Help for the whole family

A young girls stands with three younger brothers.
Preeti’s entire family – including her three younger brothers – was impacted when she lost her sight following a traumatic eye injury. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, she received sight-restoring eye surgery free of charge.
Written by Colin Zak, published on July 4, 2023 Sign up for eNews

For her family, 14-year-old Preeti is more than a daughter and sister – she is a caregiver to her three younger brothers and helps her single father run their household.

Preeti also has big dreams for her family, who live together in a remote village in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

“I am passionate about my studies and dream of elevating my family out of poverty,” she says.

Preeti is also responsible for hauling drinking water from a nearby pond. One day while fetching water, she slipped and fell in a thorny bush, injuring her eye. Within a few days, her eye became red and swollen. Despite receiving eye drops from a local pharmacy, a month later her vision in her wounded eye had decreased dramatically, making even routine chores difficult. At school, Preeti struggled to participate in class and play with other kids.

A young girl stands at a balcony reading a book, smiling.
With her eyesight restored, 14-year-old Preeti says she enjoys her studies at school and has big dreams for her family.

A door-to-door eye health screening in her area eventually brought two community health volunteers to the family’s doorstep. Upon examination, the volunteers told Preeti and her father that she might have a cataract. On the volunteers’ advice, Preeti’s father took her to our nearby partner hospital, the Rotary Eye and ENT Hospital in Udhampur, where doctors diagnosed her with a traumatic cataract.

“I was worried about the cost of the treatment and was almost in tears,” her father says. “But I was relieved when the hospital told me that Preeti would undergo free surgery.”

Shortly after her operation, Preeti regained her vision.

“Operation Eyesight’s work began in India 60 years ago. In that time, we have built in-roads in communities and brought access to eye health care,” explains Tapobrat Bhuyan, our local program manager. “Vision loss of one family member can be devastating for the whole family.”

For Preeti, her restored sight has been life changing for her entire family.

“Our family has found a new life,” explains Preeti’s father. “The villagers have told her she is a very cheerful child and very active.”

Preeti’s future is now full of hope, made possible through the generosity of our donors. Thank you!

By making a donation today, you can help transform the life of a child like Preeti.

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