Let there be sight
Let there be sight

Fullscreen I’ve never seen anything like it. It has stirred me for life, to say the least.

Being able to see once again in her life after three years of blindness, imagine what that feels like.

I can never imagine what Aang Derma Sherpa must have felt when she opened her eyes that beautiful morning. She pointed towards the horizon with her eyes, to the meadow and the hills.

“Ohho, the trees and the wind! It’s so clear,” the 71-year-old said.

Just the day before, I had seen her fumbling on the stairs up to the attic, fetch herself a bowl and the thermos to make herself some tsampa.

Now, things would change.

“I want to wear new colourful clothes (this one is ragged), see my grandchildren, meet my friends and go to the market. I want to help my husband in the field and tend to the cattle.”

For hundreds of others that morning in the remote part of Ramechaap, life changed drastically thanks to ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit and his dedicated team from Tilganga Eye Centre.

Life altering operations had been performed one after the other and for free the day before. In the words of the villagers, Ruit was God working his ways to help them out of utter misery and darkness.

Ruitectomy as it is also known is a stitch free simple surgical technique to cure cataract. It was pioneered by Dr Ruit, which first received massive opposition from the ophthalmology society.

“It is fast, inexpensive and we’ve successfully replicated this technique across the world,” says the doctor, who has led several cataract surgery camps in remote areas of Nepal and abroad, serving tens of thousands of people each year.

“I believe it’s a human right to see.”

Arpan Shrestha is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @arpanshr