Doctors Janak and Preeti Shah, from Mumbai, India, are two of SEE International’s most committed volunteer SEE Docs. They have participated in over 150 programs worldwide, and trained hundreds of volunteer eye surgeons.
How do you like to spend your weekend?
Most people in the U.S. would probably answer that they prefer to relax, spend time with their family, or go on a quick vacation. But for Indian eye surgeons Janak and Preeti Shah, the weekend is a time for their family to serve.
Each month, after a long week of running a busy ophthalmic practice in Mumbai, the Shahs travel to the rural regions of their country. There, they provide eye care to those who would otherwise not have access to it. “The patients are overwhelmed, because they can’t see anything – and then suddenly they can see the world,” explains Dr. Shah. “There’s no greater bliss than coming out of the darkness and into the light.”
An estimated one-quarter to one-half of the world’s blind population lives in India. Yet the number of trained eye care professionals who work outside of major cities remains critically low.
It is for this reason that the Shahs take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer. Where most couples would be exhausted, the Shahs are fueled by the gratitude of those they serve so generously. “It is truly a rewarding social humanitarian journey for me, and a pleasure to contribute my surgical expertise to those patients who have no access to the same,” says Janak. “I feel the blessings which I receive from my loving patients surpasses any amount of riches in the world.”
Over 140 Programs
Since the Shahs began volunteering in 1998, they have participated in over 140 medical programs, in 15 different countries. They also teach an annual cataract surgery training course (MSICS) in the United States, to prepare other surgeons to join them in the field!
To help support the Shahs’ sight-restoring work, please make a donation today.
Eye Health Hero Award
Janak Shah was a recipient of the International Agency for Preventing Blindness (IAPB) 2016 Eye Health Hero Award. In addition to other prestigious awards he has received, the agency recognized him for the extraordinary work he has done in preventing blindness worldwide.