India confers Padma Shri on Dr Ruit

Kathmandu, January 25

The Indian government this evening decided to confer Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, on senior ophthalmologist of Nepal Dr Sanduk Ruit.

“He has gifted vision to more than 1 lakh people. Through low-cost cataract surgery. Meet #PadmaShri 2018 awardee Sanduk Ruit,” tweeted Press Information Bureau of India.

Dr Ruit’s innovation in the 1980s led to a 90 per cent reduction in the cost of cataract eye surgery, according to the PIB tweet. Dr Ruit, who exports low-cost cataract surgery lenses to more than 30 countries, treats 2,500 patients every week, and waves off fees for those who cannot afford.

The PIB added that Dr Ruit, who did his MBBS from AIIMS in New Delhi, restored eyesight to more than one lakh patients across Asia and Africa over the past 30 years, and reached out to blind people who could not make it to Kathmandu, by trekking himself to those areas.

Talking to THT, Dr Ruit thanked the government and the people of India, as well as his patients and well wishers, for the recognition.

“This will definitely deliver a positive message from Nepal globally,” he said. “We have made modern eyecare affordable and accessible. I am happy that the Nepal-developed technology is benefiting people from Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan.