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Camp gifts vision, illuminates lives

A Gujarat-based organisation has been conducting eye camps since 1984 and is responsible for treating three generations of a family suffering from congenital cataract.

Five-year old Abhijeet of Chandhos village under Tegora block in Patna district can now see, thanks to this organisation. He is the fourth member in his family to undergo congenital cataract surgery.

Around 25 years back, his grandfather Dudheshwar Das had been operated upon for the same ailment. Abhijeet’s father, Ramawadhesh Mochi also got his eyesight back following surgery at the camp.

His aunt, Rumi Kumari, had also undergone the surgery.

The efforts of Bhansali Trust eye camp has enabled more than 2,400 people to see.

The manager of the eye camp, Tanaysingh Sodha, said Dudheshwar and Ramawadhesh were begging around the village when the members of the trust spotted them. Every year, three teams comprising eight members visit villages in Gaya, Patna, Jehanabad, Nawada, Augangabad, Arwal and Biharsharif to ensure on-the-spot registration of patients suffering from cataract.

The medical director of the team that conducts cataract and congenital cataract surgery, K.K. Asnani, said post-operative care for a congenital cataract patient is very important.

“If the mother suffers from any viral disease during pregnancy, it could lead to congenital cataract in the baby. Besides, malnutrition, including deficiency of vitamin A, protein and calcium, could lead to congenital cataract. Heredity is also a reason,” Asnani said.

The director said he has been conducting surgeries at the camp of the trust since 1984. “I completed MBBS from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Jamshedpur, in 1969 and thereafter served as medical officer at National Coal Development Corporation, Dhanbad, for a year, then undivided Bihar. I feel indebted to Bihar,” he said.

Sodha said they have a target to conduct around 125 congenital cataract operations this year. “Apart from congenital cataract, there is also target for around 27,000 cataract surgery of elderly persons during the 27-day eye camp that started on November 7 and would conclude on December 3.”

“Since 1984, more than 4.6 lakh cataract operations of elderly persons have been conducted by the trust. Not only are the operations conducted free of cost but the trust also provides medicines, lens, spectacles to the patients. The trust also makes free accommodation and food arrangement for the patients and one attendant. A dhoti or sari is also provided to the financially weak patients,” Bhansali Trust chief trustee and Jamna Lal Bajaj award recipient Dwarko Bhai Sundarani said.

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