Inesh Swargiary, a 37-year-old teacher from Assam, India, loves his job. He bicycles eight kilometres to work every morning, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way and smiling at the thought of spending the rest of the day with his Grade 10 students.
Inesh spends most of his time at the front of the classroom, writing lessons on the blackboard. But he began to worry when he started having trouble seeing students sitting beyond the second row. For a long time, he pretended that he could see each one of his pupils, but he knew they were well aware of his deteriorating vision. He dreaded the day when he could no longer see to teach; he needed to work to provide for his elderly mother and two sisters.
One day, a community health worker named Monalisa, one of Inesh’s former students, visited his home. She surveyed the whole family and discovered that Inesh had bilateral cataracts. She encouraged him to visit a screening program in the village where a clinical team could confirm his diagnosis and refer him for treatment. He agreed and was soon on his way to Operation Eyesight’s partner Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya Hospital for cataract surgery.
Today, Inesh can see clearly and fully enjoy biking and teaching again. He is grateful to Monalisa for recommending that he go for treatment. “I am very proud to be her teacher,” he says happily. “I never expected her to be doing extraordinary work like this.”
Inesh told Monalisa that if she found any patient in his village that required treatment, he would help her counsel the patient to undergo surgery so they too could realize the beauty of vision again.
We hope our donors know just how much of a difference they are making! With their support, we are able to train community health workers like Monalisa, implement hospital-based community eye health programs in villages like Inesh’s, and help thousands of people regain their sight. Thank you!