Dr Sanduk Ruit is a globally renowned ophthalmologist(eye surgeon) and executive director of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. He had treated poor cataract(मोतिबिन्दु) diseased patient that had regain their sight, calling him ‘The God of Sight’. He had successfully treated over 100,000 patients. He co-created the Himalayan Cataract Project.


Dr Sanduk Ruik was born on September 4, 1954, in the remote Olangchungola Gola in Taplejung District of northeast Nepal. Born in a remote village, the nearyby school was weeks far away on foot. Despite, his father send him to St Robert’s School in Darjeeling for schooling. During those time, he used to stay at hostel on the holidays as he had to walk for 15 days to reach home from Darjeeling. He lost his sister due to tuberculosis during teenage, who was his childhood companion. This incident struck hardly on him, which motivated him towards medical field.

Due to the war between India and China, Ruit was compelled to return to Nepal. In 1969, he received his School Leaving Certificate from Siddhartha Vanasthali School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Later, he completed his medical degree from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India. He also studied in the Netherlands, Australia and the United States.


Ruit and his mentor Australian ophthalmologist Professor Fred Hollows, developed a method for using inexpensive intraocular lenses to bring small-incision cataract surgery. They invented new intraocular lens that could be produced far more cheaply which was a relief for marginalized and poor cataract victims.

In 1994(the year after Fred’s death), Ruit and The Hollows Foundation founded Tilganga Eye Center(now Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology). On average, Tilgaga treats 2,500 patients a week. It produces Ruit’s intraocular lenses and prosthetic eye at a cheaper cost which are exported too. It also waves surgery fees to patients who are unable to pay.


For people who cant afford the fees and cant make to Tilganga,  Ruit and his team set up mobile eye camps, often utilizing tents, classrooms, and even animal stables to serve as makeshift operating rooms. He treats for free for the marginalised people and people commend him as god. With this, the joy of seeing after surgery has really proved them that if god exists then sure this is the man in this heaven.

Remembering about one incident he shared a case of patient Fatimah, 28 years old. She was from Terai and had cataract as well as Downs Syndrome. After the operation, she was behaving positively. He talked with her father. Her father told that she had been a burden for which he had to feed, carry, wash her poop and care. Father also told that he had even beaten her. After 2 days of surgery, on midnight, father saw her assiting him with blanket. Looking at this, father apologize for caring her in bad manner and condemned not to do it again. Ruit realized how much impact a surgery does on physical as well as mental status of patient.


May 2007Appointed as an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, “for service to humanity by establishing eye care services in Nepal and surrounding countries, and for his work in teaching and training surgeons, and technical innovation
June 2006awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award
2001Asteroid 83362 Sandukruit name after him
December 17, 2015Member of the National Order of Merit of Bhutan
2018Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour

Awards given to Dr. Sanduk Ruit


He married Nanda Ruit(ophthalmic nurse) in 1987. He credits his wife for being a pillar of strength to him in his difficult day. He has 1 son and 2 daughters.


NameSanduk Ruit
BornSeptember 4, 1954Olangchungola Gola, Taplejung, Nepal
SpouseNanda Ruit
EducationMBBS from King George’s Medical College,LucknowFurther studies from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi
Notable CreditThe God of Sight, Revolutionalize cataract surgery

Dr Sanduk Ruit in brief

Featured in Great Big Story, Al Jazeera

Interview at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybD8G3f9TVA&t=320s

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