How the Gift of Sight changes lives

Written by Ashley Anderson, Communications Specialist, published on November 26, 2019 Donate Today

Kuluki is a widowed mother and grandmother who lives in Laholiya, a small village in India. Throughout her life, Kuluki supported her family by harvesting in the fields, cooking, cleaning and sewing. When her son married and had children, she looked after the children while he and his wife were working.

About two years ago, Kuluki’s vision began to deteriorate. “I felt very scared. My world was turning dark. I thought I would never get to see my grandchildren grow.” As her vision worsened, Kuluki became increasingly dependent on her family members to get around. She felt like a burden to her family.

Fortunately, neighbours informed a local community health worker (CHW) about Kuluki’s condition. This CHW, Rupoda, screened Kuluki and discovered that she had developed cataracts. Rupoda informed Kuluki about the cost-free, sight-restoring surgery available at a nearby Operation Eyesight partner hospital. Initially, Kuluki was unsure about the surgery. She had heard rumours around the village that people who had eye surgery had lost their sight completely, and that the surgery was painful. Through Rupoda’s patient counselling, Kuluki decided it was worth the risk and agreed to undergo the surgery.

With her sight restored, Kuluki has her independence back and can spend more time with her grandchildren

Now, Kuluki’s vision is completely restored. She can care for her grandchildren and read them bedtime stories. She says, “I feel more alive than before. I’m able to go about my daily work without difficulty.” Not only does Kuluki have her own life back, she’s now an eye health advocate in her community. She has visited five additional cataract patients in her community and shared her experiences with them. She works with local CHWs to dispel negative rumours about cataract and other eye health-related surgeries.

When asked about her opinion of Operation Eyesight and our donors, Kuluki says, “There are no words to thank them as they supported my surgery without even knowing me.”

You can help other women like Kuluki get their lives back by giving them the Gift of Sight this holiday season. Helping to restore the vision of even one person can impact their whole community. When you give the Gift of Sight, you’re giving the gift of life.