Rotaract for Cataract – Project Serve (Phase 5)

“What if the world can see you, but you can’t see the world?”

“Rotaract for Cataract” is a cataract surgery project organized jointly by the Rotaract Clubs of University of Colombo Faculty of Management & Finance, Cinnamon Gardens and National School of Business Management (NSBM); under the guidance of the Rotaract District 3220. It is organized as the phase five of Project Serve, which is an official Rotaract District project done to mark the Poya days in each month of the year. 

Cataract can be identified as the clouding of the lens in the eye, which leads to a decrease in vision. Cataract is the principal cause of blindness in the world where it can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms for Cataract include faded colours, blurry vision, halos around light, trouble with bright lights and trouble seeing at night. Cataracts occur when there is a buildup of protein in the lens that makes it cloudy. This prevents light from passing clearly through the lens, causing some loss of vision. 

Wearing sunglasses and avoiding smoking can help prevent cataract. If this does not help, then a surgery is required where the cloudy lens would be replaced with an artificial lens.

According to statistics, in Sri Lanka, more than 200,000 people, including children, are blind. The cause of blindness for around 70% of these people is cataract.

“Rotaract for Cataract” initially intended to raise funds to sponsor 50 patients awaiting Cataract surgery but who are unable to proceed with the surgical procedure due to lack of funds. The lens required for this surgery is expensive and patients have to buy it at a cost of around Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000. However with the assistance of the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital – Wattala, we were able to arrange a surgery at a cost of only Rs. 4,700 per patient. The said patients have been screened and selected for surgery by the relevant medical professionals.

As the initial step, an innovative fund raising campaign named “Miracles cannot cure the blind but you can” was carried out through social media such as Facebook and Whatsapp, which got the attention of many people. Within a very short time period, we were able to collect nearly Rs. 500,000 with the help of valuable contributions from generous donors around the country. With the amount collected, we doubled the initial target of 50 surgeries to successfully carry out surgeries for betterment of 100 cataract patients who are eagerly awaiting to restore their vision. The funds raised also helped to do the necessary tests and treatments for the additional 50 patients in order to make them ready for the operation.

The surgeries were planned to be carried out on 25th of November (Poya day) however as the center is closed on Poya days the collected funds will be handed over to the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital on 1st of December and they will conduct the surgeries in January 2016.

In appreciation for their generous contribution, all donors will receive a certificate along with a letter from the hospital. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the doctors and staff of Lions Sight First Eye Hospital for their generous assistance and Rtr. Asela Wijerthne, the District Community Service Director who supported us in coordinating the project and also bringing in majority of the surgeries to the project.

The organizing committee of “Rotaract for Cataract” would like to thank all the contributors who didn’t let go this rare opportunity of helping someone to see the beauty of the world clearly and joining hands to help the people in need. HELP IN NEED IS A HELP INDEED.

Written by-

photo Rtr. Baghya Erathna
Club Member 



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