The Himalayan region of Uttrakashi, India is a very remote, mountainous rural area. Its natural beauty is breath taking with serene mountain and river views. Civilization here is deeply rooted in towns and villagesoff the banks of the Ganga river. The region is known as Garwal and consists of tribes along with its diverse population.
Herding, agriculture and manual labor are a large part of this society. Historically, it has been a sacred place and houses many sages and spiritual masters. The Vedic tradition is very much alive here. The people here are sweet, simple, and humble and it’s reflected in their lifestyle. Living conditions range from mud & stone houses in the villages to cement & bricks buildings in the towns.
Challenges like inadequate infrastructure, low income, aging population and illiteracy make access to quality health care difficult in this region. There is only one hospital caring for over 295,000 people. Visually, uncorrected refractive errors is the main cause of visual impairment, with cataracts being the leading cause of blindness. We have seen people as young as 30 have dense cataracts here due to the high altitudes and the outdoor nature of this society. Currently, there’s a solo ophthalmologist in the region who is unable to fully provide care due to the lack of instruments and equipment.
Our goal is to change this! By bringing proper equipment and training to the region, we hope to provide access to quality eye care for all.