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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont
Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) in their continued efforts to eradicate curable blindness in India organized a fundraising musical night with popular Bollywood singers Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam on December 17, 2017 in San Jose.
Funds from the concert fed into SEF’s ambitious plans for further expansion in India and build eye hospitals in different cities. Balaji Entertainment was the national promoter of this event. Dedicated volunteers handled many aspects of the
musical concert, from ticket sales to ushering the concert goers. Such efforts from Sankara Eye Foundation volunteers have been the backbone of SEF’s success, along with generous donors.
SEF was also in a celebratory mood, having opened their ninth hospital in Jaipur, India on December 7, 2017. This hospital is 225 bed super speciality hospital that has the capacity to potentially perform 25,000 free eye surgeries a year.
Murali Krishnamurthy, founder and SEF executive chairman, displayed a video of SEF and its efforts. Krishnamurthy said that in the near future SEF will also facilitate and aid other Indian NGOs, like Akhand Jyoti in Bihar, Trilochan Netralaya in Orissa, and Shri Ranchhoddas Ashram in Gujarat to provide large-scale eye care services. “Aap Aankh band kar ke donate kijiye, hum aankhen kholenge”.
From one clinic in Coimbatore to nine super speciality hospitals, 8,000 surgeries to 1.6 million free eye surgeries, the SEF journey continues. The Gift of Vision program has made Sankara one of the largest free eye care community providers in the world. At the free eye camps organized by the hospital, patients diagnosed with defects are transferred to the base hospital for treatment, provided food, and transported back home after surgery. A regular follow up is also done at their homes. They also run the Rainbow program exclusively for children, the Vision Care Technicians Program to train women for free, and many others.
The uniqueness of Sankara’s social enterprise lies in its replicable and sustainable model of 80/20, wherein 20 percent of patients pay for the free treatment that the 80 percent poor receive.
Three new hospitals are coming up in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Indore. All the three hospitals are expected to be inaugurated in 2019. For more information, visit www.giftofvision.org.