Fundraising Dinner Highlights Orbis Projects in India | Orbis

Fundraising Dinner Highlights Orbis Projects in India

Inspired by events in his own life, Rishi Gupta decided to host a fundraiser to support Orbis's work in India. While his family’s story had a positive ending, he knew not everyone in the world was so lucky.

When Rishi's grandfather had cataract surgery in India, the process was challenging. There were delays to care, so the cataracts began to have a substantial impact on his life. Not only was this affecting his grandfather, but it was affecting everyone around him. “I felt there was almost a disconnect between him and I when his vision really started to decrease. But once he got cataract surgery, he was able to go back to his normal quality of life,” says Gupta.

Now a medical student at the University of Ottawa, Gupta is pursuing a career in ophthalmology and hoping to support eye health in India. He recently held a fundraiser for Orbis Canada to help friends and family learn about the work Orbis is doing, and the need for increased support for global eye health.

Inspired by his grandfather's experience with cataracts, Rishi Gupta decided to pursue a career in ophthalmology.

“I’ve been hearing about Orbis for a number of years and their values and goals aligned with my own personal goals with ophthalmology,” he says. “I wanted to find organizations that get involved with outreach and are able to provide care to those who need it the most. Having spent a lot of my life in Canada, I've been privileged and had exposure to people who have relatively good access to health care compared to people in other countries. I wanted to find a way to give back to those who have less access, and find ways we can make an impact in those communities.”

Gupta had heard about Orbis at the beginning of his studies when Orbis Canada Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Brian Leonard, came to his school to give a talk. The presentation stuck with Gupta, and when the opportunity arose he was excited to look for ways to support the organization. “I wanted to organize a fundraiser with members of my community that I knew were also passionate about these types of issues,” he explains.

The end result was a dinner at his home attended by friends and family—many of whom had been major supports for him personally as he navigated university and medical school. It was a fun event with great food and a presentation about Orbis and the work being done in India and other parts of the world.

The event raised $875 for Orbis Canada—funds that will be earmarked to support Orbis projects in India. And Gupta was touched by the outpouring of support from his family and friends. He is now focused on his studies, which include quite a bit of time in the ophthalmology clinic, and on continuing to support global eye health initiatives through the Orbis Future Vision Leaders program. He recently became the University Lead for the program at the University of Ottawa and hopes to encourage more awareness among his fellow medical students.

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