Dr. Sanduk Ruit is an internationally renowned eye surgeon. He is the Founder & Executive Director of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, the implementing body of the Nepal Eye Program. He is known for pioneering the small-incision cataract surgery technique utilizing inexpensive intraocular lenses that has enabled hundreds of thousands of poor patients regain sight in many developing countries.
Early Years and Education
Dr. Ruit was born in a remote mountainous village in Eastern Nepal with no access to education and other basic facilities. Realizing the importance of education, his father sent him to Darjeeling in India for his schooling. The death of his sister due to tuberculosis motivated young Sanduk to take up higher studies in medicine.
After completing his ophthalmology residency at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, Dr. Ruit returned to Nepal to work as a government health officer. With a firm belief that all people deserve affordable and high-quality eye care, he made it his life’s mission to make eye care available to the poorest of the poor and eradicate blindness to the extent possible.
Dr. Ruit worked with his mentor and close friend late Fred Hollows, an Australian ophthalmologist and philanthropist in setting up Tilganga, dedicated to providing world-class eye care to the people of Nepal. He also travelled across the world and has personally treated over 100,000 patients successfully over the past three decades. He has trained thousands of doctors from various countries on his techniques, as part of his efforts to reduce cataract, the leading cause of blindness which is expected to affect over 30.1 million people worldwide by 2020.
A Global Visionary
Dr. Ruit has been honored with several awards which include the Asia Game Changers Award, Arthur Lim Award, Walter L Hurd Executive Medal and the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for Peace and International Understanding among others.
He was selected as one of the hundred leading global visionaries by the Albert Einstein Foundation. His thoughts and vision will be included in the historic publication Genius, the world’s first 3D-printed book which is going to be launched in Montreal, Canada in September 2017.
Very recently on April 02, 2018, the Government of India has conferred Dr. Ruit with the country’s one of the prestigious civilian awards Padma Shri Award, for his contribution to the field of Medicine (Ophthalmology).
Congratulating Dr. Ruit, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind moved on to his Twitter stating, “Dr. Ruit is an AIIMS-educated Nepali Opthalmologist who reduced the cost of cataract eye surgery by 90%. He treats 2,500 patients every week and offers free treatment to those who cannot afford to pay.”