Thus spoke Babaji:
“…Find your duties in this world and perform them with love, dedicating everything to God. Karma yoga — selfless service to mankind — is the highest form of worship in these troubled times. It helps to purify and protect mankind.”
The Gift of Vision
Rural Outreach Eye Care Programme
Inspired by Shri Babaji’s infinite spirit of service
More often than not, visual handicap is completely or partially curable. It is up to the Hospital to reach out to the less privileged and make their lives brighter with the Gift of Vision. From the hospital located in Ranikhet more than a 100 KM radius is covered north, south, east and west reaching into some of the remotest and poorest sections of the Kumaon region. This is a need based program which caters to India’s huge population of visually handicapped. One fifth of the world’s cataract is in India and four million new cases are being added to the existing backlog annually. Thankfully, more often than not, visual handicap is completely or partially curable. Removing cataract [the clouding of the eye's lens] is a relatively simple surgical procedure. It is common and easily diagnosed in developed Countries. But here in the Kumaon region, many people with cataract are yet to benefit. There are many reasons for this, they may live far from towns, and getting to a hospital may involve a lot of difficult travel and expense. Illiteracy and lack of education also contribute greatly to the problem. People sometimes simply expect to go blind as a natural part of ageing and are unaware of how simple and safe it is to have their sight restored.This lack of awareness in these poverty ridden areas, about the number of people with cataract, and how to best diagnose them along with the lack of staff and equipment to significantly reduce the growing numbers of cataract operations needed is why we here at the Shree Baba Haidakhan Hospital are raising awareness of the need for cataract education and treatment and providing it wherever possible.The hospital begins by sending out our mobile eye units and speaking with local legislators discovering where the greatest needs are, setting up rural outreach eye camps to identify individuals suffering from corneal blindness, cataract, glaucoma and other eye ailments, to provide patients with medical and surgical treatment free of cost. The program treats patients with surgically curable blindness including cataract, glaucoma, retinal ailments and even pediatric eye diseases such as squint. In severe medical cases we offer a referral service to some of our top medical partners in Delhi where patients are charged a nominal fee. We routinely send out our Hospital team and conduct eye screenings in chosen locations. Medicines are provided free of cost. Patients brought to the hospital are provided transportation, accommodation, surgery, intra- ocular lens implantation, meals and post-operative medicines, again free of cost. These patients are taken back to their respective villages between the second and third day after surgery with the necessary medication and instructions. Of course, any program without proper follow-up is incomplete so patients are meticulously and systematically monitored after seven days to assess the visual recovery and make a qualitative analysis of the surgery.The professionals at the Shree Baba Haidakhan Hospital, do not wait for the patients to come to us but reach out to them through our network of field staff, doctors and paramedics. Eye specialists and surgeons are now coming in from New Delhi free of cost and dedicating themselves to these medical camps. In this way the Hospital has been able to help more than 1,000 people since we started this program and have helped them to see light again. One cannot imagine the beauty one sees when somebody who has been blind or almost blind, takes off his or her bandages after an operation and jumps for joy on being able to see again! It is not an understatement to say that there are tears of happiness flowing from all sides. The Himalayan region around Chiliyanoula is one of the poorest in Asia and when one is blind, one is not just useless but also a burden to the rest of the family. An eye operation is therefore a great relief from the cumbersome situation of these mountain people. Even with our good infrastructure in the hospital and the selfless actions from the specialists, the cost of one operation is still around 30 Euro, for us not much, but for the people of this region an unthinkable amount. By involving yourself and making a donation for a Cataract Surgery or sponsoring an eye camp you will be helping to change and uplift peoples lives! Your contributions enable us to provide comprehensive treatment which includes transportation, accommodation, medication, surgery, food and follow-ups. And most importantly, letting the light once again shine in these people’s eyes and lives!