Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India

by Aravind Eye Foundation
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Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India
Give the Gift of Sight to the poor in India

It's hard to believe that 2016 is almost over!  This year, Aravind treated nearly 4 million patients and performed more than 400,000 sight-saving surgeries.  Behind those very big numbers are some very small patients -- children who suffer from retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that afflicts ages 0 to 5 years.   Many of these kids come from very poor families and could not afford treatment without your help.

One of those kids is Pradin.  His parents brought him to Aravind with tumors in both eyes at age three months.  The doctors at Aravind advised that treatment be started immediately, including the removal of one eye.  You can imagine how shocking and upsetting this news was to Pradin’s parents.  Neither of them is educated; the father is a day laborer, making less than $2 a day.

They took Pradin to other doctors, hoping for a different diagnosis, but instead the eye became worse.  Finally, a year later, they returned to Aravind and had the surgery.  Pradin received a complete cycle of treatment – surgery, chemotherapy, counseling, and a custom-made prosthesis – all free of charge. The family was so grateful for the care and kindness they received at Aravind that two years later, they brought their baby daughter to be screened.  Happily, she is cancer-free.   

This year, 33 new cancer patients and 610 review patients received free treatment, thanks to generous donors like you.  We have also started to pay for travel for the poorest patients, because we discovered that they were not returning to the hospital for essential follow-up visits. Since 2004, 452 children’s sight and/or lives have been saved, 5,693 patient visits have been funded, and 236 patients have received a custom-made prosthesis.

Thank you again for your generosity.  There are so many worthy causes in the world, and I am personally touched that you choose to support Aravind.  You truly are part of the ring of hope that surrounds our patients and their families.  I hope that we can continue to count on your support, and I wish you a joyful holiday season, full of all good things.

In gratitude,

Donna Campbell, Executive Director

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Have you noticed a lot more kids wearing eye glasses?  We have, too! Turns out the wonderful devices that give us access to the internet and information at our fingertips take a toll on our eyesight.  The same screens closing the digital divide are creating a visual divide.  

There are lots of things that we can do to lessen the effects of too much screen time -- good nutrition, outdoor exercise, frequent breaks, proper lighting (turns out your mother was right about reading in the dark) -- but the fact is that more and more children will need eye glasses to do well in school and participate in sports and afterschool activities.  

That why your gift to the Aravind Eye Foundation is so important and why we are so grateful for your support.  India's school year starts in June, and so far, we've provided 6800 pairs of eye glasses to children between the ages of 0 and 16, with your help.  We aim to double that number by the end of March 2017.  

Aravind trains classroom teachers to do an initial vision screening, and then our doctors and nurses do a full eye exam on the kids who seem to have trouble seeing.  All paid for by Aravind -- your donations go directly to buy the glasses, which cost roughly $6.00 each.  And, the teachers make sure the kids wear them.  

Thank you for your help!  I am visiting our vision screening programs in India in February, and I can't wait.  It is magical to see a child's face light up when they see the blackboard clearly for the first time.  In the meantime, I wanted to share a few photos from another visit.  If you have any questions, please email me at donnacampbell@aravind.org.  I would love to hear from you!  

In gratitude, 

Donna Campbell, Executive Director

 

"Intelligence and capability are not enough.  There must be the joy of doing something beautiful."
From the Journals of Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care System

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Two-year-old Rohit at Aravind's Cancer Center
Two-year-old Rohit at Aravind's Cancer Center

I want to introduce you to Rohit.  Rohit is a beautiful chubby toddler, just two years of age, and full of energy and mischief.  His family comes from Pondicherry, my favorite city in India, where bustling 21st century India exists side-by-side with its French colonial legacy.  

Like many families in India, Rohit’s parents come from a very poor background.  His father is mute, and his mother struggles to take care of her family.  His grandfather helps out with living expenses.  

Rohit’s parents brought him to Aravind with a tumor in one eye.  Surgery was necessary to remove the eye to stop the spread of cancer.  There was no way that his family could afford the extensive treatment to save Rohit’s vision and life. 

That’s where you come in – your support made it possible for Rohit to have surgery and receive a custom prosthesis (and new ones as he grows to adulthood).  He has responded so well to treatment that he no longer needs chemotherapy.  He visits Aravind for regular follow-ups (also paid for by your donations), and otherwise is living a happy and healthy life.  And, getting into more mischief.   

Thank you so much for your continued support and your trust in us.  We would love to hear from you – you can contact me at donnacampbell@aravind.org, if you have any questions about how your donations are being used, or would like to know more about our programs.  And, if you happen to be near Madurai, Tamil Nadu, let us know!!! 

With gratitude, Donna Campbell, Executive Director

P.S.  Last year, your donations helped pay for nearly 600 patients to receive treatment at Aravind – we are planning to double that number in 2016, because the need is so great.  Can you help us? 

"Intelligence and capability are not enough.  There must be the joy of doing something beautiful."
From the Journals of Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care System
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Thank you from the children at Vallalar School.
Thank you from the children at Vallalar School.

Dear friends,

School is out in South India, and kids are getting a well-deserved break from their studies.  But at Aravind, we are getting ready for our busiest year yet with our Spectacles for Scholars program -- all ten of our hospitals will participate, and 500,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 will be screened for vision problems. 

It's incredible that such a small intervention -- a pair of spectacles -- can have such a major impact on a child's development.  Free eye glasses have been shown to improve math’s scores as much as reducing class size!  Wearing eye glasses produces the same effect as six months’ more education!  And, of course, the impact is even greater among the poor, where education is the only way to a better life. 

Aravind has a lot of experience with school vision screening.  Since we started the Spectacles for Scholars program in 2004, we’ve screened more than 2 million children in 2500 schools and provided nearly 75,000 eye glasses.    

And, that’s where you come in.  Aravind doctors and nurses provide teacher training and screenings free of charge, but your donations buy eye glasses for families who can’t afford them.  Thank you for your thoughtful generosity – we couldn’t do this without you! 

Warmest regards, 

Donna Campbell, Executive Director 

P.S.  Stay tuned – by 2020, Aravind plans to screen 1 million children a year!

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Vallalar Matric Hr. Sec. School
Vallalar Matric Hr. Sec. School

This photo came from Aravind's school screening team in Pondicherry. I think it says it all. In India, 40 million children need eye care. Most of their vision impairment is completely unnecessary. They just need a pair of eye glasses.

Children around the world need good eyesight to succeed in school, go to college, and get a job. To make a difference.  But the impact in developing countries is greatest, where education is truly the ticket out of poverty, and access and cost limit the availability of eye glasses. 

In 2015, your donation helped Aravind to screen 140,000 children provide nearly 6,000 pairs of eye glasses.  Next year, we play to screen 500,000 children for vision problems, and provide 20,000 pairs of eye glasses.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of India’s children.

Warmest regards,

Donna Campbell, Executive Director

Aravind Eye Foundation

PS:  A special thank you to our VMware and Dell employee donors for your trust in us and your generosity.

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Aravind Eye Foundation

Location: New York - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @AravindEyeFdtn
Project Leader:
Chitra Prasad
Project contact
Madurai, Tamil Nadu India
$80,654 raised of $250,000 goal
 
1,105 donations
$169,346 to go
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