Climbers root for the sightless

Himalayan News Service


The American expedition team that scaled Mt Choloste (6,440m) as part of their expedition “Mission and Vision” had one more mission to accomplish this evening. The expedition had been part of the campaign to raise funds for the extension of Tilganga Eye Centre. The expedition team included Pete Athens who conquered Mt Everest seven times and along with

him was Conrad Anker, the man who found the dead body of George Mallory, the first man supposed to have made an attempt to scale the world’s highest summit.

Speaking at Tilganga Eye Centre on May 17, Athens said that he was more gratified by helping people regain their eyesight than leading any expedition. The team examined 1,000 cases of which 300 cataract patients received successful, minor surgery.

Dr Sanduk Ruit, director of the centre, highlighted its activities. The centre conducts outreach programmes, eye surgery camps and production of intraocular lens besides clinical service. The eye centre has won worldwide recognition with its dispensation of quality intraocular lens, which is exported to more than 50 countries. “We have been providing intraocular lens and service in subsidized rate, which costs in average $ 7 whereas the same service costs $ 300 in Australia and $ 1,000 in US,” claimed Dr. Ruit. The programmes adopted by the centre to dispense its services extensively has also set an example for countries like Bangla-desh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, North Korea and Pakistan.