Eye Refraction camp for the artisans of desert area

Venue:Dhanau, Barmer, Rajasthan
(28th Nov. 2010)

We organized an eye camp for our artisans of Dhanau, Barmer, Rajasthan on 28th Nov. 2010. It was in association with `Viva Terra’, one of our special customers based in USA. It was organized for our artisans at `Social work and Research Centre’ (Barefoot College), social activity wing of our partner artisan Cooperative `Hatheli’, based in Tilonia Rajasthan.
The co-operative trains rural men and women in varied activities to make themselves sustainable; traditional crafts like embroidery, stitching and hand block printing being one of them.

Location of the eye camp was Dhanau, Rajasthan, a remote desert area situated near Indo- Pakistan border. Placed far away from the city, Dhanau is an economically weak area. The villagers here are very poor, struggling everyday to fulfill even the basic needs of food and water, healthcare an inaccessible thing for most of them. The sole source of income for these people is the craft in which they have got first hand expertise. The artisans at Dhanau practice appliqué, embroidery and stitching which involves minute eye work, requiring healthy eyesight. However, many of them suffer from one or the other eye ailments. Their poor vision affects the quality of work leading to low production volumes and increased work hours. We understand their problems and therefore felt the need of an eye camp.

An expert ophthalmologist along with a person for testing the eyes of patients for the correct eye-glass numbers were appointed at the camp. The camp took a head start at 9 in the morning and continued till 6 in the evening. A total of 223 people were treated in the camp. Out of which 111 were provided with free eye glasses and 112 were given free medicines.

Given below is a brief statistical data about the camp:

Total no. of people treated in the camp No. of people provided with free eye glasses No. of people provided with free medicines No. of men and women in the age group of 60-80 years
223 111 112 67

In addition to free eye checkup, people were told about the measures to keep their eyes healthy. They were advised to take diet rich in vitamin A and green leafy vegetables as this ensures healthy eyes, protect eyes from dust and direct sunlight, regular washing of eyes with cold water; also instructions were given on the maintenance of spectacles, people were told to clean them with soft cotton cloth and place them properly in the cover avoiding any kind of breakage.

People were very satisfied with the camp as now they can see clearly with the glasses. Also, their work will no more have to suffer owing to poor vision.