Empowering Marginalised Communities:
Innovation as an Agent of Social Change
In a world where progress seems to be measured by technological advancements and economic growth, there’s a quieter revolution taking place—one that focuses on empowerment, inclusion, and the upliftment of marginalised communities. Innovation, the catalyst of change, is proving to be a powerful force in reshaping societies and dismantling barriers that have kept underserved populations on the fringes for far too long. One remarkable example of this is the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, an organisation that’s using innovation to cure blindness and pave the way for a more equitable future.
A Visionary Approach
Imagine a world where curable blindness need not be a lifelong sentence, especially for those who lack access to quality healthcare. Driven by this vision, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation has emerged. Founded by entrepreneur Tej Kohli and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, this foundation embodies the spirit of innovation as a tool for transformation.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit’s groundbreaking work in cataract surgery has led to the development of a cost-effective technique that has restored sight to thousands of individuals across marginalised communities. By training local doctors in this innovative approach, the foundation is not only curing blindness but also creating a sustainable ecosystem of skilled professionals within these communities. This empowers them to address their own healthcare needs while simultaneously breaking free from the cycle of poverty perpetuated by blindness.
Innovative Approaches, Lasting Change
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation’s journey underscores the power of innovation in addressing systemic inequalities. But this is not an isolated case. Across the globe, innovators and organisations are leveraging technology and creative thinking to amplify the voices of marginalised communities.
1. Access to Education: In remote areas with limited educational resources, innovative programs that provide online learning opportunities are enabling children from marginalised backgrounds to access quality education. Nonprofits and initiatives are distributing low-cost tablets preloaded with educational content, allowing children to learn even in the absence of traditional schooling structures.
2. Financial Inclusion: Fintech innovations are extending financial services to unbanked populations, giving them access to loans, savings, and insurance. This financial inclusion is a stepping stone towards economic empowerment and breaking free from cycles of debt.
3. Civic Participation: Technology-driven platforms are enabling marginalised communities to voice their concerns and participate in decision-making processes. Whether it’s reporting local issues or advocating for policy changes, these platforms are democratising access to civic engagement.
4. Sustainable Agriculture: In regions with struggling agricultural practices, innovative farming techniques and the introduction of drought-resistant crops are increasing yields and ensuring food security for vulnerable populations.
5. Healthcare Advancements: Apart from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation’s work, there are numerous examples of medical innovations that are making healthcare more accessible. From mobile clinics in remote areas to telemedicine services, technology is bridging the gap between medical professionals and underserved patients.
The Path Forward: Toward an Equitable Society
Innovation, when coupled with empathy and a focus on inclusivity, has the potential to reshape our societies fundamentally. The success of initiatives like the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation showcases that when we harness our collective creativity to address the most pressing issues facing marginalized communities, real change is possible.
However, it’s crucial to remember that innovation alone cannot solve deeply ingrained social problems. It must be accompanied by policy changes, systemic support, and a commitment to amplifying the voices of those directly affected by these issues.
As we move forward, let’s draw inspiration from these innovative approaches that are breaking down barriers and fostering a more inclusive world. By supporting and investing in initiatives that prioritise the empowerment of marginalised communities, we can collectively pave the way for lasting social change and create a brighter, more equitable future for all.
The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation was founded in March 2021 by London philanthropist Tej Kolhi and Kathmandu ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit. As of November 2022 the NGO had screened 170,022 patients and cured 22,663 of blindness at 91 outreach camps in Nepal, Bhutan and Ghana. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682. The Foundation targets the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of reducing poverty by making large-scale surgical interventions to cure blindness at the grassroots in the developing world. All treatments are provided completely free, with 100% of the funding coming from Tej Kohli and the Kohli family.