Giving the Light of Vision: Free Eye Camp, 6th to 10th October

From 6th to 10th October 2019, Parmarth Niketan, along with Divine Shakti Foundation (DSF) and Mahavir Seva Sadan – Kolkata, offered a Free Medical Camp with eye check-ups, spectacle distribution and cataract surgeries. The 5-day camp was held in Rishikesh and surrounding areas, including Uttarkashi and Sahanpur, and was sponsored by Indravati Devi Bagrodia Charitable Trust.

This special camp has been organized for the last six years with the devoted assistance of Mr. Vinod Kumar Bagrodiaji, who specializes in cataract treatment and general ophthalmology. The eye camp is now a well-known, hugely-appreciated annual medical service for many people in Rishikesh and surrounding Himalayan villages.

During the 5-day period of the camp, doctors examined and treated 1,917 patients, distributed 1,358 spectacles and prescribed 606 medicines, all for patients who would not otherwise have been able to afford these services. They also sent out a few custom made spectacles and selected 61 patients on whom to perform cataract surgeries during their next visit later this year, in November. The team of doctors and other volunteers included Dr. Haresh Shahji; four Optometrists: Amit Jainji, Jeetendra Gaglaniji Shantanu Dasji and Rama Deshmukhji; two camp coordinators: Paltu Mondalji and Tribhuwan Tewariji; and two members of Mahavir Seva Sadan, Mrs. Darshana Jainji & Mrs. Ila Shahji. These compassionate medical professionals were joined by many other volunteers from India and abroad, including Swami Shantanand Saraswatiji, Mr. Ashok Maheshwariji, Mr. Nandkishor Goyalji & wife Urmilaji, Rohit Kumar, Brijbiwari, Advesh Mishra, Paulina from Mexico, Maria from Russia and Karuna (Claudine Franco) from Brazil. While some medical professionals and volunteers were offering their services for the first time, most have been coming to Rishikesh year after year to give their time and devoted service to those less fortunate.

Here are some touching stories of patients who benefited from the eye camp:

Nisha is a 14 years old student from Prakash Bharti School, Rishikesh. Nisha could never see the black board, even when sitting on the front row. She had never been tested and found out that she was 70% blind. Due to uncorrected vision, her right eye had gone squint and 70% blind, and her left eye was 30% blind. We gave her spectacles and for the first time in her life she is able to see clearly.

Ashok Kumar (aged 50) also came to Prakash Bharti School when he heard about the Camp. He used to wear spectacles but they broke 5 years ago and he hasn’t been able to afford new ones. We were able to give him a brand new pair of glasses at the eye camp and he is thrilled to see clearly again.

Rannuma (aged 45), from Raja Charansingh inter-college in Sahanpur, was tested at the camp after 3 years of not seeing clearly. Her spectacles had broken and the family could not pay for a visit to a doctor. The camp helped her regain her vision.

After talking with members of the volunteer medical team, a golden thread linking all of their stories emerged. The reason for them leaving their jobs and life behind and volunteering their services for this period was a deep love for humanity and a pure desire to utilize their skills and knowledge to heal and transform lives.

The Divine Shakti Foundation and Parmarth Niketan Ashram would like to extend their deepest appreciation and respect to all those participating in the 2019 eye camp. To read more about Divine Shakti Foundation and Parmarth Niketan’s dedication to healthcare, please visit https\://divineshaktifoundation.org/projects/medical-services/and https\://www.parmarth.org/divine-projects/healthcare/.