Shri Mani Rai was a patient of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation. Rai was cured of cataract blindness during a microsurgical camp in Solukhumbu in April 2021. The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation operated on Shri for free and gave her a second chance at life. Now, a year after her surgery Shri is seen to be thriving once again.
In March 2021, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation set up a camps in remote parts of Solukhumbu. This was to identify patients with cataract blindness. Here, they assessed several local communities eye sight and discovered who suffered with cataracts. The team then invited those in need to attend a free surgery in a nearby surgical camp. The camp was set up in Phaplu and would take place a few weeks later.
Amongst the patients was elderly woman, Shri Mani Rai. Shri had been suffering with cataract blindness for a long time. In 2019, her condition reached its worst and she had completely lost her vision. After losing her husband to severe asthma and losing her son all in the space of a decade, Shri lived alone and relied on her knowledge of her home to move around.
Shri’s daughter and granddaughter lived 15 minutes away from her and would take turns to tend to Shri. At nighttime, she was left to fend for herself in the dark. Already living in poverty due to using all the money she had to help treat her late husband. Shri had not even considered a cure for her condition due to the expenses that would follow.
When March 2021 came around, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation found Shri and assessed her eyes. They found her to be severely suffering with cataracts but were certain they would be able to cure her and restore her sight. Following this, Shri made a six hour journey to Phaplu where she would undergo her surgery.
The surgery was a success and Shri had clear vision once again.
One year later…
One year later Shri has been growing vegetables in the small plot of land she owns. Every week, she farms the crops and takes them down to the village market where she sells them for an income. Although she doesn’t earn a lot, what she does make is enough to keep her healthy and happy.
With the freedom to live independently again, Shri is much less dependant on her family. Her daughter who once was Shri’s lifeline is now able to attend to her family farm and poultry – allowing them to also receive a steady income.
The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation’s plan has always been to significantly reduce poverty by curing blindness in developing countries. From Shri Mani’s story it is clear that it is working. Giving people and communities a second chance at life and prosperity is something that the foundation is continuing to do for many years to come.