Eye Camp in Anandwan

Cataracts are the most common cause of partial and complete blindness in India. Few facilities in rural areas have the means to complete the simple surgery it takes to remove cataracts.

Every year a charitable organization called iCare organizes a cataract eye camp at the Baba Amtes ashram in the small town of Anandwan. At the camp, two renowned cataract surgeons from Mumbai spend a week operating on more than one thousand villagers, including lepers and children.

Some have already gone blind in one eye and come in the hope of saving their second eye. The camp is free for the villagers, who would otherwise never be able to afford a cataract surgery, let alone from one of the country's top surgeons.

Camp volunteers personally go to surrounding villages to inform people of the free eye camp and educate them about the benefits of the surgery which includes an eye check up, applying eye drops, the actual surgery and aftercare such as wearing dark glasses.

It is heartening to see the transformation of old and young patients. They walk in afraid and unsure, and after a few days they leave feeling confident and independent.

The operating facilities provided are impressive and the doctors and helpers work 12 to 14 hours a day to ensure that all the patients receive care.

To see the joy on the faces of patients when the bandage is removed from their eyes is absolutely magical.