Since September 2012, Anglican Aid has been partnering with an eye care initiative in Andhra Pradesh, Eastern India.
The Eye Openers Opthalmology Program aims to improve the health and livelihood of poor village people in three areas. The purpose is to improve the sight of people treated, surgically and with eye drops and spectacles and to promote their independence.
The program is aimed at poor people, but is available for anyone to attend, regardless of caste, religion or need. Most patients work as day labourers and come from the lower castes of society. They have little or no medical care, and no eye care apart from this project.
As these people get older, sight is lost through formation of cataracts. They are unable to work and become a burden on their families. Cataract surgery has a very high chance of restoring enough vision to let them become independent and productive again.
Direct Deposit donations can be made to our bank account BSB 032078, Account Number 253493, Account Name: Anglican Aid. Please place your name and the name of the project you would like to donate to in the reference line. Please email the office with details of your donation at email@example.com. Cheques can be posted to – PO Box Q190, QVB Post Office, 1230, NSW. Thank you for your wonderful support.
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ABN 28 525 237 517
- Thank God for the Eye Openers Project in Andreh Pradesh, and for Dr Kumar Kotar and his team as they give general medical support and specialist eye surgeries to locals.
- Thank God for the 107 houses that have been built to replace homes that were destroyed or heavily damaged by flooding in November 2012.
- Pray for seminars conducted to train women in basic health education and awareness, and for men in practical skills like building and electrical work.
December 2016 - “I Can See You”
This is a story of a village woman who lives about 75 kilometers from our hospital.
Durgamma is her name. Durgamma is the name of Hindu Goddess with fearful and scary eyes.
Durgamma was a child working in the rice fields when she got a fungal infection. She neglected to consult a doctor as she lives far away from any eye care facilities. She totally lost an eye and began the hard journey of adjusting to live with one eye .
A couple of years back, she started developing cataract in her remaining eye as she works most of her time in fields with exposure to sunlight and Ultra Violet radiation. This caused her to totally lose her vision and become functionally blind. Once the bread winner, she now became totally dependant for everything in life. She felt shame to live like that. She is a widow and her two children feel that she is a burden to them. One day she heard about Eye Openers who were holding an eye camp in a nearby village. Her children heard about it and decided to take their mother to the camp.
She was examined and was reassured that she could get vision back if she had eye surgery. Durgamma was scared about the suggestion but the team members reassured her. Durgamma was very desperate to see the world once again and be able to work towards her own livelihood. She attended surgical camp in our hospital, got operated on and the very next day she could see. There was such great joy! Durgamma was able to start working again and she sharing her vision restoration story to many, encouraging them to go for a eye check up. Her children were so happy as it did not cost them any money.
Now Durgamma and her children stand for a witness to the Eye Openers Work leading many from darkness into Light.
Durgamma says a word of appreciation in her language “Kruthagnathalu”. She says that she will never the good things that she experienced through Eye Openers and their Christian love.
Annual Report - July 2014
Opening eyes in Indian villages
A PROGRAM supported by Anglican Aid in Andhra Pradesh, eastern India, is improving eyesight and general health for thousands of people. Dr Kumar Kota, a highly qualified ophthalmologist, leads a team of technicians and nurses, educators and community health workers in general medical and specialist eye surgeries.
In the 12 months to the end of June 2014 the program, known as Eye Openers, performed 838 cataract surgeries, with as many as 92 operations being carried out in a single month.
Eye Openers has been able to conduct extra village clinics and now that an ophthalmic assistant has been appointed for the rural program, he and his team are conducting eye camps in villages not covered previously.
With funds from Anglican Aid, 107 houses have been built for families left homeless after severe floods in 2012.
Eye Openers staff advised poor people about hazardous infections such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis, which can be spread by drinking water contaminated by open defacation practices and they have become accustomed to using the lavatories provided with the new houses. Better water supplies have been provided.
The story of Saaramma, a flood victim
FROM Eye Openers comes this story of an elderly lady, described by ophthalmologist Dr Kumar Kota as “a role model for many of us who say ‘sweet are the uses of adversity’.” She came from a low caste and her occupation was washing dirty clothes. She was married at a very early age to an elderly man. While still in her teens, she gave birth to a daughter; then her husband died. Her daughter was a sick child who suffered from very frequent attacks of asthma.
Every day at 3am she had to go to the river bank to wash clothes. She had to dry the big bundle of clothes and by evening had to prepare a box containing hot coal for ironing. Despite all this effort, Saaramma made only a small amount of money. She could not stop working for a single day unless it rained.
Saaramma and her sick daughter lived in a very small hut, which was washed away every year when the river flooded. Devastating floods in 2012 washed everything away and – her daughter having married and moved – she was left alone with nothing.
With Anglican Aid’s support, all the flood victims now have their own permanent homes. Saaramma’s house has a bedroom, a small place to cook and an individual bath and toilet. Once a suffering woman, she now comforts may others in their suffering. Five years ago she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour, took baptism and now is a great asset to Eye Openers as she visits many homes as “Bible woman” and her life is a witness to those who suffer.