For the past 20 years, tribal people have received free eye treatment because of Moolchand Lodha, a 75-year-old recipient of the Padma Shri Award 2023. In Dungarpur's tribal-dominated areas, he is also affectionately referred to as "Bhai Sahab."
For the past 40 years, Lodha, a former RSS pracharak, has lived among the tribals and fought against societal ills including child marriage, land rights, and education among the tribals. Lodha, who was raised in a powerful and wealthy family in Rajsamand, was eager to fight for social concerns from a very young age.
“I realized that villagers are facing severe eye problems and hospitals nearby did not have facilities.” - Moolchand Lodha
By setting up eye camps in the communities, he began concentrating on projects related to eye care. Due to the fact that villagers had to go to hospitals in towns and cities for free operations for a few years, eye camps were not that effective.
He requested support from the locals for his plan to build a hospital in Baghdhari village, close to Kerwada. A two-story eye hospital was built by donors from the Rajsamand, Pali and Marwar regions for the local population. According to Rajkumar Kasera, a senior manager with Lodha, they also donated ambulances for the beneficiaries to pick up and drop off.
Over time, doctors from places like Mumbai, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Pune have begun to provide their skills on a monthly basis while other contributors have contributed the newest technology. According to Kasera, over 18,000 people have been operated on and 1,60 lakh people have been examined in the previous 15 years. The majority of these patients were tribal members from low-income households.