Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Nepal's "God of Sight," has restored sight to more than 130,000 people, most of them poor, since developing a pioneering cataract-removal technique in 1984. Ultraviolet radiation at high altitudes is a major risk factor for cataracts, which eventually block vision entirely. The surgery, which costs about $100 but is free for those who can't pay, is done at Kathmandu's Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology or in regular village visits. Through a newly-formed foundation, Dr. Ruit hopes to perform 500,000 surgeries in the next five years in Nepal and elsewhere.

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