Bidur is a 52-year-old daily wage earner working in the shadow economy of Nepal’s informal construction sector. As a part of his job, he is expected to do a lot of manual and hazardous work such as carrying heavy loads, digging trenches and breaking boulders. Frequent lockdowns due to Covid-19 mean that in recent months Bidur has had to take any work that was available. Unbelievably, Bidur is also blind.
Bidur was not always blind. Six months ago, Bidur started experiencing irritation in his eyes. At first, he assumed that a stone fragment had injured his eye when he was breaking boulders. To begin with Bidur did not think too much about it. That was until he slowly started losing his sight. As his sight deteriorated, Bidue started to experience mishaps at work. He would trip and some days he would accidentally hammer his own hand. But despite going blind he could not stop work. Without working he could not eat. “The pain was excruciating — however, I had to continue work” says Bidur.
Bidur’s case was referred to the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation — an alliance between British philanthropist Tej Kohli and Nepal’s God of Sight Dr. Sanduk Ruit. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism the Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682. It plans to cure between 300,000 to 500,000 cases of cataract blindness in the developing world by 2026.
On 27th June 2021, Bidur’s eyes were operated upon by a team from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, and his cataracts were removed. The next day, Bidur arrived at the hospital accompanied by his wife. A Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation doctor removed his patches and Bidur slowly opened his eyes — to restore sight.
Bidur and his wife were thrilled that he could see again. They thanked the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation medical team, and after a small post-op session about eye care, they returned home, smiling.