Priya and Pinki Kumari with Sudhir Kumar after the surgery in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Priya (9) and Pinki (12), of Karandag village in rebel-hit Latehar, will see the world for the first time on Tuesday.
Both girls, born with congenital cataract, are blind. Their fathers, both farmers, had resigned themselves to fate.
Changing this is Ranchi’s surgeon couple Sudhir Kumar (orthopaedic) and Vandana Prasad (ophthalmologist), owners of Shree Jagannath Hospital and Research Centre, hosting a week-long free medical camp, starting Sunday.
Congenital cataracts are rare, occurring in about three out of every 10,000 live births.
Though there are no official statistics, Jharkhand is estimated to have 2,500-plus cases. With this cataract, the lens of eyes are cloudy. In babies, this blur can lead to permanent blindness, as the brain doesn’t receive visual stimuli. Surgical removal of cataract makes a drastic difference.
“We will implant the latest foldable intraocular lens in their eyes,” said Vandana.
“If my daughter Priya can see, it will be a miracle,” farmer Ram Avtar Yadav said.
Veteran international athlete Narayan Sahu (73) is also looking at a new lease of life. “I have enrolled for cataract surgery so that I can run,” he said, eyeing a Bangalore masters’ athletics meet in June.
“We will also perform surgeries for clubfoot, hernia, prostrate, hydrosil and others. There will be check-ups for diabetes, blood pressure, heart ailments and breathing problems,” said Kumar. “We have registered around 26 cases on Day One,” he added.
During the week, medicines, food, stay for patient and one attendant, X-ray and pathological tests will also be given free of charge.