Speech by HCP Co-founder Draws Over 450 People in NYC Area
HCP Co-founder Dr. Sanduk Ruit was in the US for a week in February to meet with key figures in the organization including Co-founder and long-time friend Dr. Geoff Tabin and to discuss how to change the arc of global blindness.
The last event of Dr. Ruit’s busy stay in the States was on a brisk Saturday afternoon inside a high school auditorium in Queens, New York. The event, a motivational speech and question & answer session featuring Dr. Ruit, was hosted by Voice for Youth (VFY). VFY is a non-profit organization that aims to help young people in the local South Asian community and to motivate them to explore better career opportunities and integrate with the American mainstream.
A sea of empty wooden fold-down seats quickly filled once the venue doors opened. People poured into the green linoleum floored auditorium at PS 11 in Woodside, in groups or by themselves, all to hear Dr. Ruit speak.
By the time the house lights flashed, every seat was occupied. Dr. Ruit entered the room and approached the stage, welcomed by thunderous applause from the crowd of almost 500 people.
The audience was largely comprised of members of the local South Asian community, many of them from Nepal. The program content was a split between English and Nepali, with Dr. Ruit sharing his life story, his struggles, and the events and self-reflection that ultimately helped him find motivation for his life’s work.
“Dr. Sanduk Ruit’s passionate dedication towards humanity is contagious and we are very fortunate to have gotten the chance to learn from him,” Shreeya Tuladhar, who moderated the event, said. “His work, on the international level, makes us beyond proud to be Nepali and opens up our eyes to see that there is potential in our country. Instead of dismissing Nepal as ‘hopeless,’ he motivates the next generation to achieve our dreams and use the skills we obtain along the way to build our society for the better. Witnessing his humility and generosity despite being called the ‘God of Sight,’ gives us the confidence to reach for the stars while still having our feet on the ground.”
During an intermission between Dr. Ruit’s speech and a question and answer session, VFY held a fundraiser in support of HCP, raising just over $7,000 to help support the organizations work in Nepal.
“Having Dr. Ruit come to speak in Queens was a powerful moment for me and many others in the South Asian community,” event organizer and VFY founder Tsering Lama said. “His work in Nepal and dedication to restoring sight to the blind regardless of their ability to pay is inspirational to anyone, anywhere. We’ve found it so important to support HCP because it helps carry Dr. Ruit’s vision and virtue through their ongoing work.”
HCP is grateful to the VFY, the event organizers, and the many audience members who generously donated to HCP both before and after the event.