"Our trip in India has continued to impact us in ways we never imagined possible.
We went to the village of Turugudi to explore L.V. Prasad Eye Institute’s rural program. LVPEI is able to operate efficiently in rural areas through their primary and secondary care centers. The primary care centers are generally staffed by one vision technician who has been trained by LVPEI and can assess eye health and prescribe eyeglasses for those in need. 50 percent of their patients are provided with glasses free of charge. Should anyone with a more serious eye condition visit the primary care center, he/she would be referred to a secondary center to see an ophthalmologist. It’s incredible.
Our first stop of the trip was to a primary care center. We entered the doorway and watched as the vision technician administered a vision test to an older man. While helping him, a young girl and her father walked in to pick up her new eyeglasses, which were provided to her absolutely free of charge. In a matter of just 10 minutes, we were able to see the value this small 8’ by 8’ primary care center provides for the people of this community. Children are able to see the chalkboards in their classrooms, adults are able to work more productively, all because LVPEI provides them with access to eye care and prescription eyeglasses.
After visiting the primary care center we set out to visit a government school. We passed a large field with a rectangular building near the outer edge of the property. There was dirt all around. In the middle of the land amongst the trees were about 60 children. Suddenly our car turned and I realized we had arrived at the school. It was exam time and the students were sitting quietly in the dirt completing their tests.
We got out of the van and went into the “Staff” room to converse with the teachers. We learned about LVPEI’s efforts to screen the children’s vision. We learned that nearly all of these children had never had their vision tested before and a substantial percentage would likely need prescription eyeglasses.
When we went into the classroom, all the children were quietly seated on the floor. There were absolutely no desks. One of the vision technicians demonstrated a vision test in front of the class. Jachin, our LVPEI guide, told the children about the importance of vision, eye care and eating foods rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. He then introduced us, and told the children about SOLO Eyewear. He told them that we were there to help them see. Goosebumps.
In less than one year, SOLO went from being just an idea to actually making a difference in the world. We are in awe of this whole experience and are tremendously grateful for being able to experience this."
More updates to come!
-The SOLO team