Rahima’s Story of getting cured from avoidable blindness

July 15, 2017 | By | Reply More

Rahima’s most affectionate persons in the world are her grandchildren, however, started from the last couple of years, she was missing to find her grandchildren due to the gradual losing of her sights. At last stage of her visual impairments, she lost her sights and turned her life as almost blind. As Rahima-“I was just felt that somebody was moving in front of me, I could realize it by feeling moving sound and to see like a shadow picture.’

Thanks, Penny Appeal UK, due to their generous support to VoSB, Rahima is now enjoying the beauties of the world through restoring her sights after free cataract surgery.


Rahimas Life story

The 70 years struggling life of Rahima is very painful. She was grown in a distant place from Bagerhat named Sharonkhola. Her parents were very poor and died during her early stage of life. After her parents died and lost her only shelter due to river erosion, she took shelter at her poor uncle’s house. For lives and livelihood, Rahima started to work at neighbors’ house as a maidservant. However, due to her adolescent age, some villagers were whispering and putting pressure to her uncle for giving her marriage. Finding no other ways, her uncle gave her marriage to a tea stall labor in a riverside. She was then 10-11 years old.


Marriage could not bring any positive change in her life rather than added miseries. Once a day her husband migrated in Bagerhat (Present place of living) accompanied with her to get some works in the city. Since then, she started to work between door-to-door water supply and other domestic works. Unfortunately, within two years’ time, her only one son and husband died due to fever and Rahima again become quite helpless in the world. In the meantime, she got an orphanage boy of her relatives those who lost her mother and his father got married to other women. Since then she started to beg for survival with her son-(Nursing son, Called palok putra in Bengali).Her life again turned into a struggling life for survival.


Rahimas problems of Sight:

As Rahima told-“Since a couple of years back, I started to face some problems in my eyes which recently turned into serious problems. I could not work for begging or asking people to help me, as I could not find the way of moving to others.’’

Rahima;s son’s wife informed that ‘after putting boiled rice on her plate, still then she was seeking it and asked me ‘have you put rice on my plate’ and searching vegetables before its placing on the plate. She could not recognize her grandchildren.’


The innovative strategy of patient screening by VoSB:

VoSB discovered this most vulnerable women beggar, due to its innovative strategy of the door to door patient screening instead of a mass campaign in general. During VoSB trained (Initial patient screening) staffs visiting a slum area for selecting eligible patients, a training officer Afrin Hamm, Toma noticed a poor woman was crying by calling:

‘Oh, Sabuj-where are you? Please help me to reach the home, I cannot find anything.”

After hearing these sounds, Toma came in close to her and asked

‘What happened, why you are crying? Mother!’

‘I don’t know what happened but I cannot see anything, even to you’-Replied the old women.

Toma picked-up her and arrived her shelter in the slum, talked with her son’s wife to bring her in the scheduled eye camp at Bagerhat collegiate school. She also provided her a selected patients ‘identity slip’ (prior prepared by PC, VoSB with seal and signature) and advised them to come the eye camp as per scheduled.


Cataract Surgery in the hospital:

As per scheduled, Rahima arrived at the eye camp of VoSB on May 19, 2017. Her cataract was diagnosed in both eyes and doctor advised her to send contacted hospital for surgery. As all of our selected cataract patients are vulnerable and afraid to surgery, therefore VoSB staffs were accompanied them, counseling them prior to send the OT. Rahima was with them.

One of our VoSB staff asked Rahima?

Now you cannot see anything due to both eye cataracts. What are your wishes to see first after restoring the sight?

‘Yes, I will see that persons for those who helped me to restore my sight.’

After the next day of Surgery, again we visited all patients of surgery in the hospital. When we reached Rahima, she caught the hand of ED, VoSB. She was asked-

‘How you identified us, people, as you previously could not found us?’

She simply replied-hearing the voice of you people which I have heard yesterday. She added that I am satisfied through restoring my sight and I pray to God for those who contributed to restoring my sight.’


A pleasant life of Rahima after restoring her Sight

After successful cataract surgery, Rahima returned her tiny houses with her other neighbors after offering a smiling to all of stakeholders and organizers of eye camp.

However, this is not an end, as a part of our post surgery monitoring and impact assessment, a team is headed by ED, VoSB visited the slum area of Palpara where Rahima is living. We have shared with her enjoy after restoring sights. Now she is very happy as she can freely move. Her most exciting parts of satisfaction are that now she can move easily and see her grandchildren which are amazing to her as because, she never thought that once she will be able to see all these things.


We have stories of many vulnerable eye patients like Rahima’s those who restored their sights under the support from Penny Appeal, UK

Really, Voice of South Bangladesh is happy to run this project at two Upazila of Bagerhat district to organize such eye camp, which led to Rahima and other vulnerable patients being diagnosed and scheduled to have the surgery they desperately needed to restore their sight.


This is Penny Appeal, the UK under the partnership with Poverty Eradication Program and VoSB that made possible this projects to help restore the sights of many extremely poor patients along with hundreds of other eye care services, especially in this remote coastal belt of Bangladesh. A £20 surgery operation changed Rahima’s life for the better, but there are still so many thousands more in need of help.


To stay updated about the initiatives of Voice of South Bangladesh. Follow our official page on Facebook

Category: Blog Posts, Rural Women

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.