Sight and love in an Indian slum

Written by Admin, published on February 8, 2013 Donate Today

Gaddam Naresh was devastated. The 28-year-old resident of Hyderabad’s Fatehnagar slum had just learned that his marriage proposal had been rejected because of his poor vision. His sweetheart’s family didn’t think he could provide for her.

And he couldn’t really argue with them. Gaddam’s income from driving an auto rickshaw had dropped dramatically since he’d stopped driving at night – he couldn’t see very well and was afraid that he’d cause an accident.

After Gaddam’s father died, he became the chief breadwinner for his mother and two brothers. He felt that he didn’t have time to get his eyes checked because it would take time away from work.

When Vijaya Lakshmi, an Operation Eyesight community health worker, checked his eyes, she saw the problem immediately – cataract. She explained the condition and the surgery required to correct it, and recommended he attend the free screening clinic happening the next day.

Following Vijaya’s advice, Gaddam soon found himself on his way to Operation Eyesight partner LV Prasad’s secondary eye hospital with a member of our project team. He had surgery on Sept. 6, 2012 and regained 20/20 vision the very next day!

Gaddam is back driving his auto rickshaw at all hours of the day and night, earning additional money for his youngest brother’s education and to gain permission to marry his chosen bride. “Because of you, I have regained my confidence. I can see properly, support my family and will marry my sweetheart,” rejoices Gaddam.

Perhaps we can soon add “matchmaker” to the long list of Operation Eyesight donor accomplishments!

Hopefully these flower wedding garlands are in Gaddam’s future!

Isn’t that a great love story? Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away, so check out our Gift Guide to give your sweetheart a life-changing gift today!