Hounslow-based charity holds fundraising dinner to mark 170,000th cataract operation

A fundraising dinner was held this month to mark the 170,000th cataract operation facilitated through donations to a Hounslow-based charity.

The event at the Perivale Royal Nawaab Hotel was organised and hosted by the Islamic charity, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, established in 1983 with the aim of providing support to those in the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable communities.

Two other fundraising events were held in Ilford and Manchester to mark the occasion and the total money raised from all three amounted to £402,763.

Football freestyler Colin Nell who performed some impressive tricks on the night commented: “You’ve pretty much got to be on your death bed to get an eye surgery from the NHS.”

Nell described how his father was led to pay £6,000 for a cataract surgery at a private practice due to lengthy NHS waiting times.

In contrast, Al Mustafa Welfare trust said that one of its eye camps could facilitate a minimum of 30 cataract surgeries at a cost of £1500.

Event host Na’eem Raza commented: “Each eye weighs 30 grams but has 250 million working parts of which 50% are linked to the brain.

“It is probably the one thing you would regret losing if you lost your eyesight.

“Seventy five per cent of all blindness can be eradicated.”

He told prospective donors that they would receive a report and booklet containing details of every surgery recipient.

Suggested donations started as high as £10,000 with some generous donors pledging the money, before the amount was gradually lowered and more cash was secured along the way.

Mr Raza maintained that any money donated would ultimately not result in a loss: “If you lose money tonight because of this I will pay for the camp myself.”

Al Mustafa Welfare Trust hopes that the fundraiser dinner will encourage people to support their sight-saving initiatives and help bring the gift of sight to those in need.

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