The Joy of Sight

Manish Kumar sits on his fatherís lap and observes the world around intently. Other than the tiny pair of spectacles that he wears, there is no other sign of the ordeal that the 14-month-old boy had to face. Kumar suffered from a congenital condition, which led to the deterioration of his left cornea soon after birth. In December last year, Kumar who lives in Chhapra, Bihar, was brought to TKCI Eye Institute in Hyderabad, where he underwent a corneal transplant surgery.

Kumar is lucky. The chances of him getting a corneal transplant in Bihar were nil, since the state has not collected a single cornea in the past one year. Even if he were to travel to other states, Kumar would have had to wait for weeks, if not months, for the surgery.

At TKCI, Kumar underwent the surgery within a day of the diagnosis. And, his treatment was done for free, given that his family could not afford it. The institute is one among the few institutes in India where there is no waiting list for receiving corneas.