At the end of 2019, one of our Optometrists Nisha Patel joined the Deep Griha Society (DGS) in India with a team of volunteers, Optometrists and Dispensing Optometrists - providing eye examinations and spectacles to outlying villages and slums in and around the town of Pune. We chat with her about her experience.
The DGS is an independent charitable organisation which has been supporting disadvantaged families and orphans in Pune since 1975. The communities where we worked are home for around 80,000 people who have poor healthcare, hygiene and poverty, and there is limited healthcare on a very intermittent basis.
We were made to feel very welcome in the village with a ceremony by the head man, delicious lunches and plates constantly being refilled as well as endless cups of chai.
After two weeks, we examined 1230 people, provided 825 pairs of spectacles and referred 180 people to the next ophthalmology team - mostly for cataract extraction but also for suspected Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy and other conditions. We were also able to provide magnifiers, kindly donated by OutsideClinic.