A.Venkatesan returned to work with restored vision

50-year-old venkatesan is a painter by profession. He developed cataracts in both his eyes & couldn’t work anymore. Venkatesan became totally dependent on his wife. For nearly a year he was in this condition until he heard about the camp held at vellavedu by Retain Smilez. There, he was diagnosed with cataract in both his eyes. Subsequently, surgery was performed at Bohra Eye Hospital, first on one eye and then the other after 2months. His sight was restored and he was overjoyed at being able to see again. Venkatesan started working again and earning his living. As he lived alone with his wife, he was happy that he could take care of his daily living by himself. He did not have to trouble his wife nor relatives anymore.


Rajendran lives with his wife and daughter. The couple earns their living by doing labour work. It’s tedious, time-consuming work and they are paid only for the day they get the work. Rajendran started developing low vision in his left eye. Because of which he couldn’t work much, leading to a loss in income for his family. This gave him severe mental pressure, until one day he got to know of an eye camp held every week. At the camp, rajendran was diagnosed with cataract in left eye. Sight restoring surgery was performed at Bohra Eye Hospital. He is now backing to earn family’s income as before.

Returning vision made her earning get started

Lakshmi Anjalam lives in gudapakkam a village in thiruvallur district. She belongs to a poor family who earns by selling milk drawn from cows. Her husband died before 10years after which she couldn’t maintain her health well and her vision went blurring day by day. She was fully hopeless and was dependent on neighbors. Lakshmi heard of the Retain Smilez supported eye camp where she got her eyes checked. She was taken to Bohra Eye Hospital to get her cataracts removed. With her sight restored, Lakshmi can again do her living. She is happy now.

With restored eyesight he is happy to regain his independence

This is how 75-year-old Mahadevan’s world looked like when his cornea started developing opacity. Since childhood, he had vision only in one eye. Now, he was worried about losing vision in that one eye and becoming dependent on others. Mahadevan attended a Retain Smilez supported outreach camp and underwent surgery at the Bohra Eye Hospital. The blurry vision became a thing of the past. In the words of Mahadevan, “I can’t express my gratitude for being able to see again. Now I don’t have to be dependent on anyone. I manage to do all my work on my own.”

A story of Hope

Even after losing his right hand in an accident, 50 year old A.Jayaraman never lost hope. He ran a small tailoring shop on the porch of his house, in shanthipuram, thiruvallur district, and state of Tamil Nadu. A cataract formation in his eye could have ended his inspirational story there. But after attending an outreach camp conducting eye checkups, he got his right eye operated in Bohra Eye hospital, Avadi. His vision has now improved and with the help of spectacles he is able to see clearly. He has since resumed his tailoring and continues to weave his own story.

PROUD Individuals

65 year old Pushpa Tamilarasan lost her husband 13 years ago and lives with her two sons. After her husband’s death, her poverty and daily struggle to survive took a toll on her health. She came to know of Retain Smilez’s supported eye camp and attended the OPD where she was diagnosed for mature cataract. A few days later, she underwent cataract surgery in her left eye at Bohra Eye Hospital, Avadi Chennai and her vision became clear. With her vision now clear, she shares her experience with neighbors and has become a mobilizing factor for others in her community.

Earning to Live

A 68 year-old Indrajith lives in veerapuram, Chennai. He is a goat farmer and had 20 goat’s in his farm that he bought by taking a loan. However because of his deteriorating eyesight, he lost a few goats and encountered with an accident. This hurt him physically and monetarily. After attending one of the outreach camps, he was diagnosed with cataract in his left eye and was advised to do a cataract surgery with Intraocular Lens Implantation. He underwent a surgery at our Bohra Eye Hospital, Avadi. After surgery his vision was perfect at 6/6. Today he is back to his farm and a contributing member of society.

Living the golden years

78 year old Amal Raj from Karayanchavadi a village in the Tiruvallur district. He runs a small local shop with his wife, which is his sole source of livelihood. A few months ago, Amal Raj began to experience reduced and blurred vision due to the development of cataract in both his eyes. His income was not nearly enough to be able to obtain treatment for his condition, and his sons offered no assistance. Amal Raj attended the free eye camp conducted by Retain Smilez where his condition was diagnosed and his case accepted for surgery at Bohra Eye Hospital. The surgery allowed him to regain his vision and go back to running his business and earning a livelihood.

At no one’s mercy anymore

62 year old subbaiah earns his living by begging on the streets of Arakonnam. He lives on a footpath nearby Arakonnam. Suffering from a cataract, Subbaiah cannot or could not stand straight on his feet, hence he moves around sitting on hard plastic, crawling on the road. He was identified by our camp coordinator. Initially, he was reluctant to visit the camp but with the help of a team, he was taken to the camp. When he reached Bohra Eye Hospital, the surgeon insisted that he should be bought a pair of clothes since his only dress was very dirty and was at risk of an infection post-surgery. After the surgery Subbaiah’s joy was inexpressible. He was happy that at least he can now make his own food or arrange for it.

A four-fold blessing

Singampillai is a construction worker living in vellavedu. He suffered from poor vision for a couple of years and did not know of any remedy. Eventually, due to his poor vision, he was unable to carry out his daily activities which affected his ability to earn. One day he heard of the outreach camp that took people from the village to the hospital for free surgeries. He attended the camp conducted at the vision centre and with the assistance of a camp coordinator he underwent surgery on his left eye. Now he enjoys good vision. His renewed confidence in life has enabled him to increase his daily earning fourfold.

A Clean Sweep

Ambhika from vengal village in TamilNadu is a broom maker. Broom-making requires skill, honed and perfected over generations, and swiftness in executing the process from beginning to end. Due to a mature cataract in both her eyes, Ambhika was unable to make brooms – her only livelihood. Abandoned by family members, Ambhika was despairing in life. Just as she felt like giving up, her neighbors brought her to a community ophthalmic outreach program in the village. After the diagnosis, she was taken to Bohra Eye Hospital for her left eye operation. After the successful operation of her left eye, she enthusiastically revisited the camp after two weeks to get her right eye operated. Weeks later, Ambhika regained her confidence and is back to making brooms and is no longer dependent!

A Healer’s Intervention

From poorivakkam, Tamil Nadu came a widow and her teenage daughter Rajkumari. The widow is the sole provider, working as a daily laborer on a farm. Sometime back Rajkumari started complaining about her eyesight which was not as sharp as before. As her vision deteriorated, her confidence fell. Confused, helpless and emotionally drained by her worsening scenario she withdrew from school. The Headmaster of the school reached out to a Retain Smilez volunteer and apprised her of Rajkumari’s plight. Rajkumari was immediately taken into health care where she was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. Surgery followed suit at Bohra Eye Hospital, Avadi. Rajkumari, on having regained her vision is now extremely eager to finish her education, get employment and allow her mother much-needed respite and rest.

A Weaver’s Faith

In Punnapattu, lives a widow aged 60, with her daughter. Mrs. Subbammal, a weaver by profession, weaves cotton saris for a government society. As her vision started to deteriorate, as hard as she tried, her products started getting rejected, and hence there were no payments. Her daughter was recommended by well-wishers to get her to outreach camps being held by Retain Smilez. Even though she was diagnosed with cataract, doctors were unsure if she would regain her vision after the surgery. She chose to place her faith in God and the doctors. And her faith was rewarded. She is back to weaving with gratitude in her heart; referring all those afflicted with vision problems to Retain Smilez. She is now earning her regular salary.

Turning Back Time

After a decade of repairing watches in the perambakkam District, Mr. Purushothaman at 60, started suffering from health issues that forced him to shut shop. Due to cataract, his vision was deteriorating rapidly. His ability to carry out his daily tasks became increasingly difficult. Bohra Eye Hospital came with an outreach programme. Filled with hope in his heart, he rushed to see if his vision could be restored. The doctors examined him and suggested that he get SICS done on his eye. On being counseled and explained what the procedure was, Mr. Purushothaman was eager for his surgery. Thanks to a successful surgery, Mr. Purushothaman was able to return to living a life of independence and dignity.

A child should have a childhood

Mahesh is a small child who suffered from very low vision and would have problems in discerning people when they called out to him. Just like any other child trying to explore the world, many times he would walk into walls thus hurting himself and crying bitterly. His mother could never leave him unattended even for a single second. Upon a visit at an outreach camp at katturambakkam being held by Retain Smilez, Chennai, and Mahesh was diagnosed with a cataract. He was immediately taken into surgery. Post-surgery his eyesight improved and now he is extremely happy, playful and very curious, thus gaining confidence with every step. He recognizes people and has made many friends.