On the day I visited Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH), I was lucky to meet several beneficiaries and learn about their stories, all of which left me with a broad smile and shimmering eyes. SCEH has come a long way in order to assure the best treatment for every patient; and the stories of Arslan and Anshu reaffirm this.
One-year old Arslan was brought to SCEH by his vulnerable mother, who herself suffered from low vision. Arslan was detected with Bilateral Cataract, which, as they learnt later, was due to heredity. Arslan’s mother also endured the same problem in her childhood. However, due to negligence and indifference of her parents, she never got proper treatment and, therefore, now is afflicted with low vision. Due to her visual impairment, she was forcefully married to a rickshaw puller whose stipend was a merely Rs.100-150 a day. With 4 children to feed with a much lower-than-average income, she could not arrange money for Arslan’s treatment. She did not want her son’s future similar to her present – filled with privation, sorrow and dependency. The smile on this considerate mother’s face could never have returned if SCEH would not have intervened. Arlsan was treated and operated upon without any charges. With his eyesight being resorted, Arslan can now play and read with his mother dreaming of a better future for her son.
A young girl from the district Alwar, Anshu, suffered from reduced vision since birth. She was not able to play and read like other children her age. She couldn’t even open her eyes during the day as the sunlight irritated her eyes too much. In fact, she used to shriek in pain even in dim light. She thus needed someone by her side all the time. In short, she was not able to enjoy her precious childhood years due to her visual setback. With her parents no longer in a position to afford expensive and prolonged treatment, they began searching for help.
They soon learned about SCEH’s community outreach camp in their area. It is at one of these camps that Anshu was diagnosed with Congenital Cataract of both the eyes and was referred to the base hospital in Delhi where cataract surgery was done upon her. After analyzing the family’s financial condition, SCEH provided them with free treatment and surgery. Anshu’s vision is restored now, so she can finally lead a normal childhood!
The parents of both Arslan and Anshu appreciate the efforts made by the staff of the hospital and will always remain grateful to the generosity this hospital has shown to them. Remember, these are just two anecdotes out of thousands!