TO most people in Wantage, he is simply Gill who runs Barnards Way Post Office with his wife Pat.

To thousands of people on the other side of the world, he has transformed their lives.

For the past decade, Harbhur Gill has raised tens of thousands of pounds, and poured in thousand more of his own, to run an Eye Camp each October in the region of India where he grew up.

Hiring doctors, nurses and opticians, Mr Gill has helped countless hundreds of people in poverty to get glasses for the first time, get antibiotic eyedrops for infections and get operations to remove cataracts and get their sight back for the first time in years.

This month, on October 28, he will hold his tenth eye camp in Pholriwal.

Mr Gill, 61, said: "There was one time I remember all my life: there was a lady there who we gave a cataract operation.

"She opened her eyes afterwards and there were her two little kids about two or three years old running around.

"You could see her feelings: they were her grandchildren who she had never seen before.

"When you see that, then you think it's all worth it."

In 2015 alone, the doctors gave 500 consultations, dispensed 350 pairs of glasses, handed out 70 prescriptions for eyedrops gave 45 cataract operations.

The most people his team have seen in one year was 1,500, which cost £8,000.

To pay for the camp, Mr Gill has a tin on the counter at the post office which brings in £400 or £500 each year, and family and friends also usually contribute a few hundred.

The rest he pays for out of his own pocket.

He said: "After they've done the operations, the doctors tell me the whole cost and I just pay whatever they tell me.

"I don't keep count: my mission is just to help as many people as possible."

The whole project started when Mr Gill's son Harpreet had to have an eye operation when he was 18.

He recalled: "We took him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and the doctors found he had a split retina, and they were able to heal his eye there and then.

"That struck me that we were so lucky here: it is free of charge, and over there people are so unfortunate and can't have it done – mostly because they can't afford it."

Mr Gill is also driven by memories of growing up in Punjab in the 1950s.

He moved to Wolverhampton in 1980, married Pat, and shortly afterwards moved to Wantage when he got a job working at the Wessex flour mill.

The couple bought Barnards Way Post Office in 1996: Mr Gill still works a full day at the mill then comes home to help Mrs Gill run the Post Office in the evening.

Find out more at