Tej Kohli and Sanduk Ruit founded the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation (TKRF) to end the global needless blindness caused by cataracts. The endeavour is to restore sight to 5,000 patients suffering from cataract-induced blindness and screen 1,000,000 patients by 2030. TKRF has aligned their project with the 2030 InSight mission created by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal, which aims to eliminate extreme poverty. Philanthropist Tej Kohli, with his work on eradicating poverty and creating sustainable and lasting economic and social change, believes that eyesight plays a pivotal role in developing and strengthening a community and nation.
The First Step Philanthropist Tej Kohli Took To Eradicate Blindness
Apart from investing millions of dollars in various philanthropic works that can eradicate blindness globally, Mr Tej Kohli started the ‘Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation’ with Dr Sanduk Ruit. The latter is lovely, called ‘God of sight’ by his patients, and has been awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding.
Together, these sexagenarians took the first step towards eradicating cataract-induced blindness in 2019 and closing the pervasive gap in eye treatment among the world’s most underserved communities. The result was the building of a mobile cataract operating theatre in areas where medical facilities were unavailable. It was the first step in creating a direct intervention that would help treat people suffering from cataract blindness.
The Journey Began With Cataract Surgeries For Free
TKRF started their journey of creating a cataract-free community across the world in Nepal. The foundation collaborated with local hospitals, eye surgeons, and NGO workers to establish cataract screening outreach camps in the most difficult terrains of the country and bring the patients to the eye camps. After screening, it is determined whether the patient requires surgery. These patients are then taken to the nearest eye surgery centres, which at times are not proper hospitals. But there is an answer for the patients, thanks to Mr Tej Kohli.
The research done by the Tej Kohli Foundation, the Tej Kohli Cornea Programme, and other Tej Kohli Eye Foundations has successfully found a solution for cataract surgeries. They are mobile cataract operation theatres where the cost of the surgery is less than $50 per patient. Since Tej Kohli and the Kohli family fund these surgeries, the patients get their cataract surgeries for free.
Tej Kohli’s Eye Foundation
The Tej Kohli Eye Foundation and other research centres funded by Mr Kohli have been conducting extensive studies on creating sustainable and cost-effective ways that eye surgeries can be done to eradicate blindness. The result is the creation of mobile cataract operation theatres, which can be installed in a room. These theatres can perform microsurgeries and remove cataracts from the eyes in a few minutes, restoring the patients’ sight.
Apart from these, the Tej Kohli Eye Foundation and Tej Kohli Cornea Programme have successfully created solutions for people suffering from cornea-caused blindness. The surgeries with GelCore, a biomaterial self-adhesive layer for the cornea, have been used to prevent blindness caused by the diseased cornea.
Mr Tej Kohli’s Drive To Curing Blindness Continues
After starting the first camp in Nepal for the TKRF to eradicate needless blindness, the drive continues and has now reached Africa, and started restoring sight to the people of Ghana and Ethiopia. The people of Bhutan have also been blessed with a cataract-free life thanks to Mr Tej Kohli and his TKRF. So far, the foundation has cured 36,023 people of cataracts after screening 252,256 people. According to Mr Kohli, this is just the beginning of creating a legacy that creates a progressive environment in the world.