Marilyn remembers well Gandhi’s dedication to the ordinary people of India and his message of peace and non-violence. It made a deep impression on the 10 year old girl. After schooling in the hill station in Ootacamund, Marilyn completed degree in Nursing at Acadia University. She realized how much she wanted to return to her home in India. The opportunity came to teach school in Darjeeling – on the foothills of the great Himalayan mountains. During the long holidays, she always returned to Sompeta – her parents, her friends and the Arogyavaram Hospital.
It was at this time in 1961 that Marilyn witnessed the opening of a new program for the Arogyavaram Hospital – Nethra Dan – the Gift of Sight. Over the next two years hundreds of destitute blind would receive sight through cataract surgery. This was the forerunner of Operation Eyesight Universal, the Canadian organization inspired by her father Dr. Ben Gullison.
Just a few months after her father’s death in 1987, Marilyn joined her mother in the annual Walkathon held by the India Club of Vancouver. This Walk for Sight has continued uninterrupted for over 25 years, supporting the work of Operation Eyesight.
Operation eyesight Universal is the original Canadian response to global blindness. Now in its 41st year, Operation Eyesight celebrates a history of innovative response and increasing impact. Through the generosity of donors around the world and in Canada sight has been restored to more than two million people. Nearly 33 million have received treatment for a variety of potentially blinding conditions.
With eye care programs in South Asia, Africa and Latin America, Operation eyesight has captured the imagination of thousands of Canadian supported endeavors with its practical, cost-effective and sustainable solutions.