Chamsuri after cataracts surgery © Courtesy of Seva Canada
Well into her 70s, Chamsuri from Nepal has never slowed down. At the heart of a large, bustling family, she tended the animals, worked the fields, cooked meals, and helped care for her grandchildren.
Until one day, her vision started to blur. As her vision faded, life became much more difficult. But Chamsuri carried on because her family and the farm needed her.
Her son, Chandra, worried for his mother’s safety: “In the hills, she could easily fall down, and there can’t always be someone to catch or guide her,” he said.
As the darkness closed in, the things that had always given her purpose slowly slipped out of reach. She could no longer tend the fields or care for her grandchildren. Instead of feeding her loved ones, they had to feed her. This vital, independent matriarch suddenly felt helpless and hopeless—she felt like a burden.
Her son knew he had to do something. “My heart couldn’t see this,” he said.
Restoring his mother’s sight seemed like a distant dream. They lived in poverty and could not afford treatment.
Then, a glimmer of hope. Over the radio, Chandra learned about free eye care services provided by Seva Canada donors at the Bharatpur Eye Hospital. He knew he had to take the chance and take his mother to the eye hospital, hoping she would soon regain the precious gift of sight.
When Chamsuri and her son arrived, two incredible things happened. First, they were finally able to put a name to the condition that had claimed her sight—cataracts. Second, they discovered that it could be fixed with surgery.
Seva Canada’s Executive Director, Liz Brant, emphasized the need for simple interventions like cataract surgery and glasses that have an immediate and powerful impact on people’s lives: “Healthy vision is vital to healthy aging. Without it, too many people lose their independence, become isolated from their community, and face very real dangers from falls and accidents. A $50 donation funds the cost of a sight-restoring cataract surgery for someone just like Chamsuri.”
Worldwide, over 70 per cent of people struggling with vision loss are over the age of 50, and the majority are women living in low-income countries like Nepal. “Everyone, regardless of where they live and their ability to pay, should have access to high-quality eye care,” she said.
Within days, Chamsuri received sight-restoring surgery free of charge. When her bandages came off, Chamsuri was overwhelmed with joy.
“Everything’s changed! Everything is good now,” she exclaimed. “I can and will do everything again!”
And she has. Returning home to her family, Chamsuri’s life resumed the daily rhythms she has lived and loved for decades: tending the fields, caring for her grandchildren, and being independent.
Learn more at seva.ca/sight
Seva Canada is a charity whose mission is to restore sight and prevent blindness in low- and middle-income countries.