It was a jubilant and momentous occasion for every member of the teams involved in developing and operating the Mobile Eye Surgical Units (MESU) the first of its kind operation theater on wheels, a medico engineering marvel developed jointly by IIT-Madras and Sankara Nethralaya, with a view to taking the most advanced cataract surgery totally cost free to the most remote regions as it reached out its quality care to its 1000th patient in a remote hilly hamlet in Tamil Nadu. The MESU team of Dr P.S. Rajesh, Senior Consultant, Dr. Sudarshan, Senior Consultant, Shri V.Sivakumar, Administrator, Jaslok Community Ophthalmology Center and their team conducted the camp at Periyamuthur a small and remote hamlet in the hilly terrain of Krishnagiri District in Tamil Nadu, a place not served by Medicare and populated by a socially and economically backward population. The camp was sponsored by Captain Samraj, a local resident and ex-service man with a strong passion to serve the underprivileged living in the neighbourhood. The Good Samaritan had most thoughtfully arranged for the comfortable stay and good homely food cooked by his own family members for the team during the entire period of the camp. On arrival at the village the members of the MESU team visited the houses in the neighbourhood to ensure that there was a good turnout at the camp.
A total of 106 surgeries were carried out over 12 days with a 100% success rate and nil post operative complications. The beneficiaries were those who would not have been able to make their way to a base hospital even if free eye care was available. The sense of relief and joy among those who got back their vision was palpable as most of them had given up all hopes of seeing the world again. The sentiment of the local people could be gauged by the highly touching gesture of Govindammal a patient who refused to remove her eye pad after being operated upon in the absence of Shri K Arul Kumar,camp coordinator who had persuaded and convinced her to attend the camp and have her eyes examined. It was only after he presented himself before her that she agreed to have the pad removed so she could behold the sight of the man who was responsible for her regaining her vision as the very first sight with her newly regained eye sight.