my 2020 by 2020

Hi! My name is Mahika Hari and I am a high school senior from New York, with a passion for science and service. I am the proud recipient of the 2017 Congressional Gold Medal from New York. Along with being both challenging and fulfilling, the last two years spent in the pursuit of the Gold Medal taught me to believe in myself and most importantly, how to set a personal goal and achieve it.
On my journey to attain the Congressional Gold Medal, I had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Sanjiv Gupta, an eye surgeon in New Delhi, India. I witnessed numerous cataract surgeries and was also able to attend an eye camp where the underprivileged were treated for preventable blindness for free. I experienced first hand the immense fulfillment which one gets by seeing tears of joy all around.
After my rewarding shadowing experience in India in the winter of 2016, I suffered a concussion in March 2017. During my extended medical leave,  I came across Second Suns, a book that details the true story of how two doctors (Dr. Tabin and Dr. Ruit), who came together from two different parts of the world, worked to cure blindness in the poorest of the poor. Reading the book brought back memories of what I had seen in India – the eye camp and cataract surgeries. I vividly remembered the happy faces of the patients after their bandages were taken off and they could see clearly once again and how they folded their hands as a gesture of thanks. The final tipping point was when my own grandparents underwent cataract surgeries in the spring of 2017. I then truly understood how these surgeries change lives on a personal level.  Inspired by the WHO's Vision 2020 global initiative, I decided to set a personal goal: to provide the gift of sight to 2020 needy people in India by the year 2020.

Now, I'm trying to raise money to combat avoidable blindness. Please consider donating to my cause in any way you can - no donation is too small and will play a significant role in helping someone see.

Do what's right...give the gift of sight!

Thank you so much!
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Mahika Hari 
New York, NY