Eye Care Across India
Vaishnavi Changing the way the world sees.
Last year, Orbis helped create The Children’s Eye PHOTO
Centre at Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital, the rst ever
pediatric eye care project in Bihar, India addressing the
epidemic of avoidable blindness among rural children.
The new centre provides sustainable, high quality, low
cost child eye care services for six districts in Eastern
To date, Orbis has supported the creation of 32
Children’s Eye Centres across 16 states as part of
Orbis’s Childhood Blindness Initiative. It remains the
largest network of dedicated child eye centres in the
One recent bene ciary of this network of child eye
centres is Vaishnavi. Shortly after her fth birthday,
Vaishnavi began complaining to her father, San, that
her right eye would sometimes go dark and blurry. At
the same time, San began noticing that Vaishnavi
wasn’t playing as much as she used to and that she’d
often stumble when walking.
A few weeks later, San noticed something developing “In the coming years, we
in Vaishnavi’s eye and knew it was time to visit the hope to see every child in
local doctor in their village. The doctor examined Bihar being able to access
Vaishnavi and found she had developed a cataract quality eye care services in
which would get progressively worse it if wasn’t
treated. While cataracts are most common in older their own community,
people, the potentially blinding eye condition can regardless of their social or
appear at any age, even in childhood.
- Mr. Mritunjay Tiwary,
Founder and Head of
Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital
Changing the way the world sees.
Unfortunately, the village doctor didn’t have the
training needed to remove Vaishnavi’s cataract and
told San they needed to go to a bigger hospital.
Vaishnavi and her father travelled 150 kilometres by
bus to Orbis’s partner hospital, Akhand Jyoti Eye
Institute, where our Volunteer Faculty were training
local eye doctors at the new Children’s Eye Centre.
Vaishnavi loves pretty dresses, so she wore her
favourite one on the day she was screened by Orbis
Volunteer Faculty member, Dr. Donny Suh, and Dr.
Faiz Ashraf Faizy from Akhand Jyoti Eye Institute.
Dr. Suh believed Vaishnavi’s cataract was caused by either an injury or an infection and determined it
had to be removed right away. Her surgery was scheduled for the very next day.
“I wanted to get her treatment as soon as possible because she’s so young and I know that when she
grows older it might get di cult. I want her to have the cataract removed as soon as possible, which
is why I brought her here. I want her to grow up and study. I don’t know where destiny will take her,
but I de nitely want to make sure that she studies.”
- San, Vaishnavi’s Father
On the day of her surgery, Vaishnavi wore her second
favourite dress. Her father was understandably
nervous, sending updates back to his wife who was
at home looking after Vaishnavi’s baby sister.
Under the close watch of Dr. Suh, Dr. Faizy practiced
his newly acquired surgical skills and successfully
removed Vaishnavi’s cataract. A few days later, when
the patch was removed from Vaishnavi’s eye, San
covered his daughter’s good eye and asked if she
could see – she happily replied, “I can!”
Because of your incredible support, so many more
children – just like Vaishnavi – will be able to get the
eye care they need. Thank you for helping us launch
this amazing project and for giving young girls and
boys all across India a better life and a brighter
Thank you for your support.
Together, we are changing the way the world sees.
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