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Sightsavers Reports

Accessing eye care in India: Amarchand’s story

August 2016
Amarchand.

Amarchand lives with his wife Phullobai in the Piriya slum, located in the Bhopal district of Madhya Pradesh in central India.

A few years ago an accident caused his vision in both eyes to be damaged. Amarchand has hearing problems and age-related mobility issues that mean he can’t walk, and although he and his wife have a ‘below poverty line’ card, they barely have enough money to sustain themselves.

All of these factors meant that accessing services at a hospital wasn’t an option for Amarchand.

Amarchand's manually operated tricycle.

Mobility issues in India

Amarchand has received some help from the local community: the chief of the village gave him a manually operated tricycle, to enable him to get around independently, but the controlling mechanism is very stiff, and Amarchand faces difficulties using it.

Amarchand and Phullobai’s son committed suicide a few years ago, and the couple now takes care of their niece. Amarchand is dependent on his wife, who helps him to wash and find his way around.

 

Amarchand's niece sits on the floor of their house.
Amarchand and Phullobai now takes care of their niece.

A chance to access sight-saving treatment

An outreach camp conducted through Anand Nagar vision centre, near where Amarchand and Phullobai live, gave Amarchand a way to access treatment. The camp is part of the inclusive eye health project run by Sightsavers in partnership with AARAMBH and Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital, which has provided sight-saving treatment and surgery to people living in urban slum areas.

Following an eye screening at the camp, Amarchand was referred for treatment and given transport to the hospital for a cataract operation, which has restored the sight in his left eye.

Amarchand and his wife Phullobai pose for a photo inside their house in the Piriya slum of Bhopal, India.

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