Sightsavers Reaches Out to Blind Children in Koraput, India
The inability to see has proven to be a challenge to a significant population in India.15 million, out of the 37 million blind people across the world, are in India. Three-quarter of these are avoidable cases, but India has inadequate facilities and lacks enough optometrists and donated eyes vital for eye treatment. Furthermore, due to poverty, only a small percentage of these people attend schools for the blind. This reality causes a never-ending cycle of poverty among a large population of India. This is why Sightsavers began an inclusive education initiative in Koraput, India.
Sightsavers is an international organization that works in different countries across the globe. It was launched in 1950 by Sir John and Lady Wilson as the British Empire Society for the Blind. The organization is committed to tackling blindness and empowering the blind to participate in their communities equally. Not only do they treat conditions like cataracts but also finding ways to eliminate tropical diseases like river blindness and glaucoma. The organization works together with governments across the globe to deal with problems related to blindness that includes clean water and education. Sightsavers work in countries like Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and many others.
National Inclusive Education
Sightsavers has been able to assist both visually impaired and blind children in studying and participating in mainstream education. Blind children can now go to school and read like other children. Through the initiative, teachers also undergo special train to help them address the needs of their visually impaired students. The training program takes about five days. Sightsavers also provide learning assistance through abacus, braille kits, daisy players, and teaching-learning materials (TLMs and tablets). Since the initiative began, more children have enrolled in various education centers with the intention of earning proper academic credentials.
Including children with disabilities in mainstream education, boosts their morale as they see themselves as worthy members of the community. Educating them improves not only their self-worth but also the importance of the society as a whole by eliminating poverty. Today, Sightsavers continues to help prevent blindness in different societies.