How it all began
Of the 40 million blind people across the world, an estimated 12-18 million live in India. An equal number are visually impaired. Yet most blindness is preventable – due to cataracts (around 60%) and due to refractive errors i.e. the need for glasses.
VISION 2020 is a WHO initiative launched in 1999 which seeks to eliminate avoidable blindness in order to give all the right to sight by 2020.
In 2012, Dr Jyoti Raina, a consultant ophthalmologist based in London, and her cousin Dr Naveen Raina, a hospital owner and psychiatrist based in Pune, wanted to use their medical expertise to make a difference and serve the less privileged.
They knew that preventable blindness is a major issue heavily affecting the rural Indian population. In these impoverished areas, the impact of blindness is greatly enhanced as it creates social divides and preventing those affected from contributing to their family responsibilities of cooking, cleaning and simple manual labour.
To address this need, an annual eye camp was established in Rikhia, Jharkhand, India. The synergy of aspirations, skills and resources with invaluable logistical support from local groups set the foundation of this service. The result has multiplied with an amazing team of volunteers and helpers, medical and non-medical, who have been the reason why Serve2See is now in its fifth year of service of the socio-economically deprived communities in Jharkhand, in India.
What we do
Since 2012 we have run an annual eye camp in the village of Rikhia in Jharkhand. The camps are conducted for 9 days from the 1st of September where on average 1,800 patients receive a complete eye check up and treatment. Rikhia is a rural area in eastern India with minimal access to quality heath services and very limited ophthalmic care.The closest tertiary services are located over 200 miles away, making them inaccessible and unaffordable for the majority of inhabitants of the area.
Whether the patients require glasses, medication or surgical interventions the team is armed with optometrists, pharmacists and ophthalmologists who volunteer from all over the world to provide the best available care. This team of medical professionals are also assisted by other non-medical volunteers who ensure the camps run smoothly.