Stories of Change in India
Thanks to the support of our generous donors, SEE was able to continue our vital sight-restoring work throughout 2020. Although it was a difficult year for all of us, we were still able to make incredible impacts on those in need by shifting our focus to providing direct-supply support. With our international clinics paused due to travel restrictions, SEE continued supporting our international partners by supplying them with the essential consumables and equipment needed to provide sight-restoring surgeries. This increase in direct-supply support applied to countries like India and Nepal, and has allowed medical professionals in these areas to continue providing eyecare services while travel restrictions are still in place. The following stories feature three individuals whose lives were transformed by SEE’s support of our international partners!
Sreedev Mishra, a 52-year-old man from Malbazar, India, has worked as a tea farmer for his entire life. Although the 12-hour shifts were labor intensive, he was proud to be able to support his wife, children, and aging parents. Most importantly, Sreedev was thankful to be able to pay for his sons’ education and vocational training—something he could never attain for himself.
At the end of 2019, Sreedev began experiencing pain in his left eye and noticed his vision quickly declining. This began affecting his productivity at work during the day, and by night, he was almost completely blind. Soon enough, Sreedev had to stop working entirely, and the livelihood of his entire family became tenuous.
Fortunately, Sreedev was referred to a nearby hospital for a comprehensive eye examination that revealed a rapidly deteriorating eye condition. Shortly after, Sreedev underwent free cataract surgery funded by SEE International and performed by our partners in spring of 2020. Since then, Sreedev has reported how thankful he is to have his sight back, “Sight is equivalent to life itself. A life without sight is like navigating through life without a compass,” he said. With his vision restored, Sreedev has been able to return to work and continue funding his sons’ education.
In 2020, SEE was also able to transform the life of Prem Thapa ji, a well-known street artist from Nepal. Premji had dedicated his entire life to his passion for art, sharing his love for painting, literature, and music with his hometown of Palpa before leaving to attend art school in India. But when his vision began to deteriorate, his ability to paint progressively dwindled. His eyesight became blurry, and eventually, he was unable to distinguish colors. Without the funds to cover the costs of the cataract surgery he needed, Premji feared that he would have to give up painting forever.
However, after visiting one of our trusted clinic partners, Premji was able to get free cataract surgery funded by SEE International. With his sight restored, Premji was overjoyed to be given a second chance at doing what he loves. Now, he can continue his life as an artist with renewed vigor, inspired by his first-hand experience with receiving the gift of sight.
Jhari Singha is a 70-year-old woman from Altapur Village in Karandighi, India. Unfortunately, the only living family she has is a single son, as her husband died 11 years ago. Before the death of her husband, Jhari had no issues with mobility, and her eyesight was clear. However, her vision progressively deteriorated over the years, and it became difficult for her son to care for her. Despite the care her son provided, Jhari lived in fear and began struggling to communicate as her vision dwindled, saddened by the loss of her independence.
Worried about his mother’s worsening condition, Jhari’s son brought her to see a doctor, who diagnosed Jhari with a severe cataract in her left eye. Jhari and her son were unable to afford the treatment she needed, so she was quickly enrolled within a free surgical program in partnership with SEE. Shortly after, Jhari received free cataract surgery funded by SEE International. Her son reports that her vision has improved drastically, and he is happy to say that since having her sight restored, Jhari has regained her confidence.
Because of the generous donations we receive, people like Sreedev, Premji, and Jhari are given access to the quality eyecare they need. Give sight today and transform someone’s life forever!