Through 'Seeing is Believing', we’ve teamed up with Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital to provide affordable eye-care solutions for some of the poorest areas of the city. We currently have five vision centres in Delhi, which are all run by women.
Creating a sustainable model
The vision centres are run in such a way that they cover about 97% of their costs. The other 3% is made up of donations. Those who can afford it are asked to pay INR 30 as registration fee plus a small amount towards glasses or further treatment, although about 50% of the treatment is still administered for free.
Awareness about eye care is already high in the communities where the vision centres have been established, so the aim is to increase the reach of the centres by opening more of them. Patients are only asked to pay a small contribution to ensure that the vision centre stays open. Also, the idea of turning them into a ‘franchise’ model has come about.
Women run vision centers
To introduce more women into the workforce and encourage more to come into our vision centres, all five of our Delhi vision centres are completely run by women.
By creating more employment opportunities we’re also empowering women.
Here’s Asha’s story, who at 26 is now managing our vision centre in Trilokpuri, Delhi. Asha wasn’t sure what career she wanted but arrived at our partner hospital, Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, looking for a job and joined the intense 18 month technician training programme. After completing the course, she was selected as a vision technician at the hospital, and was one of the first female technicians to work in one of our Seeing is Believing vision centres.
“My parents feel very proud when people come and tell them that they have got back their sight because of me. Personally, I feel respected and admired in the community. It really feels nice when young girls come up to me today to ask about career options”, says Asha. She’s now also enrolled for an optometry course.
Dr Shroff’s Charity, also plans to give the women technicians who look after some of the centres in Delhi, the chance to own the vision centres by next year. While the charity would still ensure that the quality of care is maintained, the day-to-day running of the operation would be handed down to the women themselves, giving them a greater standing in the community.