in Charity

The Work of Sightsavers

In the spring of this year the NGO, Sightsavers, began a social media campaign that to highlight the needs of blind and visually impaired persons in India. On Twitter, you can find these stories by using the hashtag #UnfoldTheirDreams. Sightsavers has been in operation for more than 68 years. Today it has operations in over 30 countries. It has had a presence in India since 1966. It took them many years to really earn the trust of the locals and to get them to heed their medical advice. They also do preventative screens for people not afflicted by eye problems yet and educate them on how to avoid having such.


For those who do have problems, the clinic is capable of any kind of corrective assistance, even surgery. India is recognized as a particularly needy area because of the many poor people living in impoverished conditions and the fact that most blind people in India live as recluses, dependent on their families. This often results in another problem: depression and suicide. Sightsavers Education Program has also helped provide educational opportunities for blind children unable to attend school because of their sight problems.


Sightsavers also has a program called the Ganjam District Rehabilitation Project which seeks to aid the quality of blind people in different Indian regions. This program seeks to train Indian people to help those who have these eye difficulties. They help them integrate into regular schools and provide them with needed tools like a Braille reader and a large print school book. Sadly, sometimes the eye problems are such that the doctors at Sightsavers determine that fixing the problem is just not possible with the medical technology of today.


If this is the case, Sightsavers will still train and work with the individual to ensure they are able to live a happy productive life despite their disability. The training of Sightsavers has enabled many such people to live fruitful and productive jobs. Like many third world countries, many of the people in India are more prone to eye infections that lead to blindness because of unsanitary bathing water. This includes many who bathe in local ponds.