Our Eyes are the windows to the world". Yet, for millions of people in this world these windows open to darkness, or at best shadows. All you have to do is close your eyes for a moment to imagine what it must be like to be blind. No wonder, our ancient sages stated: "Sarvendriyanam Nayanam Pradhanam" – Of all the senses, eyesight is the most important.
It is an unfortunate fact that India is home to one out of every three blind persons on this earth. It is estimated that there are 1.2 million blind people in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana alone! TANA Foundation is working with Eye Hospitals in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to attack the problems of cataract related blindness amongst the elderly and correcting the vision of school age children.
The most common cause of blindness is cataracts. For the poor, a simple cataract surgery to restore eyesight is out of reach in India. Do you know that modern cataract surgery is a procedure that takes only a few minutes to perform and cures the patients of blindness for the rest of their lives? More importantly, you can make it happen for as little as $10.
Another sight related problem is the one where school children are not able to read what is written on the black board because their parents cannot afford to provide them eyeglasses. Globally, 8% of all children need eyeglasses to correct their vision. However, in a typical rural high school in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, not even 1% of the children can be seen wearing glasses. For as little as $4.00, a school child can be examined using modern optometric equipment and provide with high quality eyeglasses.
Through the generosity of donors like you, more than $332,000 has been raised so far to help those in need of eye care in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We need many more donors like you. So please spread the word among your friends and make them come forward to adopt their own village or a village in need
The Eyesight Project is continuing to make steady progress Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Cataract surgery camps are being conducted on a regular basis. By the end of 2006, we have completed 247 cataract surgery camps and 17,366 people have recovered their eyesight since the inception of the project in 2002.
We are currently working with nine eye hospitals in A.P.:
R.R. Lions Eye Hospital, Palakol
Lions Eye Hospital, Karimnagar
Sankara Eye Hospital, Guntur
Sankar Foundation Eye Hospital, Vizag
Bolineni Eye Hospital, Nellore
Lions Eye Hospital, Nandigama
Lions Eye Hospital, Dharmavaram
Sukhabhogi Seva Samithi, Adilabad
Dr. Ranga Reddy Lions Eye Hospital, Secunderabad
The staff of these hospitals are all trained to efficiently screen large number of patients at eye screening camps. The patients who need surgery are then transported by bus or train to the hospital's modern facilities. Surgeries are conducted on a mass scale by qualified ophthalmologists. Similar efficient techniques are being employed to screen the vision of large number of school children. Those children who need vision correction are provided with eyeglasses. Once again, the efficient methods employed are able to keep costs down to a minimum.
An eye screening camp is a systematic way of reaching the rural patients who would otherwise not travel to the nearby city for eye care. The eye screening camps are conducted as a partnership between TANA Foundation, the Eye Hospital, and the relatives and friends who live in or near the village where the camp is conducted. The relatives of the donor living in the village take on the responsibility for making the arrangements at the venue of the camp, spreading the word in the surrounding villages and organizing the camp. A team of ophthalmologists, ophthalmic assistants, and camp coordinators from the hospital visits the village where the camp is held.
The sequence of steps it takes to screen, transport, and conduct the surgery are as follows:
The patients who come to the camp site are registered
The patients are screened to determine their eyesight problem
Those found in need of cataract surgery are tested for inter-ocular pressure
Patients are then screened for high blood pressure and blood sugar
The patients who do not have any health complications and are deemed to be in need of cataract surgery are subjected to a final screening by the ophthalmologist
Patients are then transported to the hospital by bus provided by the hospital
The patients stay overnight at the hospital and are operated the next day. During the surgical procedure, the clouded lens is removed and a plastic intra-ocular lens is implanted while the patient is under local anaesthesia.
After staying overnight, the patients are checked to ensure that there are no complications and are then transported back to their village.
The patients are provided with free food and accommodations needed during their short three-day stay at the hospital. The patients are then provided with post-operative medication, and two follow up visits. The first visit takes place after one week, and the second after a month.
The combined cost of the surgery, intra-ocular lens, sunglasses, medication, and transportation adds up to $22/- per surgery. Of this cost $12/- is covered by the Government of India, the TANA Foundation through your donations pays $10/-.
Cataract Surgery Camps have been underway since July 2002. The complete list of camps sponsored and the results are shown elsewhere in this website. The number of patients selected for surgery at a camp varies over a wide range. It is influenced by several factors such as the size of the village, proximity to free eye hospitals, time lapsed since the last camp was held in the village, prosperity of the village, and how well the camp is advertised to the villagers. A donation of $750 will help sponsor a camp at the village of your choice. It could very well be the village you grew up in or you had the opportunity to visit when growing up.
The screening of high school children is done in two phases. Following the initial screening an eye screening camp is held at the school. The hospital staff visits the school and conducts a more detailed examination of those who are found to be in need of vision correction by the school staff. Modern optometric equipment is used to check the vision and arrive at an eyeglass prescription. The cost of conducting the screening and vision testing works out to $1 per student. The cost of a pair of glasses with a durable high quality frame is approximately $3. The program is currently limited to high school students in the 6 th to 10 th grades. In a typical village high school, we expect 50 to 60 students to be in need of glasses. Hence, if you wish to adopt a school all it takes is a donation of $200/-. The school you adopt could very well be the one you studied in!
In October 2005 TANA Foundation took on a very large project jointly with VOSH International (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and R.R. Lions Eye Hospital, Palakol. The Lions Eye Hospital organized the eye camps. TANA Foundation covered the cataract surgeries and sixteen VOSH volunteers from the U.S., who travelled to Andhra at their own expense, screened patients and provided free eyeglasses to those in need. A total of six eye camps were held in W.Godavari, Krishna, and Guntur Districts in just one week. Given the offer of free eyeglasses, the turnout for these eye camps was extremely high. The organizers had a difficult time managing the crowds. TANA Foundation thanks the VOSH volunteers for their dedication and unquenchable desire to help those in need.
The funds for the eye camps came from: 1) The sale of OPERATION ENVISON T shirts at the TANA Conference in Detroit, 2) Funds ($2,000) raised by TANA Youth, 3) Funds raised at the Chicago Fund Raiser, and 4) GM Foundation. TANA Foundation wishes to thank the Youth Committee of TANA for their very generous charitable donation.
Real Stories affecting the lives of people who underwent Cataract surgery.
Eye Camp Sponsorship Form
Frequently Asked Questions
TANA Foundation is a perpetual autonomous body of Telugu Association of North America (TANA). The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life of all needy people in North America, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
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