Twenty-eight-year-old Ghousia Khannum lives with her one-year-old son and elderly parents in Padarayanapuram slum in Bangalore, India. She was forced to move back in with her parents after her husband of 12 years divorced her, saying he couldn’t take care of someone who had vision problems and wore eyeglasses.
Unable to work herself because of her poor vision, Ghousia depended on the meager earnings of her father, an auto-rickshaw driver, to provide for her and her son. Sadly, her vision progressively diminished until she went completely blind. With no financial support to seek eye care in the hospitals in Bangalore, and with little understanding of the reasons for her blindness, she was confined to her home for over eight months.
Ghousia’s future seemed hopeless. What would become of her? How would she care for her son? She feared she would never be able to see him grow up.
But hope found Ghousia – through Operation Eyesight’s Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program. As part of a door-to-door survey, a community health worker from our partner Vittala International Institute of Ophthalmology visited Ghousia’s home and discovered she was blind.
On the community health worker’s advice, Ghousia attended a screening program, where she was diagnosed with retinal problems and referred to the base hospital for treatment. She travelled with the community eye health worker to the hospital, where a fundoscopic examination showed that she had severe damage to her retina. She required vitreoretinal surgery.
Ghousia was apprehensive at first. How could she afford such surgery? However, the hospital staff assured her that the surgery would be provided free of charge, thanks to Operation Eyesight’s generous donors. Ghousia agreed and soon underwent the hour-long surgery to restore her vision in one eye and prevent her vision from deteriorating further in the other.
Because of Operation Eyesight’s compassionate donors, Ghousia is now able to see and move about the house independently. She is happy that she can now care for her son and watch him grow. She says that once she completely recovers from her surgery, she would like to work as a housemaid so she can contribute to her family’s income.
Thank you to our donors for not only restoring Ghousia’s eyesight, but for restoring her hope for a promising future for her and her son! To learn more about our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Programs in India, visit the Programs and Projects pages of our website.