Last winter, in February, the day before I was due to leave Spiti and travel to Shimla, on the first leg of my long journey back to my home in London, I was asked by one of his relatives to give Tenzin a lift to Shimla in my jeep.
While chopping wood for the family stove a splinter flew up and hit Tenzin in the eye. This could not be easily removed and was very painful. Now he needed treatment and the only place available to help him was the Rotary Eye Hospital in Palampur, many days drive away.
After a two day journey along the Sutlej River valley to Shimla on some pretty rough snow packed roads we reached our destination late in the evening on the second day. I said goodbye to Tenzin and wished him a safe onward journey and good luck at the hospital. He was to travel to Palampur the next day – another long journey.
I heard later that he had to be operated on to remove a sizeable chunk of wood from his eye. Tenzin was in hospital for 3 days and then had to face the long journey home. This is an example of why we at Spiti Projects passionately wish to raise funds to set up and Eye Centre in our United Nations Award winning Community Centre in Kaza.
Apart from a Refraction Clinic, which will allow local inhabitants the opportunity to have their eyes tested and acquire spectacles, we all know only too well when our eyes begin to deteriorate that we need glasses! At the moment patients from Spiti have to travel on a twelve hour journey to Manali or a three day bus journey to Shimla to get their eyes tested whereas we can walk to the nearest Specsavers or Boots Chemist and be fitted up in less than an hour.
All help welcome to relieve this situation.