Ray Avery — New Zealander of the Year 21 — is interviewed by Hindustan Times reporter Tithiya Sharma for a series she is undertaking throughout the year profiling 1 “everyday heroes”. In 23, Avery established Medicine Mondiale, an independent development agency and charity, which creates low-cost solutions to combat health issues plaguing the poorest in the world. Some of his pet projects include the Intraocular Lenses, an invention to combat cataract blindness. It has restored the sight of over 16 million people. “I hope by the time I die, the number will be up to 4 million people,” Avery says. Another of Avery’s inventions is a low cost, high tech incubator for babies called the ‘LifeRaft’, which cuts the risk of bacterial infections and costs a fraction of the traditional incubators in use today. “Kiwis are highly under-appreciated for their achievements,” he says. “They are a clever, inventive lot but they are not good with getting the word out about their work.” Ray Avery’s biography Rebel with a Cause is out now.