21 Feb 2023

HM King confers 5th Isa Award for Service to Humanity on Nepalese ophthalmologist

Manama, Feb. 21 (BNA): His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa today patronised a ceremony at Isa Cultural Centre to confer the 2021-2022 Isa Award for Service to Humanity, to Nepalese ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit.

Dr. Ruit was honoured for devising a new method for treating cataracts and developing a new lens implanted inside the eyeball that could be produced at a much cheaper price than its counterparts.

Upon his arrival, HM the King was welcomed by HM the King’s Special Representative, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.

 Following the Royal Anthem, members of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity and the jury greeted HM King Hamad.

 Some Holy Quran verses were recited, and then HM the King delivered the following address:

“In the name of God, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate

Praise be to God, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of God, Prophet Mohammed, his Family and Companions.

Your Highnesses, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

 May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you

It is our pleasure to join you at the conclusion of the fifth edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, which we were keen to dedicate to honour the life’s work of His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, may God rest his soul in eternal peace. The Award’s noble objectives embody his wise and dedicated leadership in advancing goodness and peace in the name of Bahrain. Throughout his life, he carried on with the approaches of the honorable rulers of Bahrain and the contemporary history of our country has credited him with the brightest chapters of the development and rise of our nation.

Through the Award’s deep and transcendent essence, differences are fused, fair opportunities are created, pain is alleviated, and difficulties are overcome. The exceptional efforts of the distinguished ophthalmologist, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, from the friendly state of Nepal, are only one of the vivid and shining examples of the role of sincere intentions in achieving prosperity and human peace.

On this auspicious occasion, it is a pleasure to congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition of his valuable and influential works that have made him the worthiest recipient of this honor.

As we celebrate the efforts of the winner of the Award in its fifth edition, we would like to express our great appreciation to the institutions and individuals who have applied for it, and our best wishes for the success of their benevolent endeavours.

We also extend our deepest gratitude and thanks to the Chairman and members of the Award’s Board of Trustees, the Jury Committee and its General Secretariat for their notable efforts in embodying the noble messages of the Award. They have honored and appreciated those whose work makes a positive difference, so that this initiative will be an inspirational reference that embraces every sincere endeavor that cares for and elevates human fraternity.

We pray to God Almighty to help and bless such generous efforts, and pray for mercy to the patron of our human and civilizational achievements, the father of all, His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, may God rest his soul in eternal peace.

May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”

After that, HM the King’s Special Representative, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, delivered the following speech:

“In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful

 Your Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa,

 Your Highnesses and Excellencies,

 Distinguished attendees,

  With great appreciation and gratitude, I extend to Your Majesty, thanks and gratitude for Your Majesty’s generous patronage of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity in its fifth session 2021-2022.  The late HH Shaikh Isa bn Salman Al Khalifa showed humility and human compassion in light of what he believed in and worked for throughout his life. The award is an important humanitarian bridge between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the world, a true embodiment of its rich history and present, which is rich in diversity and human coexistence, and a shining example of its civilized approach in its benevolent interaction with the countries and peoples of the world.

 It was your blessing, Your Majesty, to establish this award that bears the name of the late HH Shaikh Isa, and we are celebrating today the completion of its fifth session.

 Your Majesty

 Distinguished attendees,

 A good remembrance must coincide with a good effect. I have had the honor of being close to and working with this great-hearted man, who was filled with the love of doing good and communicating with others. He was unanimously loved, as he was an example of a human leader with his virtues, qualities and high morals. He established a strong and unique relationship with his people, whose prosperity was the goal of his effort, and the ultimate goal of building a modern state.

 Your Majesty, honoring me with chairing the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, and working to explore the noble work and honoring those in charge of it contribute to achieving those noble and benevolent visions that he believed in and strived for to be a tangible reality in his life, and here you, Your Majesty, are following the same path, following those ideals and in  all areas, confirming Your Majesty’s approach to establishing tolerance, human coexistence, and joint work for everything that benefits humanity, which are the values that the Kingdom of Bahrain is proud of.

As members of the Board of Trustees, we are proud of the status the award has achieved on the global scene, as 139 individuals and institutions applied for the Isa Award for Service to Humanity. This confirms its global success, high status and noble humanitarian, which prompted the Board of Trustees and the jury to spare no effort since the fourth session, to accomplish the task optimally, and to work on developing research and exploration tools in the next session of the award to know more who deserve support and honor. We also benefited from the efforts of the previous winners in previous sessions to highlight the award at international forums.

 Your Majesty,

 Distinguished attendees,

 Under the continuous care and follow-up of Your Majesty, and based on the Royal Decree establishing the award and its criteria, the Jury selected Nepalese ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit as the winner of the fifth edition.

 The Nepalese ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit excelled in his field of specialization. His charitable giving varied in his country and in many countries, and he was able, with his high efficiency, to devise a new method for treating cataracts. And out of his sympathy with the poor and needy, he manufactured and produced cheap lenses, and he was able to treat thousands of patients who are blind, free of charge. These lofty humanitarian acts deserve to be emulated. So, the Board of Trustees decided that he be awarded the award, and today he is honored by the grace of Your Majesty, by granting it to him. We all congratulate him, wishing him further success.

 In conclusion, I would like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to their Excellencies, the members of the Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, the Jury committee, the general secretariat of the award, and everyone who contributed and cooperated in the success of this session and the realization of the purposes and objectives of this humanitarian award, which we are proud of its establishment and proud of its continuity in honor of the memory of the father of all , Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, may God rest his soul in peace.

Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.”

After that, HM King Hamad and the attendees watched a documentary film and the life of the late HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

Then, member of the jury of the fifth edition of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, Dr Farhan Nizami, delivered the following statement:

“Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Your Highness, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

It is a privilege for me to have been asked to speak at this ceremony on behalf of the International Jury for the Isa Award for Service to Humanity. We are grateful to Your Majesty for your patronage of this ceremony and the numerous ways in which you have supported this Award. Your Special Representative, His Highness Shaikh Muhammad bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the Trustees of the Award, and the Secretariat have greatly facilitated our task. We are very grateful for all help we have received in our work.

The long reign of His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa witnessed the emergence of Bahrain as an independent modern nation. Throughout those years, he sustained Bahrain’s commitment to prosperity and stability and supported, with personal and national resources, the building up of human potential, notably in the field of education. His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has continued and advanced his father’s noble legacy. This prize in particular serves as a monument honouring, and continuing, Shaikh Isa’s own appreciation of the human potential for goodness and compassion.

We are too often forgetful, heedless of that potential. The noise of competitiveness among individuals and corporate entities occupies the foreground of our attention. But the potential for compassion is always there in the background. It is embodied in countless small acts of attention to the needs of others, of sharing in their hardships. It is revived continually by the effort to provide such care as may be in our power to provide in the moment.

This award reminds us of our better nature. Today, in particular, in honouring Dr Sandak Ruit, we celebrate a life so thoroughly dedicated to that better nature that it has inspired many others. Dr Ruit’s work has enabled many others also to dedicate their time, talents and energies to the care of others. It has transformed individual goodwill and kindness into an established service, an institution. Moreover, that institution, together with its medical and administrative techniques, has become a transnational phenomenon.

The impulse to relieve suffering and disability is not diminished by being extended to other persons and places; rather, it is strengthened. Dr Ruit and the institution he has built up have together had a tremendous educative influence. In honouring this individual’s humanitarian service, we are honouring also the institution as a whole   the funds raised to construct the necessary infrastructure; the techniques invented, implemented and improved; the teams of persons trained in the appropriate skill-sets practised in the same spirit of humanitarian service.

It would be hard to think of a better image for the educative influence of Dr Ruit than the gift of sight to those who were becoming sightless. We should think of this award as a public monument to the lifetime Dr Ruit has devoted to the effective treatment of cataracts in situations where such treatment had been unaffordable. Dr Ruit, your achievements are truly inspiring.

 Your Majesty, we are all deeply grateful to you for patronizing this ceremony honouring a selfless servant of humanity. The Isa Award is a visible reminder, in the public space, of ideals and values that your distinguished father so consistently promoted and which you have so loyally continued to espouse.

Thank you.” 

Next, a documentary film highlighting the humanitarian work of the winner, Dr Sandak Ruitin, and his achievements in his country was shown.

After that, HM King Hamad conferred the 2021-2022 Isa Award for Service to Humanity, to Nepalese ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit.

Later, the laureate delivered the following statement:

“I bring you warm greetings and lots of love from the people of Nepal who have been moved by the generosity of Your Majesty and the Kingdom of Bahrain for this prestigious award. We have been moved and touched by the hospitality offered to us.

I am convinced that the Isa Award for Service to Humanity represents the true value of this great country and its people. The impartiality, inclusiveness and a serious attempt to find game changing humanitarian work even at the far flung grass-root level.

My life-long passion for service to humanity through curing needless blindness regardless of accessibility and affordability of the patients thereby helping significantly reduce poverty. I now feel that we have been able to touch the heart and soul of millions globally through our work.

 Your Majesty.

Your Highnesses and Your Excellencies,

 I accept this prestigious award on behalf of millions of patients, their families, my team and the entire Nepalese people whose goodwill and best wishes I bring to this distinguished gathering.  This award will further increase the credibility of Tilganga Institute, TKRF and HCP to scale up their work globally.

Tej and I have vowed to touch half a million surgeries or more in the next five years specially to those who cannot access and afford the surgery.

I am sure that this award will further inspire serious humanitarian work being done in different parts of the world irrespective of their political, social, geographical and economical connectivity.

Me, my wife and family would like to thank you all for being here and making it a very special day for me and my family.

Thank You.”