Aiti Kirsani does not know how old he is. He is a widower belonging to the Gadaba tribe. He has been a landless labourer all his life and brought up his family by working on other people's fields. However, as he got older his eyesight began to deteriorate. Progressively he was able to see and do less work. His son and his family began to become impatient and can barely look after him.
When our community development officers found him he was always lying down in once place, too afraid to move, with no one to help him or care for him. On screening he was found to have bilateral cataracts. However, his family was most reluctant to do anything to help him. 'He is just waiting for death' they claimed.
The CDO repeatedly visited their family, counseling, explaining cataract surgery and motivating them by telling them success stories. At last the patient and family agreed to send him with the CDO. He was brought to Asha Kiran Hospital where he was provided with food and looked after till the cataract surgery was performed. The surgery was a complete success and Aiti had his vision back.
Such a small surgery, such a small step - but for Aiti it was like receiving his life back again. When asked he says joyfully, "when I was helpless, Asha Kiran was a like a parent to me; when I was rejected they accepted me; when I had no hope they gave me a new hope for life."
Now Aiti is back with his family. He contributes to their income by looking after the village's herd of cows. He strides confidently around his village motivating other cataract patients to visit the hospital!