Victoria Ojugbaba, Lagos
The Rotary Club of Lagos Island (RCLI) District 9110, in association with Geeta Ashram Nigeria Temple and Charity, has begun free eye surgeries for less-privileged residents of Kano State.
The programme, tagged: “Vision 2020 Free Cataract Surgery Project,” is carried out by the RCLI and its partners as part of their corporate social responsibility to the host community.
RCLI President, Sanjay Srivastava, said that the club planned 700 free eye surgeries in Kano this year, adding that the project, which began from November 23, will end on December 4, 2020.
According to Srivastava, the project, tagged: “Gift a sight, This Diwali”, attracts a token of N35,000 per operation from well-to-do members of the public to support the less-privileged, which is to be donated to Rotary Club of Lagos Island Projects Account 0225123798 GTB.
The surgeries, which take place at ECWA Eye Hospital, Mission Road, Kano, Kano State, begins from 8 am to 3pm daily.
Also, Chairman for Vision 2020 Project, Manu Lalwani, said that “the intended beneficiaries are the less-privileged people who do not have access to expensive surgeries and, therefore, we screen them and do surgeries free of charge.”
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On why the RCLI is seeking donations from members of the public, Lalwani said: “Of course nothing is free. We have to pay for the surgeries to the doctor for eye lenses, drops and other medicines.
“We need to collect reasonable amount of donation from the community and corporate organisations to meet up with the expenses.
“We are targeting between 700 to 1,000 cataract surgeries during this camp.”
According to Lalwani, “These surgeries are done by a Nigerian, Dr. Atima Mayor, who is the medical director of ECWA Eye Hospital, Kano. He also comes to Lagos with his team whenever we hold the Lagos camp.
“He is considered to be one of the best eye surgeons in Nigeria and we are very proud to be associated with him.”
“We hold two camps every year, one in Lagos and one in Kano. The Lagos camp was scheduled for April but due to pandemic, it was cancelled,” he added.
Srivastava said that the RCLI believes in developing local content and charity service to the host community, adding: “Our activity also inspires many locals to come forward and participate in their own way in terms of time, talent, thought or treasury.”
Also responding to the need for donations from members of the public, he said that the public is a place where funds will come. “Each Rotary Club is self-funded by its members. We also motivate our members to pay so that a needy who is not able to afford the surgery can get sight,” he added.
Srivastava said that the Rotary Club’s motto is Service Above Self, And Service To Mankind Is Service To God.