But the nine-month-old Kuldeep wasn’t the only member of the family with sight problems. Four other children, including Kuldeep’s older sister, were also very visually impaired. “We took them to the village healer but he couldn’t help us,” said Hari Singh, the head of the household and Kuldeep’s grandfather. “We had no choice but to accept the situation.”
They were invited to attend a special eye camp with proper eye examination. All children required cataract surgery in both eyes. The older ones were taken to a nearby city hospital in Dahod (Drishti Netralaya, supported Sightsavers), where they received successful surgeries. Drishti Netralaya is one of the centers of excellence in western India, serving the tribal population of the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. And Kuldeep was successfully operated upon when he was a few months older (see photo).
‘We’re celebrating,’ says Kuldeep’s mother.
He’s already showing positive signs of sight, such as by following his gaze after the doctor’s torch. “We are all celebrating,” says Kuldeep’s mother. “Five members of our family have acquired new eyesight. We want Kuldeep to be a doctor when he grows up so that he can also bring joy to others like him.”