• Shruti GOCHHWAL

6 NGOs That are Giving Underprivileged People The Gift of Sight

Blindness is a major problem in India. Studies show that more than 12 million people in India suffer from complete blindness. Experts suggest that 80% of cases which lead to blindness can be prevented and treated.

A high rate of impaired sight in India is because of accessibility to health care services because of poverty. The majority of the blind population of the country is economically weak and cannot afford treatment.

There are organizations which identify and help these individuals by providing them free treatment for different medical conditions that cause blindness. The following are 6 NGOs that work hard to provide the gift of sight to the underprivileged people of the country:

Seva.org

Established in the year 1978, It is an organization that has helped more than 40 million people to overcome sight impairment. Their motto is transforming lives by transforming sight. They provide complete eye care services including surgeries, medicines and spectacles. This NGO also focuses on educating local eye care providers with the goal of developing self-sustaining models of eye care. At the moment, they help 1.5 million people a year.

⦁ Akhand Jyoti

Akhand Jyoti is a non-profit organization with its hospital in the Saran district of Bihar. Akhand Jyoti was established in 2005 to provide free eye care to low-income families. Their goal is to eradicate preventable blindness in the state of Bihar by 2022.

This NGO has performed more than 3 lakh free eye surgeries in the last six years. Each year, they perform 62000 cataract surgeries free of cost for the underprivileged people. Their hospital is rated among the best eye hospitals in the country. They constantly run eye check-up camps and provide all kinds of eye care.

⦁ Sankara Eye Foundation India

This foundation is among the biggest non-profit organizations in the world that are working against sight impairment. The foundation has provided more than 20 lakh free eye surgeries so far.

They have hospitals in more than 10 cities in different parts of the country. The foundation runs massive screening programs where they identify the signs of failing vision and intervene for financially challenged families. The foundation identifies the people who are most vulnerable to vision impairment and helps them.

⦁ Mission for Vision

Mission for Vision is an NGO which partners with various organizations and hospitals across the country to battle preventable blindness. Their goal is to provide high-quality eye care to the most disadvantaged communities In one year, they conducted 2,11,268 free surgeries.

The details of their vast contributions can be found in their annual report. The screening camps organized by mission for vision provided screening services for school children as well as for truck drivers. They have partnered with 17 vision centres across the country.

⦁ Sightsavers

Sightsavers is an organization which has been battling preventable blindness in over 30 countries. They started working in India in 1966. They collaborate with various organizations as well as state governments. Their three areas of work are eye health, social inclusion, and inclusive education for children with visual impairment. They run targeted programs to battle visual impairment.

A person holding a spectacle.

Credits: Pexels Caption: Sightsavers provide free spectacles to those who need them.


⦁ Orbis India

Orbis started working in India in the year 2000 by establishing their first office in Delhi. They started their flagship program in 2002 called India Childhood Blindness Initiative with the goal of providing quality eye care services to the children of the country.

At the moment Orbis India runs 32 children’s eye centres in 17 states. In the year 2019, they delivered nearly 10 lakh community screenings and provided eye care access to 70000 patients.

Takeaway

Visual Impairment significantly decreases the quality of life of an individual and pushes them into poverty. One of the reasons for India to have such a large population of visually impaired individuals is the lack of healthcare services due to poverty. These NGOs and other organizations have been fighting the battle against preventable blindness on behalf of the underprivileged who cannot fight it. They welcome monetary support as well as volunteer work. India can win the battle against preventable blindness if such organizations are supported by the people of the country.

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