Thirteen-year-old Manjula lives with her mother and three siblings in a rented room in a slum of Bangalore, India. For years, Manjula enjoyed a normal life, going to school, playing with her friends and helping her mother with chores. But two years ago, she started having difficulty seeing the blackboard in class.
She confided in her mother, but they couldn’t seek help since the family is extremely poor. As the only income earner in the family, Manjula’s mother works as a sweeper for the municipal government. Manjula’s two sisters are physically challenged and their mother also has to pay for their treatment.
Over time, Manjula’s vision worsened until she wasn’t able to see anything clearly. Life was just a fuzzy blur! Literally unable to focus, she finally dropped out of school. Without an education, what would become of her?
Finally, Manjula’s mother took her to a hospital, where they learned that she had treatable cataracts in both eyes. However, they could not afford the surgeries! In despair, Manjula’s mother cried that blindness was her daughter’s fate, and Manjula would have to suffer for the rest of her life.
But fate had kinder plans for this young girl! Three months later, two community health workers came across Manjula during a routine door-to-door survey.
By this time, Manjula’s vision was reduced to light and dark blurs, and she had just about given up hope of ever seeing again. Fortunately, the community health workers were able to convince Manjula’s mother that her daughter could have normal vision after surgery.
They brought Manjula to the eye screening program at Operation Eyesight’s partner hospital, Vittala International Institute of Ophthalmology, where she successfully underwent surgery for cataract. And, considering the family’s poverty, the surgeries were performed free of cost, thanks to our generous donors.
Today, Manjula is enjoying her good vision, and will return to school next term. She and her mother are grateful to the community health workers, the hospital and especially Operation Eyesight’s kind-hearted donors for changing the course of her life! Thank you!