Celebrating Dads & Grandpas on Father’s Day

Portrait of a senior man, wearing eyeglasses, looking at the camera
Written by Caroline Wagner, published on June 17, 2022 Sign up for eNews

Whether you call him Baba, Tata or Dad, he’s been there since the start to pick you up when you’ve fallen down, to listen to your problems or just to give you a hug. Today, join us in celebrating the fathers and grandfathers in our Operation Eyesight community.

Bhagiram: India

Today, Bhagiram is proud to be supporting his family by growing wheat, mustard and other crops, but just a few years ago, that was not the case. The farmer had developed cataracts in both eyes, and they progressed to the point where he couldn’t do anything on his own. Even finding his way around his home became a challenge, and he often stumbled and fell. He had to give up farming, and became financially dependent on his son, who sells clothing for a living.

When a neighbour told him about a nearby vision centre, Bhagiram went in for a consultation. He was diagnosed and referred to our partner hospital for surgery. Today, he’s grateful that his vision has been restored and that he no longer has to rely on his son. 

Our team went to check up on Bhagiram and he proudly toured them around his now-flourishing farm, served tea and gave them each a bunch of fresh cilantro to take home. 

Aaron: Zambia

For the last six years, the highlight of Aaron’s week has been reading to his two granddaughters. “My job as grandpa is to make sure they grow up nurturing their dreams and imagination,” he says.

But as the years went by, Aaron noticed that the taller his granddaughters grew, the smaller the fonts in their favourite books became.

Aaron had found reading more and more difficult, and it even started giving him headaches. Eventually, he could only read one page to the girls at a time. “They were getting restless,” he chuckles, “saying ‘grandpa, grandpa, we need to know what happens next!’”  Aaron realized that he needed help to prevent his vision from getting any worse, so he went to the nearby Matero vision centre where he was given a diagnosis and equipped with a pair of sleek, silver reading glasses. 

“I know the girls won’t want me to read to them forever,” he says. “These glasses allow me to enjoy this quality time with them while I can.”  

Haji Khurshid: India

When a new vision centre was built on property owned by Haji Khurshid’s family, he became interested in learning more about Operation Eyesight’s work. His wife, Kudshiya Fatima, made some inquiries about jobs, and she soon started training as a community health worker.

With his daughter married and settled in another city and his wife off at work, Haji Khurshid found time heavy on his hands. He wanted to be more involved in his community, and to help his wife spread the word about the importance of eye health.  

He decided to spend his spare time sitting outside the vision centre and assisting those who crossed his path – lending a shoulder to patients who need help getting to and from appointments and helping alleviate the fears of those preparing for eye surgeries. A caring dad through and through, Haji Khurshid is enjoying spending his retirement years by supporting those around him.  

In honour of Father’s Day, we invite you to make a donation and give the gift of sight to more people like Bhagiram, Aaron and Haji Khurshid.