A Nepalese Couple's Treacherous Journey For Sight

Durga and Manisara Gaha have been married for over 50 years. They live in the Nepali Himalayas with their son and grandchildren. They both developed cataracts and had been blind for over 15 years.

Manisara and her granddaughter

Manisara and her granddaughter

After losing their vision, Manisara could no longer cook or take care of their household. Her husband, Durga, could no longer farm or feed their animals. They became completely dependent on their family for their most basic needs.

Fortunately for the couple, they were found by a Seva-sponsored outreach team who were going door-to-door looking for people in need of eye care. After a quick vision screening, Durga and Manisara were referred to a Seva-sponsored hospital to receive sight-restoring cataract surgery.

Manisara was skeptical, unsure that it would be worth the treacherous journey down the mountain. But, with her youngest granddaughter cradled in her lap, Manisara knew that if the surgery was successful she would be able to see her granddaughter for the very first time. “Maybe her toes are just like mine,” she said.

Manisara and Durga agreed to travel to the hospital for surgery. They set out down the mountain with the outreach team, stumbling into goats and over stones as they made their way. Manisara’s son, Govinda, carried her part of the way until they reached the road and continued their journey by bus.

Durga and Manisara being transported to the Eye Hospital

Durga and Manisara being transported to the Eye Hospital

The next day, while anxiously awaiting her surgery, Manisara said “I will be happy to see the world again.” When her bandages were removed after her operation, Manisara barely recognized Govinda because she had been blind for so many years. Eager to see their grandchildren, the couple climbed back up the mountain to their home.

Both Durga and Manisara were thrilled at the sight of their family; Manisara picked up her granddaughter and exclaimed, “she has my toes!” as she began to sing and dance with joy.

You can watch "Open Your Eyes" a documentary on Durga and Manisara's journey to sight by Irene Taylor Brodsky at crave.ca/hbo

Manisara

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