Friday, September 05, 2008

Manju's Eyes

If you've been reading our blog, you know that Manju, like many of our children, has overcome a lot of challenges from early in her life. She's one of the sweetest, shyest girls you'll ever meet. She lived with her grandmother and they were barely able to survive. Manju's grandmother told us that she rarely went to school, and when she did, she often had her pencils and books stolen by other children.

Now attending school, she has made great strides in her confidence and learning.

Manju has had a pretty severe cross-eye her entire life that was likely only to get worse. So thanks to a special donation, Dinesh arranged to have corrective surgery performed on her eye and it has been successful.

Here's a report from Jen on the surgery and aftermath...

"This morning Manju woke with her eye very red and watery. She had a scheduled follow-up appointment today, and Susma reported that the doctor warned her not to rub it (I am sure that is a difficult urge to resist). But he said her eye looks fine. She needs drops four times a day.

I had Dinesh show me the hospital bill. Not including medicines, it was
something like 6,000 rupees ($90), and the hospital gave a substantial discount (the
surgeon indicated to Dinesh he would work something out, once he learned who
Manju is), so the final bill (again without meds) was just over 1,900 rupees ($28).

Dinesh has been very proud of the fact that no other orphanage would have arranged this surgery for Manju. When he went to pick up Manju from the hospital, he had conversation with the physician's assistant:

Physician's assistant (woman): Is this your daughter?

Dinesh: Yes. She is not from my own family, but she is my daughter. I am
director of Kopila Children's Home, where she lives.

PA: But why this surgery for her? It is not essential. She can see fine, and
many, many people go through life with their eyes (crossed) like that.

D: We wanted to do this for her. We thought it would improve her life.

PA: What you are doing is a great, great thing. That is a very lucky little

Indeed, a great, great thing made possible by all of you who support Sam's House. Thank you so much.


Dinesh and Sushma with Manju after the operation.

Manju resting after the surgery at Manipal Hospital.

Sam Rothchild's Birthday

The children celebrated our namesake's birthday this week with a party, cake, and of course, much dancing.

Special to this year's celebration was that Jennifer, Sam's grand daughter, could be in attendance. She passed out candy to all the children.

Among the girls, Maya promptly collected it all from her younger sisters and put it in her box from which she doles out a piece every day. Such a responsible big sister she is. The boys, however, plowed through their stash in a single day. When asked about this, Bishal rubbed his tummy and responded, "dherai bhoklaagyo" (very hungry).

A few pics from the celebration...

Jen cuts the cake with Sandeep, the best cake-cutting assistant in the business. Bar none.

Mina and Maya kick things off.

Sabita, Saran, Kiran, and Suroj take a turn.

Rina, Bishal and Santosh cut a rug. Everyone else sings and claps along. In the lower left, you can see Saran picking up one of the twins. They are doing very well.