Today people face eye problems due to increased screen time from digital devices, prolonged exposure to blue light, environmental pollution, unhealthy lifestyles, and genetic predispositions. Prolonged screen use can lead to digital eye strain, while environmental factors such as pollution can contribute to eye irritation.
Free eye camp organizations provide essential eye care services to underserved communities. They conduct regular eye camps, offering services such as free cataract removal surgeries, eye check-ups, and eyeglasses distribution. Dedicated volunteers offer holistic support to patients, including accommodation and post-surgical care. Expert eye surgeons and specialists ensure high-quality care.
Some of the top organizations that offer free eye checkup for communities are as follows:
- Dera Sacha Sauda
The annual Yaad-E-Murshid Camp in Sirsa, Haryana, includes a 31st Free Eye Camp, providing the gift of sight to thousands, guided by Saint Dr. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan’s inspiration.
- Rotary Eye
Smt. Lilavatiben Mohanlal Shah (Bilimorawala) Eye Hospital, also known as Rotary Eye Institute, is dedicated to offering high-quality eye care services to underserved communities in southern Gujarat and neighboring tribal regions.
- Nirankari Foundation
Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation (SNCF) uniquely embodies selfless service, spreading love, care, and kindness globally to bring smiles to countless faces as a core philosophy of Sant Nirankari Mission.
- Eye Care Hospital
Eye Care Hospital, a prominent eye care center in India since 1987, offers advanced cataract surgery and a range of specialized eye treatments in a modern, centrally air-conditioned facility in Ahmedabad.
- Anugraha Drishtidaan
Anugraha Drishtidaan’s vision care initiative aims to deliver quality, affordable vision care services focusing on eye screening, cataract surgery, and preventive measures to eliminate avoidable blindness.
CSRBOX is India’s premier CSR knowledge and impact intelligence platform, facilitating partnerships for social development and transformative projects.
Aravind Eye Care’s mission is to eliminate unnecessary blindness by offering affordable, high-quality eye care.
The Yaad-E-Murshid Camp by Dera Sacha Sauda, is a significant charitable event providing a range of vital eye care services. These services include free cataract removal surgeries, distribution of medicines and eyeglasses to patients with refractive errors, comprehensive eye check-ups for a variety of ailments, and extensive support from dedicated volunteers from India and abroad.
Expert eye surgeons and specialists ensure the best care, and the camp welcomes people from all backgrounds without discrimination. The 31st Free Eye Camp was organized on December 12-15, 2022. During the event renowned ophthalmologists from across India examined 10,597 eye patients for free. The patients included 4,429 males and 6,168 females who came from different states, such as Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.
The event featured successful eye operations for 323 patients, with 255 having white cataracts and 68 having regular cataracts. The patients praised the service spirit of the attendants, comparing them to thousands of ‘Shravans’ who selflessly served the community. Free medicines and spectacles were provided, and the event showcased Dera Sacha Sauda’s dedication to humanity.
Despite the process for organizing the camp involving extensive local outreach with leaflet distribution in the camp’s vicinity, ensuring maximum patient participation Rotary Eye Institute still does their due diligence to organize community eye care camps which can provide eye screening and in many cases cataract surgery for free.
Publicity efforts include distributing leaflets, displaying posters, and advertising in various newspapers. To date, over 300 free eye camps have been conducted, contributing to a total of 14,508 eye camps and providing essential eye care to 2,771,457 patients.
Among them, 310,029 patients have received necessary eye surgeries, highlighting the substantial impact of these outreach and medical initiatives. Besides offering free eye check-up and vision restoration surgeries REI ensures that the patients maintain a nutritious diet during their stay at the hospital.
As an integral part of the Sant Nirankari Mission, the SNCF embodies the principle that service to mankind is the path to reach God. Their initiatives encompass healthcare, education, and empowerment, including running hospitals, educational institutions, vocational centers, and supporting disaster management, environmental protection, and more.
They are committed to spiritual awakening and societal well-being, fostering a culture of benevolence, blood donation, tree planting, and cleanliness campaigns. The Foundation’s efforts exemplify their belief in making life meaningful by living for others.
Sant Nirankari Charitable Foundation (SNCF) conducted numerous eye checkup and operation camps, primarily in Mumbai and Delhi, benefiting patients across different locations. These philanthropic efforts showcase SNCF’s commitment to enhancing eye health and well-being, particularly for the underprivileged and those in need of medical assistance.
Under Her Holiness Satguru Mata Sudiksha Ji Maharaj’s blessings, SNCF held an eye camp in Bhilji, Maharashtra, benefiting 215 patients on 18th August 2018. On 1st July 2018, under the blessings of Her Holiness Satguru Mata Savinder Hardev Ji Maharaj, SNCF conducted a monthly eye checkup camp in Worli, Mumbai, with 105 OPD patients and cataract surgeries for 34 patients. Similarly more free eye screening medical camps have been set up.
Eye Care Hospital is situated in Ahmedabad. It is known for its modern equipment, experienced eye surgeons in cataract, retina, glaucoma, and laser eye surgeries, and a mission to maximize patients’ visual potential. They employ state-of-the-art technology, including advanced intraocular lenses, sophisticated diagnostic and surgical equipment, and boast the installation of India’s first Nidek Phaco-Emulsification cataract removal machine.
Their dedicated staff, including doctors, optometrists, counselors, and nurses, ensures a positive healthcare experience, supported by computerized patient records for quick reference. Eye Care Hospitals, led by Dr. Shashank Rathod, has been dedicated towards philanthropy, conducting over 20,000 free PhacoEmulsification surgeries in India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and more.
They collaborate with organizations like Rotary and Lions to offer free cataract operations to the less fortunate. Encouraging regular eye check-ups, they address vision-related issues, including Cataract and Glaucoma, affecting individuals of all ages.
Additionally, they extend support to individuals and organizations interested in organizing free eye checkup camps for school children. For inquiries, please contact them for their complimentary services.
Anugraha Drishtidaan, a registered organization, has been dedicated to comprehensive vision care since 2004. They’ve covered 23 states in rural, backward, and slum areas, conducting 1395 eye camps. Over 15 years, they’ve screened 4,50,969 patients for eye ailments, distributed medicine to 2,13,568, and provided eyeglasses to 2,56,497 individuals with low vision.
They identified 91,379 patients for cataract surgery, successfully performing 74,059 such surgeries. Their outreach spans 23 states and 195 districts, offering all services free of charge to the underprivileged. They’ve collaborated with esteemed organizations and are part of Vision 2020, an initiative for the Right to Sight by WHO.
Anugraha Drishtidaan is registered in the USA, allowing tax exemptions for American donors. They’ve obtained FCRA to raise funds from overseas and partner with 78 major eye hospitals in India. Their work centers around vision care, eye screening, cataract surgery, and preventing blindness through voluntary medical camps and community eye care services.
CSRBOX has teamed up with many organizations to organize health camps incuding free eye camps. They worked with Asian Paints Ltd. which allocated INR 1.21 Crores to its Eye Care Programmes in 2016-17, focusing on preventive healthcare and water and sanitation. Collaborating with Help Age India and Sankara Eye Hospital, they organized 11 Free Eye Screening Camps across Tamil Nadu, screening 981 individuals, including 372 men and 609 women.
Among those screened, 138 were diagnosed with cataracts, with 100 choosing surgery after counseling. A total of 44 men and 56 women successfully underwent cataract surgeries at the base hospital. They also teamed up with Apollo Tyres Limited which allocated INR 0.26 Crores for their Preventive Healthcare and Water & Sanitation project, “Eye Check Up Camp” during 2016-17. The initiative focuses on enhancing vision care for truck drivers by conducting regular eye check-up camps in transport areas.
Those with refractive errors are provided low-cost spectacles, while cataract patients are referred to nearby hospitals for treatment. In the reporting year, they screened 18,130 individuals, identified 8,610 with refractive errors, distributed eyeglasses to 4,299 people, and linked 511 cataract patients with hospitals.
Aravind performs over 450,000 eye surgeries annually, making it the world’s largest eye care provider. Since its inception, Aravind has served over 65 million outpatient visits and performed 7.8 million surgeries, serving as a global model for eye care. Since its establishment, Aravind has consistently emphasized community outreach initiatives that bring eye care services to those in need.
These efforts have evolved over time, and eye care camps have become an essential component of Aravind’s service delivery, accounting for 30% of the total cataract surgeries performed. Every year, the organization collaborates with an extensive network of community partners to organize more than 2,500 free eye camps.
The organization relies on its outreach program for Voluntary Eye Care Services. Individuals and social service groups, like Lions and Rotary, can assist by providing camp facilities, handling publicity, gathering patients, and arranging lodging and meals for the medical team. Ideal locations are villages with 10,000-20,000 people, accessible within 5 km, and well-connected to neighboring areas. Sponsors should organize community mobilization teams, transportation, logistics, and finance, collaborating with Aravind Eye Hospital for support.
In conclusion, free eye camp organizations play a vital role in enhancing eye health and well-being for people in need. These initiatives provide essential eye care services, including cataract surgeries, eyeglasses, and comprehensive check-ups, contributing to the prevention and treatment of vision-related issues.
They demonstrate a commitment to service, compassion, and inclusivity by serving individuals from diverse backgrounds. These efforts help bridge the gap in access to eye care, ensuring that more individuals can regain their sight and enjoy a better quality of life. The impact of free eye camps extends far and wide, making a significant difference in communities and emphasizing the importance of regular eye check-ups.
Beyond eye care, Dera Sacha Sauda contributes to various humanitarian and social initiatives, furthering their positive impact on society. These organizations’ inclusive and compassionate efforts resonate with people and continue to transform lives.