Sneha Girap (Editor)

Sanduk Ruit

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Residence  Kathmandu, Nepal
Role  Surgeon
Nationality  Nepali
Name  Sanduk Ruit
Spouse  Nanda Ruit (m. 1987)
Sanduk Ruit mydreamsmagcomwpcontentthemesmydreamsmaglibr
Born  1955Taplejung District, Nepal
Alma mater  All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Occupation  Ophthalmologist, eye surgeon
Children  One son and two daughters
Education  Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute
Organizations founded  Himalayan Cataract Project

Dr sanduk ruit blindness in nepal

Dr. Sanduk Ruit (Nepali सन्दुक रुइत ) is an award-winning Nepali eye surgeon whose small-incision cataract surgery, which utilizes inexpensive intraocular lenses, has enabled hundreds of thousands of poor cataract patients in Nepal and other countries to regain their sight. Over the last three decades, he has successfully treated over 100,000 people across the developing world, and has taught his technique to other eye surgeons.


Sanduk Ruit Nepalese eye doctor restored vision of 100000 people

Making technology work for the community dr sanduk ruit at tedxkathmandu

Early life and education

Sanduk Ruit Dr Sanduk Ruit worked with Australian icon Fred Hollows

Ruit was born in 1955 to uneducated parents in the remote Olangchungola Pass in Taplejung District of northeast Nepal, a mountain area of Nepal. The nearest school was eleven days away by foot in his village. However, his father, a small time businessman, placed a priority on providing education to his children, sending Sanduk to St Robert's School in Darjeeling and providing financial support to his early medical career. Ruit was motivated to practice medicine partly by the death of his sister from tuberculosis.

Sanduk Ruit Dr Sanduk Ruit worked with Australian icon Fred Hollows

In 1969, Ruit received his School Leaving Certificate from Siddhartha Vanasthali School in Kathmandu, Nepal, and later was educated in India beginning in 1981 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and also studied in the Netherlands, Australia and the United States, and was mentored by an Australian Professor, Dr. Fred Hollows.

Major works

Sanduk Ruit Sanduk Ruit Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

In 1986,Dr.Ruit and his team from Tilganga developed and simplified cataract surgery with lens implantation at the community level. The surgery was made simple, appropriate and affordable with good visual outcome. In mid 90's Dr.Ruit and his team further simplified and fine tuned the small incision cataract surgery (SICS) and made it available for the community. Also,at the same time, state of the art Intraocular lenses(IOL) was manufactured at Tilganga, Nepal, to be used at extremely affordable price with similar result and outcome. As a result, the cost of IOLs has declined considerably, from US$ 100 to less than US$ 3.5.


Ruit joined with a few people who shared his vision to start the Tilganga Eye Center on June 7, 1994, but due to opposition by the establishment who considered the technique too risky, they virtually operated underground for six months. His efficient model of eye care is now practiced in many parts of the world, with U.S. military surgeons being scheduled to be trained under Ruit as well. Ruit also credits his wife, an ophthalmic nurse whom he married in 1987, as being a pillar of strength to him in his difficult days while pursuing his dream project of Tilganga.

For those unable to reach the center, or who live in otherwise isolated rural areas, Ruit and his team set up mobile eye camps, often utilizing tents, classrooms, and even animal stables to serve as makeshift operating rooms. The hospital also produces the advanced lenses that are needed for treating cataracts or myopia, exporting them to more than 30 countries around the world.


A National Geographic documentary Inside North Korea on Ruit's work therein was remarkable not only in being able to document his successful surgery in the highly controlled country, but the overt adulation given to the then-Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-il by the patients as a result.

In 2011, Italian director Stefano Levi released a movie featuring Ruit activity called "Out of the darkness."

Ruit's work in Nepal was featured in episode 5 of the BBC documentary series Human Planet.

In 2015 Ruit and his work were featured in The New York Times op-ed by Nicholas Kristof: "In 5 Minutes, He Lets the Blind See." The article was based on reporting in Nepal by Kristof and Austin Meyer, a graduate journalism student at Stanford University, during the trip with the winner of the 2015 New York Times Win a Trip with Nick Kristof contest.


May 2007, Ruit was appointed 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 2006, Dr. Ruit was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award.


Sanduk Ruit Wikipedia