Kandi Chandramohan, 34, works as a parking lot attendant in Secunderabad, a city near Hyderabad, India. Born and raised in Hyderabad, he dropped out of school in Grade 7 to begin working. He lives with his mother, his wife and their four daughters, and is the only bread earner of the family.
For the past year, Kandi found he had difficulty in seeing. He visited three different eye clinics, where he was prescribed eyeglasses and recommended surgery. However, as a daily wage earner, Kandi barely managed to make ends meet. He could never imagine having enough money to pay for eye surgery, even though he needed it desperately.
His failing eyesight soon made it very difficult for him to work, especially during evening and night hours. He became dependent on his wife or mother to help him travel to his workplace. Luckily, a colleague was very supportive and helped him to accomplish tasks at work.
Meanwhile, Kandi’s mother also started losing her vision, which began to restrict her movements even at home. With both her husband and mother-in-law incapacitated with blindness, the burden on Kandi’s wife Pusphalatha became heavy. Life was very difficult for the family.
Fortunately, Pusphalatha’s sister lives in Fatehnagar, a slum area of Hyderabad where Operation Eyesight has community eye health projects as part of the Seeing is Believing program, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank. She told a project community health worker about her sister’s dilemma, and the worker encouraged her to tell her sister about the vision centre.
Pusphlatha brought her mother-in-law and husband to the vision centre where they both were diagnosed with cataract and referred to Kishor Chand Eye Hospital for surgery. They were overjoyed when the community health worker reassured them that funding from Operation Eyesight donors would cover the cost of the surgeries.
Kandi was able to secure a month’s leave from his employer to undergo surgery, and he and his mother went to the hospital, where they underwent surgery one after another.
While his mother is very grateful to the project staff for giving her vision back, Kandi wants to spread the news about the good work carried out by Operation Eyesight and the community eye health project. Perhaps the happiest of all was Pusphlatha. One of our staff remarked that “the relief on Kandi’s wife’s face was beyond words.”
Read more about our innovative community development programs in India.