Eye Care for Villagers
August 2, 2003: The programme saw its commencement on this day with the inauguration of the Institute. At the consecration ceremony Dada J. P. Vaswani expressed the hope that the Institute would give new sight to people who tragically continue to live in darkness.
Village by village, the Sight For The Sightless Initiative has moved to areas as distant as 300 kilometers from the main base hospital in Pune. It has restored vision of over 65,275 community patients.
Children's Eye Care Programme
Little feet taking little slow steps,
Little fingers extended to feel the way,
Many a stumble, many a sad fumble,
Many a helpless cry,
A better world for them let us try,
We cannot just let them be,
Little efforts we will put in to make them "SEE!"
The objective of the Children’s Eye Care Programme is to provide ophthalmic services to children from underprivileged / rural areas. A comprehensive Community School Screening Programme is in place which examines school children located in villages for visual defects. Those identified are provided with medicines, spectacles and surgical intervention for more complex sight problems.
Most common ocular disorders causing Childhood Blindness are impaired vision, squinted eye, congenital cataracts, astigmatism and other eye diseases due to vitamin A deficiency. Majority of visually impaired children come from poor economic backgrounds due to poverty, malnutrition, infectious diseases, high illiteracy levels and lack of availability of primary eye care facilities and specialized services of ophthalmologists. Thus, developing countries have a higher incidence of eye diseases.
Visual defects in children lead to blindness if not treated at an early age. The onset of visual impairment often goes unnoticed because there are no painful or discomforting symptoms. Early detection and prompt treatment could prevent permanent vision loss.
The plan is to perfect this project into a comprehensive eye care programme covering several districts which focuses on mass screening of school children using adult volunteers and school teachers, for early detection of visual problems.
Holistic Health Care
Under this programme many villagers who have been admitted for an eye surgery have benefitted additionally by way of free treatment received for other health problems. Diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, asthma, skin related diseases etc. are some of the problems that have been treated through this programme.
Eye Care for Blind Schools:
On a regular basis all blind schools of Pune are screened to check if any child could be helped by further treatment (medicines / spectacles / surgery) and vision can be restored to some extent to enable the inmate to carry out basic day to day activities with greater ease. There have been a few cases where children operated upon have even moved to regular school.
Eye Care for Prisoners
The Sight for the Sightless, as a periodic activity, conducts eye check ups for the prisoners of the Yerwada Jail. They are screened for visual disorders and are provided eye drops and medicines and spectacles. The inmates overwhelmed with gratitude send in their little “Thank You” postcards from time to time.
One of them also stated that he wished to pledge his eyes to the Institute after his death.
Sub Speciality Ophthalmic treatment
No villager is turned away for want of any other ophthalmic treatment – besides cataract, cases of Glaucoma, DCT, Retina, DCR, Squints, Congenital Cataracts and Paediatric Ophthalmology, Cornea etc are treated regularly.