Nayonika Abhignanam: Preventing Blindness Through Awareness and and Citizen Involvement

The Nayonika Charitable Trust’s main objective is to make sure that no one in the country loses its vision and becomes blind. A majority of the people who lose their vision lose it because of a cataract infection – others lose their vision because of other eye problems. The Trust aims to raise awareness about these infections and facilitate cures for them.

Nayonika Makkala Netra is a project that has been active for the past two years throughout the state of Karnataka. There are 65 lakh students studying in aided schools and Government schools today, out of which about 7%, i.e., 4 lakh children complain of eye problems, and 32,000 children may need spectacles or other treatments. There is very little support being received from the Government to address these issues. For example, 51,000 children live in Bangalore East but the number of child specialists is so low that not all children will receive proper care or any care at all.

Keeping these vulnerable children in mind, this team is covering Belagavi, Bengaluru, and Bellary to ensure a zero blindness rate. In Bengaluru East, for two years the team had taken on 48 schools and the Government of Karnataka had supported them. As the number of doctors is low, they are training teachers on a monthly basis after receiving a list of eye problems of children from their respective schools. They train them on what treatment should be given and how it should be given. SLR Eyewear has even provided 35,000 spectacles for free.

A cataract project called Nethra Abhiyana has been on for the past nine months, and is currently working in 504 slums of Bangalore by identifying problems and providing treatment. In Binnepet, Ward no. 198, they have conducted many cataract surgeries because the local heads have provided and supported the cause. Out of 500 cases, only 20 opt for surgeries while the rest go to temples and other non-medical sources for a cause and to escape surgeries. Here, the local head plays an important role in motivating the people and supporting them to go for surgeries. They have also created local ambassadors for the cause who can get other people with eye problems to the hospitals.

“When it comes to the camps, we not only check them but we also follow up with them and make sure that they are receiving the necessary treatment. Also, when you neglect eye problems, people could lose their vision and will have to depend on others. Losing vision will indirectly impact our country’s development as well.”

Anyone who needs to access or organise eye camps can contact the Nayonika Charitable Trust.

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