Hemavathi hails from Nazarathpet, a village at the outskirts of Poonamallee. She lives with her husband Munusamy, a son and her mother-in-law. Her husband Munusamy makes a living as a security guard in a warehouse situated nearby. A chronic alcoholic, Munusamy never brings home his hard earned money to run the family, thus pushing Hemavathi to earn a livelihood and support the family. Not till long ago, Hemavathi found a small time job, a few kilometers away from home, to engage herself as a casual labourer in a workshop, “Mica” company, as she puts it, earning a meager Rs.100/- a day. The strain of labour, at 49 had a severe impact on her eyesight, diminishing her vision, day after day; Hemavathi subsequently lost her job and has no means to live.
The Sankara Nethralaya Eye camp at Nazarathpet proved to be a god send, learning the good news about an eye camp being conducted in the neighbourhood, she soon made her way to the same, once at the camp her eyes were thoroughly examined and she was diagnosed for Cataract. I have to go back to work soon to support my family” said a choked Hemavathi, the sole breadwinner of the family to the Sankara Nethralaya team.
Hemavathi was subsequently taken to the Jaslok Community Ophthalmology Centre and operated absolutely free of cost “I am able to clearly see everything now” beamed a gleaming Hemavathi with gratitude, ready to be back on her active feet…!!
Sankara Nethralaya Eye’s outdoor community eye camps such as these where patients are examined in their own neighbourhood and those found needing surgery are transported to the base hospital where State of the Art cataract surgery is performed on them totally cost free are a boon to the downtrodden, a salient feature of these camps is that besides the surgery the patients are also transported to and fro to the base hospital and back and provided with food totally cost free.