I help Touching Souls International in organizing Eye Camps with main intention to find out the elderly people who are visually disabled for cataract. Touching Souls International, a nonprofit organization sponsors all the expenses required for cataract surgery. The very poor segment of the society in a least developed country like Bangladesh (where there is no Social Security safety net) benefits a lot from the service sponsored by Touching Souls International. Almost in every month an eye camp is sponsored by Touching Souls International at different parts of the country, preferably a bit remote places are chosen as service providing sites. From 800 to 1200 people visit these Eye camps. Almost 300 eye patients receive prescription and almost 85% of the prescribed eye medicines. Near about 100 visually impaired people receive eye-glasses totally free. In a camp usually 40 to 60 patients are selected for cataract surgery. The unique arrangement by Touching Souls International is that beside free surgery these poor patients receive free transportation to and fro, and also their food expenses from the next 2 days at the hospital are financed by the nonprofit organization. Three weeks after the surgery the patients also receive a free follow-up by the same doctors, in their own household vicinity. What more someone can ask from a philanthropic organization.
While for few years for the purpose of higher study I was in USA. While my stay at USA, I enjoyed being a volunteer in few “United Way” activities. Returning to Bangladesh, being a Pharmacist I was always eager to help people specially on medical ground. A cataract surgery can again bring an elderly person back to a economically productive life, thus bringing in dignity for him/herself and also for his/her family. The person is no more a burden to the family or the community as a whole.
Touching Souls International should be recipient for different match making donor programs. This will ensure expansion of Touching Souls International in different Health and relevant disability activities. And also ensure the volunteers here in Bangladesh, who are eager to spare time for volunteer activity (but may not afford such activities on their own personal monetary expenses).
Professor Shahabuddin Kabir Choudhuri
Jahangir Nagar University