Sachin is a 59-year-old farmer and traditional healer who lives with his family in the village of Bhutini Para in the Rajganj Block of West Bengal. As the chief breadwinner, he was very concerned when he began to lose his vision. It got so bad that he could no longer farm or deliver herbal medicines to his patients. He was worried about how his family would make ends meet. In fact, his daughter had to quit school for a year because their finances were so tight.
A community health worker from Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital’s community eye health program –which is supported by Operation Eyesight donors – visited Sachin’s home and recommended that he be examined at the local eye clinic that was being held in his community. There, he learned that he had cataracts in both eyes. Siliguri hospital transported him to and from the hospital and performed surgery on both his eyes—all at no charge to him.
Surgery has changed Sachin’s life. Not only is he back at work, his daughter is back at school and he’s a vocal advocate for the community eye health program. He promotes and regularly attends the clinics in his area. He also brings patients to get the benefits he received!
Sachin has a special message for our donors: “I thank all the people who helped me get my vision back. I wish you all the success for your future.”
Operation Eyesight piloted the model for our innovative hospital-based community eye health program at Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital starting in 2010. Because of this pilot’s success and that of two others, the program was implemented at 9 additional partner hospitals in India. The Siliguri program is focused on providing care to people in the Rajganj block in the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.