Vancouver restaurateur runs eye-care camps for seniors in India

Published: February 5, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Kamal Mroke

Kamal Mroke, the proprietor of India Bistro, has been conducting his People’s Eye Charity camps in India for the better part of two decades. Mark van Manen/PNG

Local restaurateur Kamal Mroke has spent the better part of 20 years giving the gift of sight to those suffering in his home country.

Now Mroke is gearing up yet again for his annual trip to India, where he sets up about 25 three-day eye camps across northern Punjab every February as part of his People’s Eye Charity.

A team of local doctors is enlisted and each camp treats 75 to 150 patients. On the first day doctors examine patients and determine who needs medication and who needs surgery, the second day they perform surgery, and the last day is for check-ins and check-ups.

While the camps are open to all patients, Mroke said most are seniors in need of cataract surgery.

“There’s a lot of dust and a lot of farmers in India — they’re so poor they cannot even look after their own eyes,” said Mroke. “I give them tools so they can go back to their ordinary life — they can do whatever they want … (so) they can feed their own family, support themselves.”

Mroke prefers his unique People’s Eye Charity rather than an ordinary clothing or food drive.

“I can give you food, (but) you’ll be hungry again tomorrow,” he said. “Without eyes you’re nothing … you don’t know what’s in front of you.

“I cannot feed you everyday — but the eyes I can give you once and all your life it can stay with you.”

Each camp costs about $2,500, with most of the money raised by Mroke’s restaurant, India Bistro, located in Vancouver’s West End.

“Especially thanks to my customers who help me a lot — without them there’s nothing I can do,” he said.

And if the total amount needed isn’t reached, the rest comes out of Mroke’s pocket — but it’s the best way to spend his money, Mroke said.

“I work so hard for my money I want to see where my money goes,” he said.

And the response he gets in India makes it worth every penny.

“I was so touched — the feeling you get when you’re doing the work. It’s so good,” he said. “They start crying — (they) can see again.

“They think you’re the God for them — you give them life.”


Tags: ,





Featured

hands

Spice Radio calling on Metro Vancouver to Raise Your Hands Against Racism Saturday

VANCOUVER DESI Burnaby-based broadcaster Spice Radio is asking community members across Metro Vancouver to raise their hands against racism on Saturday. As part of the…
Continue Reading »

brutal DELHI gang rape

CBC to air controversial documentary about Indian gang rape

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A documentary that the Indian government tried to ban from broadcast is getting airtime in Canada on Sunday. “India’s Daughter”…
Continue Reading »

Delhi

YouTube blocks access to BBC documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, Indian government serves legal notice

  IANS New Delhi – YouTube on Thursday began blocking access to the controversial BBC documentary on the December 16, 2012 gang rape, citing court…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

hands

Spice Radio calling on Metro Vancouver to Raise Your Hands Against Racism Saturday

VANCOUVER DESI Burnaby-based broadcaster Spice Radio is asking community members across Metro Vancouver to raise their hands against racism on Saturday. As part of the…
Continue Reading »

banned in India-sex-soft porn-erotica

Tourism Vancouver promotes ‘Fifty Shades’ locations used by cast and crew

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER – Much of the headline-grabbing movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” released last month, was shot in downtown Vancouver, a fact that…
Continue Reading »

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

241798_330998686982510_898439400_odesi

Gallery: Eight-year-old ‘Little Money, Big Difference’ campaign goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI Eight years ago, Cordaid People in Need, a development aid organization launched its campaign ‘Little Money, Big Difference’ to draw attention to the fact that…
Continue Reading »

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

immigrants-work-study-bc-career

Canada-wide initiative helps immigrants find work in fields for which they have prepared

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Manbir Randhawa immigrated from India to B.C., she knew she’d have to “start from scratch” in order to land a…
Continue Reading »

Desi-weird news

Doctor’s afraid to release baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom

VANCOUVER DESI Doctors in India are reluctant to release a baby who ‘spontaneously combusted’ to his mom, fearing she suffers from an attention-seeking syndrome, Britain’s…
Continue Reading »

Surrey farm-food bank BC

Volunteers rally in support of God’s Little Acre Farm after food banks refuse donations

JENNIFER SALTMAN VANCOUVER DESI Volunteers are rallying around a philanthropic Surrey farmer after local food banks refused to accept his food donations and questioned his…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood-Hollywood

Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel welcomes back Lillete Dubey

John Madden film also stars Richard Gere BOB THOMPSON POSTMEDIA NEWS LONDON — Lillete Dubey has appeared in more than 40 films, many of them…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra missing home on Holi, busy with ABC drama in Atlanta

IANS Mumbai – With Holi on Friday, actress-singer Priyanka Chopra says she misses being at home on the festival of colours. The actress took to…
Continue Reading »

Kingfisher calendar

Kingfisher calendar girl Sarah Jane Dias to make her debut in live performance

IANS Mumbai – Indie singer Sarah Jane Dias is set to perform in front of a live audience for the first time with the ‘The…
Continue Reading »