Sightsavers from the field

April to June updates:

Highlights from across India.

April 2019
blind child

Eye Health

Sightsavers has partnered with Fred Hollows Foundation and Vision 2020 to launch the See Now Campaign in Uttar Pradesh.

Shri Amitabh Bachchan is the face of the SEE NOW Campaign which is expected to reach out to nearly ten million of rural poor with a simple ask: go and get your vision checked. The campaign will deploy creative content across five key districts – Unnao, Lucknow, Raebareli, Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur – via radio, television, print, social media, WhatsApp and SMS to provide information on eye health issues, local services and how to access them. As part of the campaign, camps have been organised to provide eye screening and referral services to people in the rural parts of the state.

MoU signed with Jharkhand- National Health Mission

On 14th May 2019, Dr Rajendra Paswan, Director in Chief (Health Services), Government of Jharkhand signed the MoU with Sightsavers for implementation of the Urban Eye Health  Programme in the state for the next three years.

School Eye Health Dissemination Programme Conducted in Odisha

On 26th June, a District Level Programme in collaboration with the district Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Khordha was organised, to discuss achievement and future plan of action for the School Eye Health programme.The event was attended by Ms Surekha Tarai, Deputy Director, Government of Odisha  and Ms Amita Pattnaik, DPC, Samagra Shiksha, Khordha.

System strengthening initiatives were taken for the renovation of Eye OT (Operation Theatres) of District Hospitals of Jehanabad and Arwal, Bihar. 

The renovation was done as per the Clinical Standards of NPCB (National Programme for Control of Blindness).

Mr John Muruiki, Regional Director ECSA region- Sightsavers, along with the team of Sightsavers India, visited the programme sites in several districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The visit included eye screening camps organised by Sightsavers under its Rural Eye Health Programme in association with Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital in Raisen District; Primary Eye Care Centres supported by Sightsavers in association with AARAMBH under the #UrbanEyeHealth Programme; RAAHI– National Truckers Eye Health Programme implemented by FPAI in Bhopal and Social  Inclusion Programme implemented by Dalit Sangh in Hoshangabad district.

National Truckers Eye Health Programme- RAAHI

Sightsavers’ supported Vision Centre was inaugurated today at Gangavaram Port trust, Visakhapatnam. The Vision Centre was an initiative under Sightsavers’ #RAAHI– National Truckers’ Eye Health Programme.

One of the biggest and prominent private port areas of Andhra Pradesh, Visakhapatnam is the hub for nearly 2,000 truckers transporting daily to and fro the site.

Mr Sambasivarao (retd. IPS)- CEO | Gangavaram Port Trust, Visakhapatnam inaugurated the Centre in the presence of Ms Mani Mala- Managing Trustee l Sankar Foundation, Ms Monu Ravindran, Programme Manager at Sightsavers India, Mr Venugopal – AGM, Sankar Foundation, Visakhapatnam and others.

Social Inclusion

Delegates from Sightsavers India and representatives of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) supported by Sightsavers under EU supported project visited Brussels, Belgium to attend the European Disability Forum Annual General Assembly meeting and Conference on Smart Travel.  This is the second visit of DPO members to Brussels. The visit is a part of the project ‘Building Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals- Empowering Disabled People’s Organisations’.

  • Delegate included members of different DPOs (Disabled People’s Organisations) from Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
  • Ms Anuradha Pareek from Sajag Divyang Sewa Samithi M.P.
  • Puranmal Sharma from All People’s Network Organisation (APNO), Rajasthan
  • Neeta Nagesh from Viklang Ekta Sewa Samiti M.P.
  • Santosh Moharana from Samarth, Orissa.
  • Sightsavers India representatives – Namrata Mehta, Programme Manager, EU Project and Jayashree Kumar, State Programme Manager, Madhya Pradesh were also part of the delegate.
  • During the week-long visit from 1-4th June 2019, series of events were held. The team got an opportunity to share the work undertaken on SDGs as part of the point of the agenda on ‘International Cooperation’.
  • Sightsavers experiences of advancing rights of women with disabilities in India were presented during the seminar on “The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)” Chaired by EDF Vice President and member of the CEDAW Committee, Ana Pelaez. Initiatives including capacity building of women DPO members on self-defence, employment schemes and workshops on sexual and reproductive health and rights were shared.
  • The delegates interacted with members of international disability organisations such as Association for Research and Training on Integration in Europe (ARFIE), International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) EU task group and International Disability Alliance (IDA), Ana Lucia Arellano, Autism Europe and European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) at EDF office. They also met the representatives of the unit on SDGs in DG Development and Cooperation (DEVCO), at the European Commission. All these meetings and interactions resulted in an exchange of good practices, information and successes.

Livelihood Trainings provided to Persons with Disabilities in Bodhgaya and Rajgir, Bihar.  

On 14th May, Sightsavers signed the MoU with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society to extend the Social Inclusion Programme in the state.

Observation of World Yoga Day: on 21st June, members of Disabled People’s Organisations and Self Help Groups supported by Sightsavers celebrated World Yoga Day in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

  • Refreshers Training on SDGs for DPO (Disabled People’s Organisations) LeadersA Refresher Training supported by European Commission was held on Sustainable Development Goals, Advocacy and leadership ( 11th & 12 June 2019), where 33 DPO Leaders
  • Joint Meeting for Strengthening of Disability Inclusive MIS was organiSed on 25th June with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society. The purpose was to finalise the development of a MIS which will capture data of PWDs and their inclusion in SHGs. This has also further led to a need for conducting a state wide baseline study.

Inclusive Elections 2019

The State Election Commission of Chhattisgarh has recognised the effort of the SSI and Partner for contributing towards making election inclusive for the persons with disabilities in the state.

DPO members (Disabled People’s Organisation) supported by Sightsavers have been doing awareness sessions and advocacy with the District collector and District Election Commission in Madhya Pradesh. As a result, more and more Persons With Disabilities were seen participating in the voting process in Hoshangabad and Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.

Sightsavers in association with the State Election Commission and Urmul Trust organised a rally as an initiative for Accessible and Inclusive Election in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The DPO members of Bikaner, supported by Sightsavers, took part in the rally on the voting day for the LokSabha Election 2019.

Inclusive Education

  • In Howrah district, West Bengal, Inclusive Education Programme (HCL Foundation Supported) was launched on 21st June. An official letter was received from the Directorate of Education to work on this programme in Howrah district.


  • Thirty days training of children with visual impairment (VI) was held in conjunction with the SPARSH programme of the government on laptop and mobile to be used for education. Around 17 VI children benefitted by mobile training and five VI children made use of the laptop training. They were given mobiles and laptops preloaded with books and education materials relevant for their class and learning levels.


  • Effective collaboration with District Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) resulted in ICT/Low Vision (LV) devices distribution and training events in Kalahandi and Khorda districts of Odisha. Thirty children were provided with various ICT and LV devices. The kids were identified through low vision clinical assessment camps conducted by Sightsavers earlier. The events were attended by the district SSA authorities, Block level resource teachers, class teachers and parents.


  • As a result of continued advocacy efforts textbooks for standard 1st to 8th have been converted into accessible format that would benefit 21,000 children with visual impairment in Madhya Pradesh.


  • Sightsavers has been providing expert input in developing module & ToT on children-with-special-needs parent’s sensitization on disability to be utilised by more than 380 mobile resource consultants (MRC) from 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh. These MRCs will further be sensitising all parents of children with special needs studying in mainstream schools in the state.


  • Hundred laptops were distributed to CVIs. Sightsavers collaborated with Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan to execute the training programme. Advocacy with SMSA – Rajasthan has resulted in first time budgetary provision of the training cost on ICT of 100 CVIs with Sightsavers contributing towards a resource person provision and NVDA software for all laptops.


  • In Rajasthan, Sightsavers facilitated leadership skills development of 33 new officials for effective implementation of Inclusive Education programme activities for CVIs.


  • To facilitate quality of learning of the CVIs, Sightsavers in association with HCL distributed and completed ICT training of 38 CVIs on mobile and 05 CVIs on laptop in one of the intervention districts. The District Collector was highly appreciative of the initiative as it was very innovative for him to see that CVIs were given ICT devices and the resource persons were CVIs.


  • Skill development training during summer vacations (from 1st April to 31st May) was organised by Sightsavers with the support of Oracle/CAF for children with VI at Resource Center of Ranchi, Jharkhand. Six Children were oriented on keyboard functionality, notepad, word processing and book reading.


  • Trainings were imparted to the School Management Committee (SMC) of Dumka (supported by Oracle /CAF India) & Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand (in collaboration with SSA) on 10th April & 26th June respectively. The objective was to make SMC members aware on educational facilities available for Children with VI.


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