By Himal Pandya, past president of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Royal, Gujarat, India
Every year, our club has arranged multiple medical camps in and around the town of Uttarkashi. We began the effort two years ago when heavy flooding struck the state of Uttarakhand, and our charter president risked landslides and other perils to help deliver 1,200 cooking stoves and other supplies to flood victims. We struck up a close association with Rotary members in Uttarkashi about 1,000 miles from our city.
It is a great and most satisfactory experience performing humanitarian service miles from home. This year, seven committed medical professionals and a number of dedicated Rotary volunteers traveled to Uttarakhand and diagnosed nearly 600 patients during three separate camps in Badkot, Uttarkashi, and Rishikesh. The team performed lens transplant surgeries on 30 patients with cataracts restoring their sight. The Rotary Club of Luton North, England, provided financial support for the procedures and Dr. K. A Gabani, an ophthalmologist and member of the Rotary Club of Bhavnagar Round Town, donated his work pro bono, operating many hours over two days.
We received support from many directions, including officials at the hospital, members of both clubs, and friends and family of both clubs. For all of us, it was a joyful experience witnessing people who could see again because of our medical camps.
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