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Curing Prison Blindness by Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

Being visually impaired is already a challenge in everyday life. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be without vision when someone is incarcerated? Well, two gold-hearted sexagenarians, Mr. Tej Kohli and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, understood the hardship that fell on people who are partially or fully blind in prison. Of course, when these two men team up for the betterment of people, no hurdle is big enough. Such a scenario was witnessed by the people of Nepal when Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation took the challenge of curing inmates suffering from cataract-induced and other corrective procedure blindness in Banke District Prison, Nepal.

What Is It Like To Be Blind In A Prison?

This story might not be of an inmate from the Banke District Prison. Still, the experience shared by Burl Washington, incarcerated in a federal prison in South Carolina, might ring true for another visually impaired inmate. Burl was partially blind and suffering from glaucoma when he entered the prison in 2012.

Gradually, without the proper medication, his sight kept getting worse, and despite telling the wardens, nothing was done. He suffered from pain in the eyes and eventually lost his sight. The result was having a life living in oblivion, full of ridicule, getting harassed, staying out of the rec yard, and avoiding any crowd. The authorities decided to send him to solitary confinement for his protection.

Burl says when someone is put into solitary protection, they are not allowed outside; only once a month is a phone call allowed, and in some cases, visitors are also banned. Being in solitary confinement, there is no one for him to read the letters he receives from his family and friends.

When Washington is not in solitary confinement, his life is surrounded by counting steps -15 steps to grab the rails21 steps to the phone, 17 steps to the kitchen, and 120 steps to the metal detector. Some home, he found a friend who would take him to the cafeteria, but if he was not there, Burl had to return to his cell and go hungry.

The Worth of Curing Blind Inmates – Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

If this is the case in the US jails, it is apparent that in a developing nation where the prison system is overcrowded and with low to negligible healthcare facilities. But for noble-hearted Tej Kohli, proper care should be taken of the inmates, too. Just because they are incarcerated, they cannot be neglected. According to Mr Kohli, a community and nation can only develop and have a sustainable future when everyone is cared for, regardless of financial, social, sex, race, or any other situation. In this, the prison inmates have just the equal rights of having a proper healthcare system and gaining their sight as those who are free in society.

Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation Changing Lives of Inmates

While in South Carolina’s FCI Estill federal prison, Burl Washington was not lucky to get the treatment he needed to regain his eyesight. In Banke District Prison, Nepal, with the help of philanthropist Tej Kohli and ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit, nine inmates got their vision back after surgeries. They had severe blindness due to cataracts, and timely intervention could restore their vision.

Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation held the eye camp screening 407 of the 796 detainees in the prison. Most of the inmates were suffering from refractive errors, which were corrected with glasses, while some needed immediate intervention, like cataract surgeries.

The prison authorities welcomed this initiative by noble-hearted Tej Kohli and Dr Ruit with their organisation, Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation. It was done with the partnership and cooperation of Nepalgunjn Hospital.


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