Eye Camp on a Rainy Day


“Rain rain go away” is not the rhyme one recollects often in Chennai and August is not the time you expect it to rain. But with this Gladiators batch, the weather has changed so much. It has been raining, like it does in Mumbai or Kerala. We often pinch and ask ourselves if we are in Chennai.

After incessant rains, Rain Gods took a break on Sunday morning (22-Aug-2010) to make way for a pleasant day. It was not just another Sunday for us – we had planned to conduct an Eye camp for the villagers in Nallur and Nathamkariacheri villages near our campus, as part of our ‘Karma Yoga’ initiative. It had taken us three weeks of planning and groundwork – we had roped in a reputed Eye hospital from Chennai, coordinated with two village heads, found a common venue for the camp, roped in an Optical shop, spread word around in the villages by distributing pamphlets – and we were waiting for the D-day.

At least 20 villagers seemed to be punctual and were present when the camp started at 10 am. We put up banners at important locations like bus stops and village ration shops to direct people to the camp venue. Women, mostly in their 50s and 60s, turned up in good numbers. One of them, who seemed to be in her late 50’s, did not know her age – she said it is 40! Many others did not know their address, the details we needed during the registration.

A health camp or an eye camp is a place where we get a chance to show our communication skills. Some of us went around the villages to get the people to come for the eye screening. One of us remarked – “It was like marketing a new product or a service – people are not willing to take it even if it is free”.  We won over many of them and brought them to the camp. The other tough part was to convince the old people to undergo the cataract surgery at the hospital. They believed a pair of spectacles would rectify their eye problem.

It was poignant that some of the old people who visited the camp did not have anyone to take care of them. They were still laboring on their own for their living. We tried to persuade one old lady with poor vision to undergo the surgery. She pleaded with us that she cannot afford to miss her daily wages even for a few days.  She also did not have anyone who would look after her after the surgery. We finally managed to send five people to the hospital for surgery on the same day. The rest told us they would come some other day, but we resolved to follow up with them.

We had already screened around 100 people in our camp when rain started playing pranks again, around half past twelve. By 1:30 pm, it started raining continuously and we were nearing the end of the camp. After the screening we sent back the people by buses and vans to their respective villages. Finally, we wound up at 2:30 pm with some of us completely drenched in the rains.

In the end, we all came back with lots of satisfaction, having given our best, to serve and uplift our fellow human beings who live around us. Rain did not deter us and did not stop the villagers either.  In fact, it made way for us in the morning. We once again realized that when we do good things selflessly, things fall in place – the spirit of Karma Yoga prevailed!

– Narendran

Photo Courtesy: Tripti Motwani

This entry was posted in CSR, Life@GreatLakes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eye Camp on a Rainy Day

  1. heena says:

    The 19th Free Eye Health Screening & Surgery Camp was inaugurated in the premises of the Shah Satnam Ji Dham of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, Haryana, as has been the tradition for the last two decades. This camp is organized every year as a mark of reverence to His Holiness Param Pita Shah Satnam Ji Maharaj, the second GuruJi (teacher) of Dera Sacha Sauda. The camp was inaugurated by His Holiness Revered Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan by “joining of ribbons”, a practice also customary and unique to this institution. Speaking on the occasion, GuruJi strongly dispelled misgivings about eye donation. His Holiness added that on an average about one or two pairs of eyes were being donated daily by Dera members. Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan also stressed that India should become the world’s Guru in the practice of humanitarianism. Another notable feature of the camp is that several corneal transplants are also undertaken The screening OPD commenced at 12:00 Noon and till 8 pm 4603 Patients were screened. Several renowned Eye Specialists Dr.V.K.Dada, Dr.Pradeep Sharma, Dr.Tanuj Dada, Dr.Aditya, Dr.Avnish, Dr.Monika, along with 42 other specialists trained at premier institutions of the country offered their services in the eye check up camp. A vast majority of participating doctors are alumni of the prestigious Dr.R.P. Centre, AIIMS. Nearly a hundred, Para medical volunteers along with more than 500 volunteers of Shah Satnam Ji Green-S Welfare Force from various nearby States also rendered their free services in this camp. A systematic and “unidirectional flow” of patients was maintained from entry to exit, with various stations for screening , consultation and patient- care in between, in order to handle the large numbers who presented at the registration counter. Patients with glaucoma, cataract and various ailments of retina were screened during the camp. It is noteworthy that, all the patients requiring surgery will be operated upon in state of the art OT’s, free of cost on 13th, 14th and 15th December 2010 at the Shah Satnam Ji Super -Specialty Hospital, Sirsa. However, the patients not requiring surgery were provided medicines free of cost. The number of free surgeries conducted has increased from 485 in 1992 to 1663 in 2009, with a total of 16,304 surgeries performed in the last 18 years as a service to the mankind.

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