Kalanki, Kathmandu Nepal
A 2.5 years old schoolboy being checked for the power of the eye. He was pre-screened at school and was referred to the clinic. He had negative cylinders of three diopters on his both eyes. He will wear glasses for the first time after a few days.
This is just a debrief, of one of the camps that we did last week, in Kagati Gaun, ward no 1 of Kakani rural municipality.
Seeing others doing camp is
really easy, but doing one by yourself involved in core is not. The first
because these days the system of government seems quite cumbersome. Secondly,
you have to pull things off from everybody and every moment to do and make
things done. Let me explain.
Best learned lesson this time is
when you have to do something in a local level, you must work in close
subordination of local government, like municipality or rural municipality. And
that you have to start from the very first day. From the icebreaking to the
whole planning process their involvement is a key. They know the geography, and
they know the demographics. They know their people. That is why we reach to
their people through them. When we serve them, we should be equally empowering
them rather than simply making dependent and expectant.
From April, our planning was
afoot. Wayne Tennet, our first-hand contact to OneSight, an international
philanthropic organization whose mission closely aligns to ours, proactively
kept on energizing us to choose different three possible venues for camp
organization. We proposed: Okharpauwa, Palung and Lamatar. Melissa Standrige
also came with Wayne for the preliminary visit to those three preselected
Okharpauwa fell on high priority on the basis of different criteria. We did a series of visits until the camp day. Our logistic partner was Everest Mountain Bike (EMB), and the owner of EMB helped a great deal from day 1 side by side. The rural municipality chairman and the health coordinator suggested us to split days for camp venues as they, in a way, guaranteed there wouldn’t be patients from day 2 and doctors team would simply end up yawning all day long for 3 more days. They wanted to distribute the service equally. They had their obligations, we had ours. Almost a week went by and we hadn’t got approval on our hands. Meanwhile, ward chairperson of ward no.1 Chandra Bahadur Balami Shrestha loomed over to the scene. And he was the game changer. Thanks to him and Sagar KC, the ward secretary for the positive role in this mission.
Being a small organization and limited number of board members, we almost had to rely upon the resources from our own pocket. Jeewa Bist and I went to Okharpauwa numerous times on my 97cc splendor motorbike. The road was so dusty that when we reached (on the return) at Balaju and stopped by, we used to laugh seeing each other. Our faces were buried in the soily white dust. From the second day on, I wore raincoat as a cover. One time, tires of my motorbike skidded upon the road pebbles and I fell down. It was emitting black smoky exhaust and was taken to the workshop later on. Few more times, we had to hire a taxi for the whole day, and the problem was that no driver were willing to go there knowing the dire situation of road.
Sunday 17th of November. Orientation and introduction program was prescheduled for 8:30 AM at Raddison. It was very exciting to meet people from across the globe with different background, culture, experience and interest. It was amazing to see the excitement in their eyes. They crossed oceans to come here for serving and this feeling was really fueling us more.
I want to thank and express my
fellow feelings to all the members: David, Chloee, Dr. Howie, Kara, Joe,
Kristi, Dr. Lee, Mary, Matt, Merrilyn, Melissa, Mojgan, Vittorio, Fabio, Arnie,
Allesandro, Davina, Joanne, Dr Jessica, Odile, Dr. Scott, Sharon, Steve,
Paulina, Jeff, Dr. Gabrielle, Arun and Alicia. They did a grueling job throughout the week. We
really like to appreciate their great team work.
Here are the list of Nepali
volunteers that did a good job to help clinic run smoothly, albiet there were still
some things to improve.
This project was led by Jeewa Bist, and I (Rabindra Adhikary) worked along his side. Thanks to board member Prativa Devkota, who actually delayed her flights to Mumbai due to this camp. Her great work and enthusiasm will be cherished by BVFN. And due to busy schedule Dr Sudarshan Khanal also helped a lot in doing administrative works. Also thanks to Man Bahadur Kunwar for visiting clinic once and Arun Dhungana for attending meetings. We would like to thank Sandeep Kandel too for giving us one day for the clinic. Last but not the least, many many thanks for our people who are staying abroad and constantly overseeing, advising and coordinating and back-supporting us for our every next move, especially Dr. Nabin Poudel and Dr. Rajendra Gyawali, AND Rajani Pokharel and Mukunda Pant. Also great thanks goes to Dr. Surendra Shrestha who enthusiastically showed us his place around for possible site selection during the preliminary visits.
The vital Statistics of the clinic is as follows:
Number of people served: 1,284
Rx Dispensed: 594
Special Orders: 65
[When we counted the special orders, there were 82 pieces. We took them to the fitting center at Tripureshore on 23rd November. They will be made in a few more days and we will deliver them to the Health Post through health personnel Dipendra Mainali.]
Here is the excerpt of my speech
on the closing ceremony conducted by the ward office at the camp venue on 22nd
I hope you all had a great day today
and a wonderful week. Thank you all for being here with us throughout the week.
You have really done a great job. Congratulations!
As we sit back and talk here,
many lives of this village have been changing. The change is brought by your
work over the last five days.
Someone can NOW do some more
Someone can NOW earn more money
to provide for their family.
Some children can NOW do their
homework more efficiently.
Many people are NOW a ‘bit more’
You have made them come out of
the darker corner to see the world brighter and more colorful.
This is the tangible difference
that you have made to their lives through a pair of glasses.
And one important thing is: Many
people out here didn’t know that they couldn’t see well until this time. They
came and checked their eyes for the first time in this clinic and realized what
they missed all their lives: yes, the beautiful world. I wish they will be
addicted to seeing this beautiful world through those lenses they got here.
On behalf of those under-privileged fellow Nepalese citizens, I would like to thank you all for offering this precious gift of sight. And in return we have nothing but smiles, and gratitude, and good wishes. Thank you OneSight.
And on behalf of Better Vision Foundation, Nepal, I wish to continue this sort of humanitarian work in the days to come. Of course, we have weakness and we want to improve, improve more to serve better. We want to make more people addicted to better vision.
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