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

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Food Bank-forensics

Surrey woman makes career switch from forensics to food bank

AMY REID SURREY NOW  WHALLEY — With a masters in bioethics and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Feezah Jaffer never imagined her landing spot would…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Dr Cabbie

Indo Canadian comedy Dr. Cabbie making its way to the small screen

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI This year’s Indo Canadian box-office hit comedy Dr. Cabbie is making its way to the small screen. Toronto-based Entertainment One, alongside…
Continue Reading »

desi fun food collectibles

Surrey Night Market will be ‘bigger and better’ in 2015, say organizers

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Night Market is set to return for its second season next spring “bigger and better” than its inaugural year,…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Food Bank-forensics

Surrey woman makes career switch from forensics to food bank

AMY REID SURREY NOW  WHALLEY — With a masters in bioethics and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, Feezah Jaffer never imagined her landing spot would…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »

Sikhs to quit Trudeau's Liberals

Sikhs ‘across Canada’ to jump Trudeau ship

Nominations issue: ‘We are not Liberals, that’s for sure,’ says general secretary of Vancouver temple LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI A large group of Sikhs in…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Gallery: Stars come together for another big fat Bollywood wedding

VANCOUVER DESI After Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding with businessman Aayush Sharma last month, Bollywood stars gathered for another high-profile Bollywood wedding that turned…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Film Review: Aamir Khan’s PK unconventionally outstanding

TROY REBEIRO IANS Film: “PK”; Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Saurabh Shukla, Boman Irani, Parikshat Shahni; Director: Rajkumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood jodis-ex lovers

Bollywood’s ex-flames Shahid Kapoor, Kareena to work together in ‘Udta Punjab’?

IANS Mumbai – Actor Shahid Kapoor, who once dated actress Kareena Kapoor, has said that he has never refused to work with the latter and…
Continue Reading »