The United Sikh Mission (USA), a philanthropic charitable organization incorporated in Southern California, USA and also operating in Punjab has organised seven camps in the districts of Ferozepur, Sangrur, Barnala, Kapurthala, Jalandhar and S.A.S Nagar (Mohali) beginning 15th of October, 2022.
Apart from free eye check-up camps, there were provisions and arrangements for free medicine for eye care, free spectacles, free eye- surgeries and free meals provided along with pre and post operative care. A total of 2627 OPD’s, 265 Surgeries, 1684 Spectacles and 2533 Medicines were provided in the seven camps held so far.
Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, Chairman, USM while sharing the schedule for the year 2022-23 said that more than 50 free eye check-up camps covering more than 400 villages across Punjab, have been planned during the time span of five months.
United Sikh Mission is active in the State of Punjab since 2005 and has organized absolutely free-of-cost Eye Healthcare camps in rural Punjab. Dhindsa informed that added that this “Mission for Vision” is a selfless act of serving the community across the State of Punjab. Rashpal Singh shared that they generate their own funds from donations from various sponsors who are mainly NRI’s who want their native village to be benefited by these camps. He expressed that it is all Guru’s will and as humans they are trying to help other humans irrespective of their religion, gender and caste.
Elaborating further, he added that their mission is to empower communities worldwide by addressing disparities in healthcare needs by eliminating preventable medical illnesses while promoting peace and community to spread prosperity and kindness towards humanity. He appealed to come forward for any help, no matter how small it is, as a step in the right direction, especially in matters of healthcare.
Avtar Singh, Board of Director and Camps management, USM, India informed that this is an inspiring journey of a philanthropic American Sikh, Rashpal Singh and his team towards establishing a mission to improve eye-healthcare to serve his community in Punjab. He further elaborated that from 2005 they started with one camp and have since held 463 eye camps to the present day.
The USM has by far provided 253,593 bottles of prescriptions for eye drops,149,520 Spectacles, and held 27,974 free cataract operations. Apart from this, in rare cases in which a patient needed heart surgery or hip or knee replacements, they have helped with funds for them to get those surgeries.
Principal Ranjit Singh, General Secretary, USM, India informed that the villages in which they hold camps are sponsored by individuals. Their team goes out to these villages and the 10 surrounding villages to hand out pamphlets, hang posters and make announcements to inform them of their upcoming service. The postoperative care is also provided with two checks up at the same camp in which the operation took place. He added that they also provide medication, if required after the operation. At the Eye camps, besides eye operations, they also provide spectacles, medicine, free food and transportation to and from the camps to the hospital, he informed. Advance permissions for the camps are taken from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of each district. The USM plans to initiate work on a charitable hospital to take care of all eye-related surgeries, along with dialysis treatment, all absolutely free of cost, in Punjab.
Ojaswwee Sharma, India Head, Sikhlens shared that the whole exemplary humanitarian journey of USM work has been showcased in a 40 minute documentary titled ‘Silver Lining’ covering the span of 18 years of dedicated charitable service to the needy, showcasing the complete efforts and results seen in the state. The film has taken nearly two years to get completed, and is available on Sikhlens YouTube Channel.