Sightsavers India, a development organization that has been working to eliminate avoidable blindness since 1966, has launched the ‘It Takes Two- Us and You’ campaign in Jaipur, with the goal of ensuring that no one goes blind unnecessarily and that people with disabilities live a life of dignity and respect in society. Sightsavers has presented a well-thought-out and implemented strategy plan for the years 2021 to 2025. The organization has been working in India for 55 years, focusing on eight states: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand.
Rajasthan is one of the greatest beneficiaries of corporate social responsibility investment in India, with many companies having a presence in the state; through ‘It Takes Two’ campaign, Sightsavers has requested that these corporations step up and collaborate with them to ensure that the prevalence of blindness is reduced to 0.3 percent in the state. Currently, the prevalence of blindness in the state is 2.69% as per National Blindness & Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-2019: A Summary Report by Dr R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Science.
Sightsavers has launched a host of programmes in Rajasthan, focusing on eye health, social inclusion, and inclusive education. The Rural Eye Health Programme is implemented by Sightsavers in eight districts of Rajasthan: Dungarpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh, Hanumangarh, Alwar, Nagaur, and Ganganagar. Approximately 1.4 million people have been screened by Sightsavers across the country in the year 2021.
As per Census 2011, there are 15.63 lakh people with disabilities in the state of Rajasthan. In the districts of Jhalawar and Udaipur, Sightsavers has implemented its Inclusive Education Programme for children with visual impairment. Sightsavers’ Social Inclusion Program, which focuses on promoting social security and livelihood generation, strengthening Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPD), and creating an enabling environment for their improved participation in society and the economy, was implemented in Dungarpur in 2021. Sightsavers works directly with Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPD) in Sirohi to improve their leadership, governance, and fundraising capacity. The National Truckers Eye Health Programme, popularly known as RAAHI, has been operating in Kishangarh and Udaipur since 2019.
Sightsavers India CEO, Mr RN Mohanty said, “Sightsavers has been dedicated towards rebuilding lives and creating a more equal world for people with visual impairment and other disabilities. By working in unison, Sightsavers wants to encourage the corporate community to come forward and join us in giving back to society by saving vision through this campaign. After all, it takes two to make a difference in someone’s life: Us and You. Sightsavers India has been running its programmes in India for decades in an attempt to make eye care accessible to even the most backward communities. With the same spirit, Sightsavers India’s ‘It Takes Two’ Campaign aims to enhance access to eye care and give high-quality treatment to as many people as possible, with a particular focus on the marginalized communities and people living in backward areas. ”