"difficult times will lead to better days if we don’t give up hope" - this is what Dhanesh Shah had to say after the sight-restoring surgery
Why do we do what we do? Why do we toil in the sun, work day and night, and stretch our limits?
When asked, Dhanesh Shah always said, ‘It’s all for a better life. For ourselves and our near and dear ones’.
A blacksmith with an enviable reputation, he quit and gave in to his deteriorating eyesight five years ago. His earning was around Rs. 1500/- per month back then.
He provided for his family and catered to their needs as much as he could. If anybody needed anything, he would spring into action and try his best to satiate it.
With age, he developed cataracts in his eyes and almost lost his vision. The last three years had been the toughest.
He was jobless and confined to the four walls of his humble hut. He remains at his wit’s end as he has problems doing the odd jobs of daily life. He also had trouble in recognising people and going out in the sunshine.
In short, he was unable to do a single thing, without feeling uncomfortable. And the cause of all his problems was his disappearing eyesight.
His life was at the mercy of his youngest son, also a blacksmith by profession. Shah stayed with him and took his help to relieve financial requirements.
He relied on his wife for helping him bathe, clean himself, walk around the house and more. And he was dependent on his daughter-in-law for food.
Dhanesh Shah told us, taking advantage of his condition, her daughter-in-law humiliated him day and night. She disrespected him and taught the children to taunt him. She even told him off saying he was a ‘burden’.
He was made to feel as if he purposely did no work and spent his son’s money.
So good life turned into a distant dream for Dhanesh Shah. His life went through a metamorphosis of sorts.
It brought him to a juncture that he didn’t know how to cross.
At 60, he was at the crossroads. He desperately hoped things didn’t get more serious.
He often wished things didn't have to be this way. Trying to reconcile with his fate, he fought hard to save himself from depression.
But as they say, “Every cloud has a silver lining”.
Our outreach team’s announcement proved just that. Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital, being a non-profit, charitable organisation in Bihar, reaches out to the remotest villages to identify the needy patients for eye care interventions.
He attended our free eye camp in Siwan. After the eye screening, he requested us to do the needful.
He agreed to go through a surgery in the left eye. He came with us all the way to Mastichak for the cataract operation.
Now the dark clouds that passed overhead and blocked the sun have disappeared.
Dhanesh Shah is working hard to live the good life he wanted to.
He feels it is better to be hopeful than to feel hopeless. He feels difficult times will lead to better days if we don’t give up hope.
But he also has a word of caution. He says, “After losing my sight I realised that no one is yours if you aren’t able to work or provide money. Beware because even your own family can ill-treat you because of that”.