In 2012, when 6-year-old Jana in Canada spoke with her grandpa in Rajisthan, India just prior to his cataract surgery, two things happened. First, she learned about cataracts, the "clouds" blocking his vision that only a doctor could remove, and second, she was inspired to help.

Young fundraiser Jana and her grandfather

Young Jana with her grandfather

“My dad has always taught me from a young age to give back. He’s taught me many life lessons not just about other people but about his life. He knows that giving back is the biggest thing you can do. I’ve been told many times that what you give comes back to you and that really inspired me when I was little.”

Jana’s father, Anand or “Andy” suggested that she help people who need eye care. “Even though I was really young, I took the initiative because what young kid doesn’t want to help people?!” (Jana was clearly not the kind of child that needed to be taught that sharing is caring.)

Starting with a $500 donation from her dad and a fundraising kit that included a View-master toy that showed pictures of what the world looked like with cataracts, Jana began raising awareness and soliciting funds at school, in support of Seva Canada. “The View-master helped make people really empathetic to those with cataracts and a lot of people fundraised and supported me back then.” Jana and Andy didn’t stop there. The father-daughter team held a bake sale at her elementary school, raising another $500. “Together, we embarked on a journey of compassion and service, our hands dusted with flour and our hearts brimming with hope.”

Young fundraiser Jana and her dad baking for their fundraiser

Young Jana and her father Andy baking for their Seva Canada fundraiser

When she entered grade 6, Jana was busy with exams, friends and afterschool activities and set aside her fundraising efforts. Fast-forward to 2022, 16-year-old Jana was going through her old things and reliving memories with her dad when he reminded her of fundraising for Seva Canada. A few of her friends’ grandparents had cataracts at the time and, in Jana’s words, “I thought I might as well do it again!

There are so many people who can’t see and it breaks my heart and I really just wanted to help them out. People donate food, money, clothes but why not donate sight, that’s like the biggest sense you have; without sight we can’t really see the world and the world isn’t that great a place without it.”

In Canada, we have free healthcare so we can get the treatment we need. In India or places in Africa, there’s a lot of poverty and most people can’t afford eye care. Even if you’re middle class in India, there are so many people that there aren’t enough doctors to help everyone. Some people have to carry water from place to place on top of taking care of their family, so it’s a million times harder not having eyesight. Some people haven’t even seen their own child. It’s just tragic.

By championing the cause of those deprived of vision care, I aspire to cultivate a legacy of empathy and action, inspiring others to join hands in illuminating the world with kindness.

If people say ‘Oh, I don’t have this car or this new phone,’ I’ll say be blessed you have healthy eyes and can see. One message I’d like to give to every young person—at least try to give $10 or $20, whatever you can or if you’re old enough and can go out and help other people at least try. Take the initiative and make an effort. Think about not only how you’re living but also how your neighbour is living. You never know how people are doing.”

17-year-old fundraiser Jana

17-year-old Jana

Jana is on the way to reaching her fundraising goal of $5000 to help 100 people see again with cataract surgery. We know Jana will reach not only her fundraising goal but also her career goal of becoming a doctor. Next year, Jana, who has already been accepted to her university of choice, will continue on her journey of helping people, of doing ‘Seva’, selfless service.

If you want to help Jana reach her fundraising goal visit

Sight Stories and News

  • A Daughter's Hope For Her Mother

    “I want my mother to have light and happiness again. That is my hope for my mother,” said Maguaye's daughter in Ethiopia.

    Blog | May 1st, 2024
  • Art for Sight

    What do you get when you bring together two committed Seva Canada supporters, one incredible artist, a beautiful beachside home and an inspired community? An art show fundraiser for Seva Canada that raised enough to restore the sight of 40 people!

    Blog | March 14th, 2024
  • Evidence Informed Practice Program

    In an effort to improve monitoring, evaluation and operational research capacity at program partner eye hospitals, Seva has launched the Evidence Informed Practice (EIP) program.

    Blog | March 14th, 2024