Vision Ambassador in the Making

Rudranil's story is a testament of the how REACH is sending out ripples of change and touching lives through simple yet imperative measures.

REACH aims to reduce visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error among children and provide a sustainable and scalable solution. Orbis, along with our partners, develops teams of ophthalmic personnel and supports them with digital and clinical equipment to perform screenings and provide spectacles, as well as referrals for children who require further examination and treatment.

10-year-old Rudranil from Rabindrapally village, Shiv Mandir was very eager to select a pair of spectacles for himself. After all, he had seen his elder sister and father adorning their spectacles for as long as he could remember. “Spectacles make them look amazing and so will I”, he had told the team at Shivmandir Vision Center.

However, it took Rudranil six months to wear that pair of spectacles and get a clear vision. Rudranil had been complaining of blurred vision since July 2021. To address his concerns, his parents consulted a doctor at the Government hospital, after which he was suggested to go to the district hospital in Darjeeling. Long hours of travel to the district hospital, coupled with the fear of third wave of COVID, were some of the reasons why Anu Prasad Debnathm, Rudranil’s father couldn’t take him to the district hospital.

When the SGLEH project team visited Rabindrapally for door-to-door visits in January this year, they couldn’t reach Rudranil. “We were visiting our relatives place when the hospital team came for eye screenings in the village. On our return, one of our neighbors told us about the eye screenings and showed us the referral card which included contact number and address of Shivmandir Vision Center”, told Anu.

As the vision center was in close proximity to the village, Rudranil and his father visited the center, the very next day. Rudranil was identified with high myopia on secondary evaluation and was asked to choose a spectacle frame of his choice. The counsellor at the vision center told Anu and Rudranil on how wearing spectacles would help Rudranil with his blurred vision. “Rudranil didn’t really need any convincing to wear spectacles”, smiles Anu.

Rudranil was keen on sharing his happiness and pride of wearing spectacles with his friends. At school, he told his friends about the vision screening and the numerous spectacle frames available at the center. He would also talk about the change in his vision with friends and how the spectacles made everything look brighter and more beautiful.

The enthusiasm and awareness impacted some of his friends and classmates at school, influencing four of his friends to get an eye examination at the Vision Center - with two of them being diagnosed with refractive error and prescribed glasses as well!

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