dreams.
There are 1.4 million blind children worldwide, 2 out of 3 of them are girls, not because they are more likely to become blind then boys but due to social, cultural and economic barriers that they face with the added barrier of being a child and unable to advocate for themselves.
$25 Donation Doubles to $50 and Provides Glasses for 10 Children
Help 10 children see. Ten pairs of glasses will bring their world into focus and transform their lives.
A $50 Donation Doubles to $100 and Provides Eye Screening For Children
Screen children in schools and orphanages for eye problems early to ensure they have healthy vision for life.
A $50 Donation Doubles to $100 and Restores the Eyesight of 2 Adults
Help 2 blind people see with life-changing cataract surgery including a lens implant, post-op care, medications and transportation.
A $150 Donation Doubles to $300 and Restore the Eyesight of 2 Children
Cure 2 children's blindness with cataract surgery including a lens implant. Follow-up care is provided as the child grows along with glasses, medicine and transportation.
A $500 Donation Doubles $1000 and Helps Build a Community Eye Centre in a Remote Area
Help prevent blindness before it happens. Your gift will contribute toward a permanent Community Eye Centre. The facility provides remote communities will year-round access to basic eye care covering 90% of all eye conditions and timely referrals to hospitals when surgery is needed.
No child should be left to suffer from treatable blindness just because of where they were born. You have the power to help provide sight to a child in need. Donate today and double your impact!
No child should be left to suffer from treatable blindness just because of where they were born. You have the power to help provide sight to a child in need.