“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and blind can see.”
The blind might not be able to see, but strangely blind are also the ones who are not seen. Neglected by societies, healthcare and government bodies, blindness is one of the most undermined, and untreated conditions in the world. In most cases, blindness is curable. However, owing to a lack of funds and healthcare facilities, the blind are forced to lead a miserable and desolate life. Blindness is avoidable, it must never be a way of life.
Thanks to Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, lives are becoming easier for poor communities who have fallen victim to the condition. The foundation has been established by investor, billionaire and philanthropist Mr. Tej Kohli and Dr. Sanduk Ruit to eradicate blindness from the lives of the poor.
The foundation was formed in 2021 and by 2026, it aims to screen a million people and cure half a million people of blindness. The foundation has till now set up outreach camps in Nepal, India, Indonesia, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, North Korea, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Lebanon and Syria, providing free treatments and conducting free surgeries to eliminate blindness. While the kind endeavour is proceeding in these countries, the results have been the most promising, particularly in Nepal.
Here’s a brief of some of the noblest work done by the foundation.
- Tej Kohli & Dr. Ruit’s foundation has screened over 50,000 people in unprivileged countries across the world. Over 4500 cases of blindness have been successfully cured.
- The microsurgical camp in Lumbini has screened 1,387 patients and cured 312 cases of blindness amongst them.
- The outreach camp in Solukhumbu screened over 1,214 patients and cured 178 of blindness in April 2021
- 163 additional cases of blindness have been successfully treated by the foundation in Dolakha camp.
- Other locations where significant and promising success has been achieved include Banke District Prison, where 407 inmates have been screened.
- The Tej Kohli and Dr. Ruit Foundation have also networked with numerous hospitals for conducting surgeries and providing the needy with the best healthcare facilities possible. The long list of hospitals across Nepal includes Ramlal Golcha Hospital, Chhanda Narayani Eye Hospital, Fatehbal Hospital, Surkhet Eye Hospital, Geta Eye Hospital, to name a few.
- Tej Kohli has also set up a Cornea Institute. The institute, which is a part of the Tej Kohli Foundation, was established in 2015 and has to date completed over 44,000 successful surgical procedures. Some of the best doctors around the world and world-class- futuristic technologies have come on board to develop an affordable yet scalable way to eradicate corneal blindness amongst the poor.
- The Tej Kohli Cornea Program is centred at a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The $2m funded program aims to aid and develop innovative and collaborative solutions to treat and end corneal blindness. The innovative solutions include development of advanced molecular technology for the rapid diagnosis of corneal infection, and also GelCORE, an adhesive biomaterial for replacing corneal tissue.
When someone cannot write their story, you can help them write theirs. That’s the philosophy Mr. Tej Kohli and Dr. Sanduk Ruit swear by.
The Tej Kohli & Dr. Ruit’s foundation, despite being a start, has achieved more than anticipated. Nonetheless, it’s a long way to go, and a lot more lives are to be ameliorated along the way.