Giving vision and colours of life to the visually impaired

SAHIWAL: Eight-year-old Shagufta, a resident of Chak 16-SP, and nine-year-old Naz, of Rakh Pul village, were blind by birth. In clinical terms, they had ‘congenital cataract,’ locally called motiya. Their patents could not afford their surgeries in Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. They came to know about Baba Farid Free Lazer Eye Camp held annually in Pakpattan by the Karachi-based Haji Razzak Janoo Memorial Trust, which proved a blessing for the girls and their families.

Parents of Shagufta and Naz brought them to Pakpattan on the third day of the camp. Eight-doctors team examined the girls’ eyes and declared that their sight can be completely restored. The surgeries were done by Dr Abdul Hafiz on Nov 11 and the next day, Shagufta and Naz, started seeing all the colours of life when the doctors removed bandage from their eyes.

Shagufta and Naz told Dawn they saw the faces of Dr Abdul Rahim and their parents first of all in the world.

Replying to a question what’s the most important thing they would do after getting their eyesight, they replied that now they would start their education.

Shagufta and Naz are not the only girls treated by surgeons at the eye camp where 2,332 major surgeries were carried out after examining more than 26,000 patients.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Abdur Rahim claimed it’s the biggest free lazer eye camp in Pakpattan. He said his organisation had held 262 free eye camps in Pakpattan, Dadu, Kashmoor, Rajanpur, Karachi, Hyderabad and Bahwalnagar in the last 30 years. He said they have done 1,12,000 free eye surgeries till date.

He informed the scribe that his father had great respect for Baba Farid Shakarganj and it was the trust was being held in Pakpattan for the last 30 years in honour of the Sufi saint.

More than 200 people run this free eye camp in a very controlled environment. The teams consist of eight eye surgeons, 20 eye physicians, two dozen medical technicians, paramedics and more than 50 local volunteers from Pakpattan city.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2018