New Eye Clinics for Thousands in India Sponsored by Prem Rawat Foundation

An optometrist at the New Delhi eye clinic checks a patient’s eyes with slit lamp

Eye Clinics Making a Visible Difference

A new round of eye clinics, sponsored by The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), has recently brought eye care to thousands of underprivileged people in India. TPRF partnered with Premsagar Foundation and Raj Vidya Kender to create these highly successful clinics.

The medical clinics were set up in five cities for a total of 10 days of eye care. The care involved check-ups, medicine and glasses for the vision-impaired members of the communities. The clinics were held from January to February, 2024, across northern India – in New Delhi, Mirzapur, Gaya, Ranchi and Jaipur. Thanks to the vision of Prem Rawat, TPRF has offered these annual clinics regularly 2003. As a result, the clinics have brought vital eye care to hundreds of thousands of people to date.

 

Photo collage from bottom left then clockwise to right: an elderly male patient holds an appointment slip as he sits in a Ranchi waiting tent with other patients; eight women in bright traditional Indian attire show their Ranchi eye clinic patient slips; a close-up of a patient's hands as she receives prescription eyeglasses; an optometrist uses a machine to test a female patient's eyes at the Mirzapur eye clinic

Clockwise from bottom left: A patient holds an appointment form in a Ranchi waiting room; local women show their Ranchi eye clinic patient forms; clinic staff hand a patient prescription eyeglasses; an optometrist tests a patient’s eyes at the Mirzapur eye clinic

Sight for Sore Eyes

According to a recent study by the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology there are “… an estimated 4.95 million blind persons and 70 million vision impaired persons in India.” Critically, it notes, “… early detection and treatment of the leading causes of blindness such as cataract are important in reducing the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment.”

Fortunately, with the type of modern care provided at TPRF clinics, about 80% of such eye problems are preventable or curable. What’s more, TPRF’s eye clinics help make surgical treatment accessible for people in poverty in India. Since the clinics enable official diagnoses of conditions such as cataracts, they qualify patients for cataract removal in government hospitals. Without professional medical diagnoses, those with such eye conditions are ineligible to apply for treatment. In turn, these untreated conditions make it very difficult for people to continue work.

In short, TPRF eye clinics help close the gap between what’s technically possible and what’s actually possible for India’s poor.

Additionally, the eye clinics include free medicine, eye drops, and glasses, helping improve overall quality of life. Indeed, the simple provision of free glasses does more than help people to see. Improving vision helps reduce familial burden of care, increases independence, helps prevent accidents and provides opportunities for education through reading.

 

Seeing the Possibilities

In thanking donors who help make these clinics happen, TPRF Board Chair Linda Pascotto explains the tangible benefits for families:

“These clinics give students the opportunity to learn how to read and they help parents support their families. At one of these clinics I witnessed the thrill of a grandfather being able to see his grandson’s face clearly for the very first time. Thank you to all of the supporters who make this care possible, it makes an amazing difference.”

Also sharing his gratitude for the clinics, is Shashwan Jaswal, an Indian Services police officer in New Delhi. He noted that improved sight was enabling people to do daily chores more easily. Importantly, Jaswal pointed out that better vision is helping to improve people’s lives in ways we may not realize:

“So if you are walking, there is an edge and you can see the edge. It makes a difference. There are so many things that when you give vision to eyes you can’t even imagine,” says Jaswal.

 

Shashwan Jaswal, police officer holds a microphone as he is interviewed in front of the large, white, tented structure of the New Delhi eye clinic

Shashwan Jaswal, an Indian Services police officer is interviewed in front of the New Delhi eye clinic

Every. One. Matters.

Officer Jaswal, inspired by the work being done by TPRF, shares this story that highlights its importance.

“One morning, there was a boy by the sea busy doing something. A passerby saw the boy and asked him what he was doing. The boy explained that this morning he had seen small fish get pushed onto the shore by the waves. When the water went back, they were left gasping on the shore. There were thousands of fish on the shore. The boy was picking up the fish and throwing them back into the sea so they could live. The passerby started to laugh and asked, “‘How many fish are you going to save?’ The boy replied, ‘If I save 10, or 20, or 100 – for those 100 fish, I have made a difference for them.’”

 

Sharing the Vision

In order to organize the clinics, TPRF partnered with two Indian NGOs – Premsagar Foundation and Raj Vidya Kender. Furthermore, these clinics are made possible by kind donations from people around the world who see the difference TPRF initiatives make in people’s lives.

Founded by Prem Rawat, TPRF has also helped millions of people live with dignity through Food for People, the Peace Education Program and other life-changing initiatives.

Learn more about TPRF and its initiatives here.

 

 

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