"Imperfect is the Joy not shared by all."
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care System
The joy of sight is something most of us take for granted. But imagine never seeing the smile on your grandchild’s face because of cataracts. Imagine not having sight as a child due to cancer. Imagine not being able to work because diabetes has left you blind. All of these things happen in India.
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy (Dr. V) founded the Aravind Eye Care System with the vision of eliminating needless blindness and giving everyone the joy of sight. Last year, Aravind doctors saw more than 3 million patients and performed 350,000 sight-saving surgeries, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.
But we couldn’t have done it without you! Global Giving donors support two very important aspects of Aravind’s work: 1)Spectacles for school children and 2) the Ring of Hope, which provides treatment for children with eye cancer.
Through our hospital in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Aravind health workers screened 36,633 school children and provided 947 pairs of eye glasses in 2012. The program has been so successful that we will be expanding it to our other hospitals, beginning with Aravind Pondicherry in 2013.
Retinoblastoma is a virulent, often fatal form of eye cancer that affects primarily children. The treatment is complicated and lengthy, requiring chemotheraphy, radiation and surgery, and is too expensive for most Indian families. Since the Ring of Hope was established in 2004. Aravind has treated a total of 912 patients free of charge. Last year alone, Aravind treated 105 children and 33 adults, and fitted 47 patients with custom-fitted prosthetic eyes.
Behind the numbers are grandmothers, school children, farmworkers, and many more who have received the gift of sight, thanks to your generosity. We at Aravind wish you a very happy new year, and hope that you will continue to support us in 2013.