Ladakh, Northern India. It’s a magical part of the world
and a sight to behold… unless of course, like Thinles,
you can’t see. The last two years have been very difficult. Sometimes I am looking at the field,
but it’s all a blur. Thinles works at the local kindergarten. But two years ago,
looking after the children became difficult. When the children are crying,
I have problems finding them. I become very tense about my eyes.
It’s too much to bear… I think that someday
I will go completely blind. Thinles didn’t know why she was going blind,
and neither did her parents. A few years back she got a problem and she told me,
“I need a doctor, I have to go to the hospital”. But that time I told her, “Don’t worry, you’re very young.
You don’t need a doctor”. After two years of uncertainty,
Thinles was diagnosed with cataract. I was very nervous and very sad. How was it possible?
I didn’t know that both of Thinles’ eyes had problems. I was very upset and crying alone. Thinles was scheduled for free surgery at an eye camp
organised by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, a long-standing partner
of The Fred Hollows Foundation. In a place like Ladakh
where the daily sunlight hours are very long and there is a lot of ultraviolet radiation
and coupled with malnutrition, it is very often seen in younger patients.
So it is more important that we do a good job on her because she has many more years to live. Dr Sanduk Ruit was a good friend
of Fred Hollows. Together, they shared a vision to
end avoidable blindness. – What did he say?
– He says he can see quite well. The Nepalese eye surgeon has restored sight
to more than 120,000 people. Thinles was in good hands. In just 20 minutes
Dr Ruit removed her cataracts. The next morning,
Thinles was anxious to find out the result. I prayed to God. Did the surgery work for me?
Can I see or not? I felt a little bit nervous. Dr Ruit and his team restored sight to 268 people
over the four-and-a-half days of the eye camp. The initiative reverses the devastating impact
of avoidable blindness in remote areas like Ladakh. A grateful Thinles can now go back to work
and look forward to a brighter future. And no one is more excited
than the kids at her Kindergarten.