Pushpa & Bishal
Pushpa and Bishal Magar are brothers growing up in a small village in southern Nepal. Pushpa (10) and Bishal (4) are sweet boys who are quick to smile and both have an eagerness to learn. In fact, Pushpa was a merit student at his school. His grades, however, began to suffer when he started having issues with his vision. Shortly after Pushpa experienced vision problems, Bishal began to show the same signs of failing eyesight.
Though the Magar family was aware of the possible grave outcome of their sons’ increasing vision problems, they could not afford to pay for eye examinations and treatment. The brothers’ father, Gopal, is a hard-working farmer who has found it difficult to support his family, much less secure extra funds to pay for eye health services.
On the recommendation of a school teacher, Gopal took his sons to a local community eye centre to see if he could somehow manage the cost. Both Pushpa and Bishal were diagnosed with bilateral cataract. Unable to afford the surgical treatment at the centre, Gopal was advised to take his sons to the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO).
Gopal and his sons made the journey to Kathmandu, where the staff at TIO provided cataract surgery for both children at no cost.
The operations were successful and the boys left TIO with clear vision and excitement for the opportunity to continue their studies.
“I feel blessed and I am really thankful,” Gopal said. “I wished for both of my children to get their normal vision and study better in the future. Moreover, I was worried regarding the management of medication and travel. But everything was arranged for free. So, I am very much grateful to Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.”
Pushpa and Bishal are just two cases of numerous children living with cataract blindness in Nepal. Without the free services provided by TIO, many would be forced to live their life in darkness.