Hope to Light – An Inspirational Mission of Philanthropist Tej Kohli: More than 22 million eyes in the world are shadowed by cataract blindness, as per the reports of the World Health Organisation.
A Vision for Change
The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, a global NGO, is a joint venture of Mr. Kohli and Ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit, which aims at curbing preventive blindness by providing cataract surgery and comprehensive eye care services to patients of all ages, races, and genders in developing countries.
Among the underdeveloped and developing countries in the world, Bhutan, Nepal, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Indonesia are regions with thousands of untreated cataract patients. Poverty, inaccessibility to healthcare services, and a lack of awareness are the main reasons pushing them into a world of darkness.
There are multiple layers of crises these people are combating every day. Apart from being economically challenged, these communities are grappling with class struggle, illiteracy, unemployment, gender discrimination, and many more social obstacles. Cataract blindness in such regions is either overlooked or untreated due to a consecutive lack of affordable healthcare facilities and social awareness.
The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, entirely funded by the Kohli family, has been serving the needy in the poorest countries of the world. This highly-recognized NGO boasts a high success rate of curing about 48,532 patients worldwide and screening 3,20,000 patients in both remote and underserved regions..
Unmasking the Financial Solution
While the average cost of a cataract surgery would be around $3,500 per eye, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation are providing the same service at just a mere $50. People belonging to the poorer sections of society can avail of this essential service, which takes only 7 minutes.
While the NGO’s prime focus is untreated cataract blindness, its bigger goal is to ensure a socio-economic change by providing the patients with a light of hope and eradicating poverty. To achieve the same, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation has extended its support to underprivileged women as well as children from economically backward communities, who are often less prioritized than men when it comes to healthcare. The Foundation is currently on its mission to screen 1,000,000 people and cure up to 500,000 cases of preventive cataract blindness by the year 2030.
That’s not all; the NGO also aims to provide valuable healthcare resources to ensure economic opportunities for those with cataract-affected blurred vision. After a patient is aided with a low-cost surgery, regaining their professional and social livelihood is just a few steps ahead.
Meet Mr Tej Kohli, the Founder and Investor
Tej Kohli, the co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, is an acknowledged philanthropist with extensive experience working in underprivileged communities across the globe. The Tej Kohli Foundation has been actively combating poverty in Costa Rica and other underprivileged nations for many years. The NGO, with its large network of community kitchens, provides regular meals to the masses.
Mr Kohli launched his eye health services in 2010 when he started funding for corneal transplant surgeries. With unwavering dedication, he founded the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute at the center of Hyderabad, India. The Tej Kohli Cornea Program, in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School, is one of his biggest achievements.
It was in 2021 when Mr. Tej Kohli conceptualized the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, partnering with veteran Ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit, often referred to as the “God of Sight”. Ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit is regarded as one of the best eye specialists in the world. With extensive experience in this field and a great mission, Dr. Sanduk Ruit works as an inseparable part of the unit.
Their joint venture in the world of eye care is setting a path-breaking precedent where people from economically challenged, less-developed regions are treated with the same facilities as the rest of the world.
Preventive Blindness: Breaking the Oxymoron
Cataract-induced blindness is a type of preventive blindness that many people are unknowingly suffering from across the globe.
When left untreated, cataracts can lead to permanent blindness as the cataract layer thickens over time. In the first stage, the vision slightly deteriorates with clouding of the eyesight, making it difficult for the patients to recognize the problem. But, with time, the condition worsens, robbing the patients of the ability to see the world.
However, with the improvement of medical science, cataract surgery is regarded as one of the most uncomplicated. The process, depending on the conditions of individuals, takes only 7 to 10 minutes. The surgery involves some post-operative care, which is also simple and can be taken while maintaining the daily chores.
Cataract surgery, one of the simplest surgeries in the world, is still beyond the reach of those from underprivileged regions. Philanthropist Mr. Tej Kohli’s global NGO, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation is a beacon of hope for those individuals who have yet to see the light.