Twelve people lost their eyesight after being operated upon for cataract at a free camp in Mathura. This botch up comes close on the heels of a similar incident in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in November 2014, where about 60 people lost their eyesight in a similar eye camp.
Ironically, both the camps – in Mathura and Gurdaspur – were organized by different NGOs of Mathura. As of now the NGOs have closed their offices and their officials are untraceable.
Meanwhile, a probe has been ordered into the incident. Mathura district magistrate Rajesh Kumar and chief medical officer Dr BS Yadav constituted a five-member committee to probe the incident and asked the team to submit the report within two days.
The eye camp in Mathura was organized by Bankey Bihari Seva Sansthan on November 22. The victims, after a few days of their operation complained of loss of eyesight to the NGO, which kept told them that they would regain their eyesight soon.
The victims include people for Aligarh, Agra and nearby districts. When the eye sight of those who were operated upon failed to return and they began experiencing pain some of them from Aligarh and Agra consulted doctors at Gandhi Eye Hospital and JN Medical College in Aligarh where they were told that due to faulty operation and use of expired drugs they had lost their eye sight forever.
One of the victim’s son, Ramesh told HT, “One of our relatives lives in Mathura and he called my father to come there and get his eyes operated free. My father did so but some days after the operation he could not see and experienced pain in his eyes. When he was taken to Gandhi Eye Hospital and then JN Medical College the doctors told us that the operation had been conducted in an wrong way and now he will not get back his eye sight again,”
Ramesh has held the health department responsible for the tragedy “because they grant permission to hold free eye camps without any verification of doctors.” He demanded a CBI probe into the incident.
Surendra Singh Yadav, son of another victim Somwati, told HT that, “just after operation my mother felt acute pain in her eyes and when I went for treatment to a private hospital in Agra the doctors told me that the eye operation had been botched up and that my won’t be able to regain her eyesight.”
It is also alleged that in the socalled free camp doctors asked the patients to deposit Rs. 5000 for high quality lenses and Rs. 1000 for medicines. It may be recalled that earlier the name of another organisation, SKM Netra Chikitsalaya of Mathura had surfaced in a case of botched up cataract surgeries that left patients blind in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
Those managing the NGO in Mathura had absconded after their name surfaced in the Punjab incident.