The seeds of the annual Barsana Eye Camps were sown when H. H. Radhanath Swami and a team of doctors(who later started the Bhaktivedanta Hospital) were on a pilgrimage to Barsana, in 1991 .Radhanath Swami saw that the villagers there were extremely poor, had poor medical facilities, and were becoming victims of ‘unnecessary’ blindness. So Radhanath Swami suggested to the doctors that they conduct an eye camp in the area. The first Barsana Eye Camp was thus held between 15 January and 30 January, 1992. Over 185 patients were treated. In view of the overwhelming response of the locals, the camp was then made an annual feature. Now, every year more than 2000 patients are screened and the deserving cases are operated for cataract. The Bhaktivedanta Hospital, headed by the same group of doctors, even now takes every care to provide the villagers with the best medical services. The team of volunteers, under the guidance of Radhanath Swami, put their efforts together to build a fully equipped, modern and sterile operation theatre in the primary health center at Barsana. This year, 2010, the team consisted of 12 qualified and well known Ophthalmologists from Mumbai, more than 30 MBBS doctors, 5 Nurses and around 150 volunteers from various fields who all took a break from there respective engagements and made themselves fully available for the camp, working for more than 10hrs a day, without expecting anything in return. This year also Radhanath Swami volunteered in the camp.
Special features of the camp:
1. Detailed preoperative examination of the eye.
2. Advanced imported German Zeis operating microscopes are used.
3. Sterilization standards and the protocols involved are of very high standards.
4. Suture less surgery for cataract removal with implantation of intra occular lense in each patient.
5. 24 hrs. post-operative care before discharge.
6. Immediate post operative follow up camp after 4 days of discharge.
7. Final follow up after 40days of discharge.
8. Patients receive post-operative medicines for 40 days along with 1 blanket and black goggles totally free of cost.
9. Wholesome lacto-vegetarian food for the patient and 1 relative till the patient is discharged completely free of cost.
10. All the patients and relatives are treated with great love irrespective of their cast, creed and financial backgrounds.
11. Children, One-eyed patients and patients requiring specialized care, who cannot be operated in the camp setup are brought to Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai, are admitted, operated and sent back to Barsana, free of cost.
Over 30,000 screened & 3000-plus operated, yet millions remain to be reached. Due to the overwhelming response and the dire need of the villagers, a dental camp is also conducted during the same period at Barsana.