‘A Hope to See’
Stepping inside the Geta Eye hospital automatically you will close your eyes. Blind people all around you will be circling everywhere, all gathered here with only a hope – Hope to see! Moaning of blind people who are resting in fields will take you in the city of blinds. Then when you will enter in the main building of the hospital you will see a tireless world of doctors and their patience of serving, to give their best to give back patient’s sight. I spent seven days in Geta eye hospital and experience the soreness of being unable to see. I discover the happiness to seeing again. I understand the value of belief!
Before setting in these benches these cataract patients have passed days and nights in the open air of hospital field. After traveling far distant, getting accommodated in the field and having went though all obstacles they keep their hope alive till the final operation. Today they are waiting for the doctor’s call to open their bandages and hoping to see the world again. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
Every day a long queue and big crowd engage doctors of Geta eye hospital. Dr. Bidya examined patient eyes who admitted for cataract operation. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
Cataract and trachoma have emerged as prominent among eye diseases in Nepal and India. Cataract is the main cause of blindness in Nepal and India. In many parts of the country, lack of awareness and ignorance about any eye disease is still widespread where people take it as a curse of god or sin of previous birth, and very often, they turn to local spiritual healers for cure in such a situation instead of getting timely medical treatment in the hospital.
All cataract patients wait for days and nights in the hope for a call from doctor. Doctors can never relax here within the crowd of patients and for the hope to return their eye sight. Every day hundreds of patients making queue and enter into the hospital. Sometimes it seems like a big crowd is going to attend a picnic where the truth is those are gathering of blind people in hope for their eye sight.
Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
36,000 new cases every year are being added to the number while over three hundred thousand people are found to have suffered from eye diseases of one or the other sort. Ninety percent of eye patients in Nepal live in rural areas where people still do not go to hospital for treatment on time whenever something goes wrong with their eyes. As most of the people in rural areas are farmers by profession, they are quite exposed to the risk of getting their eyes pierced or hurt any time.
The patient getting the treatment on the hospital bed came from Uttar prodesh. Cheaper and reliable treatment gives them hope to gain back the power of eye sight. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
A cataract patient is lying under the tree outside the hospital. Hospital can not accommodate all the patients, so lot of patients have to sleep under open sky in the cold winter. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
Every year thousand of Cataract patients come to Nepal from India. Purpose is eye surgery. Most of the patients are coming from Uttar Pradesh India. They have to travel 24 hours to arrive in the Geta eye hospital. Only for the cheap and reliable treatment they stayed in the open field sometimes even one week. The whole day and night patients are coming from India. When the weather permits the patients to travel over 400 cataracts patients enter into the door per day from all over India and Nepal
Ram Lal (45) is one the cataract patient from Uttar Prodesh, India. He said in India eye treatment is expensive and not proper enough. He has traveled seven days, collected money last one year to get treatment from Geta eye Hospital, Nepal. All he did to get back light of his eyes. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
To see the light she traveled five days from her villages and after spending three days outside in the hospital the young girl got the bed. She already overcomes distance, crowd of patients & many other barriers to get the seat in this bed. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
When I was interviewing patients they happily replied that they do not think this as trouble to reach to the hospital. They only believe miracles happens here, they will leave Nepal with power of seeing. Patients who came from Uttar Pradesh India have traveled by bus and train. They have crossed the bridge over the border river – and then to squeeze into a Nepalese minibus. In a forest outside the town of Dhangadhi in Nepal to reach to Geta eye hospital.
This old lady had her operation. She have traveled long and came from uttar prodesh, India. After sleeping in the open field and after passing painful days now she is waiting eagerly for opening the bandage. All these pains & sufferings are little in front of the eagerness to open the final bandage. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
A cataract patient lying on the ground comes back from the operation theater. She is basking in the sun. Long time waiting, lying in open air & many other obstacles were not their concern. All of them want to see light in the minimum cost even if they have to come to another country after conquering all obstacles. Nepal © GMB Akash / www.gmb-akash.com
In these seven days of working I experienced the joy of people when they get back their eye sight. I saw hundred blinds and severely visually impaired people every day drifting through a large white painted gate. The place is the same in a forest area near by the Nepali-Indian border. Few see a bit on one eye, others do not see at all. They were stepping cautiously and were lead – by a spouse, a son, a grandson. After the operation magically they walk out again, without help. And leave the hospital with a wide smile on their faces.