We're grateful for some excellent spring press: Please click here to see our March 19, 2006 article in the Travel section of The New York Times. We are also featured in the May, 2006, issue of Natural Health magazine.
Relief Riders International
304 Main Street
Great Barrington , MA
Give the Gift of Sight
Give a Goat
Thank you to those of you who believed in, and generously donated to our "Give the Gift of Sight" campaign. Because of you, 575 villagers with eye problems were screened in our first cataract eye surgery camp, allowing us to successfully perform life-changing cataract surgeries on 87 patients.
We're pleased to report that our February, 2006 Rajasthan Relief Ride was a wonderful success. Continue reading to learn more about our most recent relief mission and to find out more information about our plans for the 2006-2007 season.
We treated 2,572 villagers during the course of the ride. This number includes 370 villagers at Dundlod General Medical Camp, 340 villagers at Meetwas General Medical Camp, 488 villagers that were screened and treated, as well as the 87 cataract eye surgeries performed at our free eye surgery camp in Mehansar. On those hot days in the desert, our team also distributed school supplies, and de-wormed 1200 very grateful school children. We continued our "Give a Goat" program and distributed goats to 57 deserving families. You can read personal accounts from several riders at http://www.reliefridersinternational.com/news109.html.
We are especially proud of the success of our first cataract eye surgery camp.
Cataract surgery patients recuperate at a dharmshala in Mehansar, Rajasthan February 21, 2006.
Organizing the mobile surgical camp was logistically more complex than anything we've done before, and substantially more risky.
We are grateful to be working with Dr. Gupta, one of India 's leading surgeons with more than 25 years experience and 7000 successful operations to his credit, in our eye camps.
There was significant pressure on the screening day — because of the high risk for infection in surgery of this type, government regulations require potential patients to pass three tests gauging their blood pressure, presence of diabetes, and albumen levels — before being admitted for surgery.
Our experience with the success of cataract surgery clinic has prompted us to begin developing a surgical screening program for next season's general medical camps. Adding a surgical screening component will enable us to provide urgently needed surgical care to patients who otherwise cannot be treated at the general medical camps. Patients with medical needs that go beyond the treatment we can provide at our general medical camps will have the opportunity to travel to Jaipur, Rajasthan, for free surgery at a later date.
The ride itineraries for 2006-2007 include opportunities for great adventure riding and the chance to reach out to villagers in new areas.
Khirod Relief Ride: Oct. 1-16, 2006: Going back to Khirod is especially meaningful for us, since the people of Khirod provided us with the inspiration for our first cataract eye surgery camp. The riding also promises to be thrilling as we will travel through varied terrain such as dunes, dried up riverbeds, and spend a couple of nights in the Temple at Lohargal.
New Year's Relief Ride Dec. 28 - Jan. 12, 2007: We're planning excellent surprise festivities to celebrate the New Year! Day-to-day, riders will enjoy the unusual landscape which provides stunning views of the Sambhar Lake Salt flats paralleling the Aravelli hills. Our relief efforts will take us to Panchota where we will hold our free eye surgery camp.
Nagaur Relief Ride Feb. 20 - Mar. 7, 2007: One of the poorest regions of Rajasthan, the people of the remote and beautiful Nagaur region are often neglected by larger health service providers and are a wonderful group for us to serve. Providing visitors with a breathtaking experience of the Indian desert, the area gives riders the chance to travel through rolling dunes, visit imposing palaces, and take in the sculptured temples of red and yellow sand stone which display some of the finest creations of Rajput civilization.
As always, please contact us if you have questions about upcoming rides or would like more information about our relief missions.
Executive Director, Relief Riders International