Albinism is a genetic disorder characterised by a lack of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes.
Albinos face a lot of challenges here in Africa. Many have been ridiculed, maimed, mocked and even killed, while some have committed suicide because they were not accepted by their own people. This is an ongoing and silent trauma suffered by many albinos.
There are reports of men accusing their wives of infidelity following the birth of an albino, causing them to throw the child out of their home into the street. In fact, most albinos are born to non-albino parents.
Meet Dr Prabha Choksey, an ophthamologist at the Aga Khan Hospital who offers offers free eye-care service for albino children. “God created each of us for a purpose in life. My purpose is caring for children with albinism,” she says.
The award-winning ophthalmologist’s love for children started long time ago. She describes children as wet clay soil which can be moulded into sundry shapes. A child is a person who is potential to become anybody including a President, she believes.
Her focus shifted to children with albinism after learning the challenges they were facing. But, does just seeing the challenges people go through make one to start fighting for them?
“Not necessarily. How many people have seen others suffering without taking any action? How many people are filthy rich and cannot give out a single cent to assist the needy?” She poses.
For Dr Choksey, it is the legacy of love, caring and giving she learned from her parents. “My mother Sarla Gurusahani and father Dr Chimandas Garusahani gave me invaluable lessons of putting people first. That, holding the ladder for others to climb up gives you more happiness than climbing the ladder yourself,” she explains.