Sightsavers India Fellowship Program

April 2022

The journey of a Sightsavers India Fellow

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Sightsavers India, ever since the launch of the India Fellowship Program is committed to groom the young ophthalmologists into promising and skilled professionals. The Fellowship, an innovative course of mentoring and surgical exposure, is designed in a way that gives an opportunity to master the craft as a clinician and a surgeon and expands their perspectives on rural eye health.

Sightsavers Fellowship is a promising career opportunity for ophthalmologists. It aims to take selected fellows through an exciting journey of 24 months.

The fellows experience a structured skill enhancement and mentoring process covering not only clinical and surgical ophthalmology but also managerial and holistic life skills. After a rapid four-month training on SICS, the fellows are placed in the peripheral centers of one of the 8 states – Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha. The process involves skills up-gradation components and personal interactions with eminent leaders in eye care and development sector.

Every stage of the program helps in optimizing learning to help the fellows transform into all-rounder seasoned professionals. The fellows receive an attractive appreciative stipend through the fellowship period.

MrRN Mohanty, CEO Sightsavers India, shares the vision of program “The program’s vision is to cultivate a capable and motivated workforce in the eye care field for rural India. Currently, there are nearly 18,000 Ophthalmologists present in the country, which is nowhere near enough with respect to the ratio of the population in India. With this program, we hope to bring about a positive substantial impact on society. An education in ophthalmology with the mettle of being a team player and attributes of empathy and zeal to explore rural India are important for the fellows to be a successful part of the program. The initiative is gaining grounds and has given us the opportunity to groom bright and competent young ophthalmologists. I look forward to a new batch of promising ophthalmologists every year who will be instrumental in transforming the face of eye care in rural pockets of India.”

“Initial four months of training was packed with wet labs, surgical/ clinical postings and lecture classes along with routine departmental presentations and CMEs. After the training, placement at the host hospital gave me the real sense of working. I was engaged in OPD as well as OT equally just like a consultant. This helped me a lot in terms of decision-making and management of patients of different subspecialties. Performing OT under observation and handling cases individually, even the complicated ones helped me grow and build much needed confidence within myself. I always find overwhelming and constant support from Sightsavers team while moving out of my comfort zone. This kind of support is incomparable and rare to find.”

Dr Anoop Kumar Singh, Sightsavers Fellow (2019-2021)


“At the training institution I got to see various kinds of patients in the OPD, experiencing all the new things which I did not get a chance to earlier. Had I not been given this opportunity through Sightsavers, it would have been difficult to pave the way for myself. This program has raised the bar and standard for me. At the host hospital, I witnessed a whirlwind of changes. It was more of an independent charge, while at the same time the senior consultants were very open to teaching and helping me. I get to operate alongside one senior surgeon. The program taught me to work harder. I hope that in future, I continue to contribute my skills to achieve universal eye care. Thank you Sightsavers for giving me this opportunity and for always having my back! Grateful to SSDC staff for taking such good care of me.”

Dr Vanlalmuanpuii Ralte, Sightsavers Fellow (2019-2021)


“It’s a great honour and opportunity for me to get trained at such a renowned institute in India using state of art technology in all aspects. The training is highly structured with well planned schedules for OPD, OT and wet lab. I am being provided good clinical and surgical exposure under the able and timely guidance of experts and consultants. This is surely helping develop my much-needed skills as an Ophthalmologist. I feel very proud and wish to render my best possible service to the community under Sightsavers Fellowship Program. Thankful to Sightsavers for giving me this opportunity to learn and serve.”

Dr Farnaz Kauser, Sightsavers Fellow


“Structured way of learning about clinical and surgical aspects of ophthalmology with postings into each subspecialties and everyday seeing variety of cases at the outpatient department (OPD) is helping me enhance my skills as an Ophthalmologist. There is lot of exposure to the latest version of treatment under excellent mentorship. The day starts with morning classes, OT observations, hands on diagnostic procedures at OPD and wet labs. Thank you Sightsavers for this opportunity and support which is rare to find with other fellowship programs.”

Dr Asmita Kamble, Sightsavers Fellow


Read about Dr Ralte's Fellowship experience

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