Our resource centre in the village of Angalakuppam, turned into an Eye Hospital from this morning till late afternoon today.

Sharana held an Eye Camp in collaboration with the Alumni Organisation of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education-the Golden Chain Fraternity (our financial partners for this camp) and Arvind Eye hospital for the members of Angalakuppam and 14 other surrounding villages. Special attention was given in this camp, for patients above 40 years of age. Already aware of the activity in the dispensary of Angalakuppam, the patients walked in with a smile to have their eyes tested.

The day started at around 830 am with the arrival of a dozen staff members from Aravind Eye Hospital, doctors, nurses, opticians etc with all the necessary equipment. Soon everything was installed and the patients began arriving sometimes in small numbers, and sometimes in bigger groups.
After completing the formalities at the registration counter (where our social workers were there to help out), the patients received a registration card, and started going through the different stands in order.

The first was checking of eye power, (both short and long), then a consultation with the doctor, then according to the diagnosis- blood and eye pressure measurements and a potential sugar check-up, determination of the patients who require correction glasses, and finally the choice and purchase of the glasses. These glasses were then made to order on the spot! For the patients who required cataract surgeries, they were kept aside, and taken to the hospital on the very same day. (after a professional round of counselling where they were explained in detail what would happen, where they would be taken, and how best to deal with it personally and physically)

In less than 5 hours, 146 people had their eyes checked, 12 of them will be operated free of cost for cataract at the Aravind Eye Hospital (in the next couple of days), and 48 others left with glasses with frames selected by them. These glasses were already being distributed by Aravind at a very reasonable price.

To further help out the population Sharana helped the beneficiaries by paying for half of the cost, the other half being borne by the beneficiary themselves to empower the patients and to encourage them to take care of the glasses and to wear them regularly.
Additionally 6 patients with more complex problems have been asked to visit the main Aravind Eye Hospital for a series of more elaborate tests; our team at Sharana will follow up on these cases.

Thank you for your expertise and perfect sense of professional “social service with a smile”, Aravind Eye Hospital. As for Golden Chain, it has been a pleasure to have the involvement of the Alumni of the Ashram School in social community service via several health camps as well as other programs in collaboration with Sharana in the past 3 years: we look forward to the same in the coming years.

This camp will be followed by another Eye camp which will be based out of Sharana’s main office in Pondicherry, on the 16th of October. Watch out for updates on the second camp next week!