While Pakistan was grappling with an uncertain economic and political landscape, the floods in 2022 worsened an already precarious situation. Thousands of people were killed and displaced from their homes, and forced to either migrate or continue living in tents or makeshift homes by the side of the road.
2023 hasn’t offered respite either: The Pakistani rupee continues to devalue, there’s a food shortage due to acres and acres of land under water due to rains & floods, inflation is at an all-time high and the common man is struggling to survive. Baby Asfa and her family are trying to brave their way through all these challenges.
7-year-old Asfa has many dreams. Like other children, she aspired to do many things; go to school, play with her friends, run to her father when he would return home from working on the farm. But when the rains came, Asfa watched all their belongings, whatever little they had, wash away. Much of her village in Sanghar was submerged under water and their homes were destroyed. Now, her father, Tanveer, is slowly trying to rebuild what they’ve lost after leaving their village and settling elsewhere, but realizes that he imagines a very different future for his children. “I want them to go to school one day, I want a better and more secure life for my children.”
Asfa has one sister and a brother, and along with their father, they live in a joint family system. Going to school is something Asfa always enjoyed doing, but recently, she started facing difficulty in reading and being able to write. Her teacher noticed that Asfa was making mistakes and couldn’t focus or read what was written on the board, so she informed her father and advised him to get her eyesight checked out by a doctor.
Tanveer took Asfa to a nearby clinic and was informed by the doctor that Asfa has corneal opacity in both her eyes, a condition that could lead to blindness if not treated quickly. The doctor also informed Tanveer that the procedure could be done in Karachi and would be very costly, costing a couple of lakhs.
Heartbroken at the thought of his daughter losing her eyesight, Tanveer decided he would ask for help. One of his relatives then informed him about the free of cost eye surgeries at LRBT and offered to pay for their travelling cost to the city.
Tanveer was nervous and worried – what if they don’t offer help? But upon reaching LRBT Korangi, he was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the surgery free, the doctors were also very kind & compassionate. Asfa was recommended to undergo a corneal transplant surgery: the doctor registered the case and promised to get in touch once the LRBT Cornea Department had arranged for the corneal graft.
As they waited for the hospital to call back, Tanveer had started to lose hope. But thankfully, Asfa didn’t have to wait too long, and she has now successfully gotten a transplants in her eyes.
Asfa has started studying again and has started scoring top marks in her class. Her happiness has lifted the mood and spirit of the entire family. “I’m so grateful to LRBT for giving my family this happiness. May LRBT continue to give the same opportunity to others that it has given to me and my family,” he shares.