Sightsavers has started a Twitter campaign to highlight their many successes helping the visually impaired in India, using the hashtag #UnfoldTheirDreams.
Based in the United Kingdom, Sightsavers is an international charity that is active in 30 countries throughout the world. It was originally founded in 1950 and has had a presence in India since 1966.
The goals of Sightsavers vary for each case; as its name suggests, the organization tries to prevent or cure blindness when possible, but it also helps to improve the lives of those whom it cannot help medically. Part of the goal of this new social media campaign is to highlight the individuals affected by their initiatives, letting us see the people behind the statistics.
The organization says that 15 million Indians are threatened by blindness, but that much of it is preventable. One girl, Sonali, provides an example of this. Another child hit her with a rock, and her eye then seems to have become infected from bathing in her local pond. Fortunately, her family was able to get a free surgery through a Sightsavers clinic and she was warned to avoid using that water again, at least until her eye was better healed.
Our colleague Kate followed a surgical outreach team as they were tracking down and treating the final cases of blinding #trachoma in northern Ghana. In the photo is Fusi, ophthalmic nurse. LINK IN BIO: http://po.st/trachoma-final-days. 📷 Ruth McDowell. #sightsavers #sight #sightloss #vision #blindness #visionloss #beatNTDs #NoMoreNTDs #ghana #africa #westafrica #discoverportrait #portraitphotography #portraitpage #peopleinframe #smiling
Unlike Sonali, Simpi has had vision problems from a young age and was kept out of school until she was ten. Sightsavers convinced her parents to give her a chance with the other children and, through their Inclusive Education Program, provided her with large-print books and a Braille reader. Despite her late start, Simpi has worked hard studying and managed to pass her first exams, providing a great inspiration to everyone else in her village.
There is also the story of Anam, an adult man whose blindness kept him from working and made him feel like a burden to his family. Like Simpi, he received help from Sightsavers and is now able to function outside of his home, working as an ice cream vendor and using his income to help his loved ones.
The task is large, but Sightsavers is doing great work to both combat vision problems in India and help those who are affected by them. Hopefully, its efforts will continue to pay off for many years to come.