We met nine-year-old Archana in Odisha, India. She was an incredibly bright girl, who told us how much she loved reading and playing with other children.
But Archana had cataracts in both her eyes, and the impact of her sight loss was devastating. It hurt to open her eyes in bright light, and it broke our hearts to see her holding her beloved books inches from her face, so she could read the words on each page. It was a huge strain to complete her schoolwork.
Cataracts were pushing Archana towards lifelong blindness, and her dreams for the future were slipping away. Without Sightsavers’ and our partners’ help, Archana was at risk of losing her education, and faced a lifetime of discrimination.
Archana could have missed out on the treatment she urgently needed, simply because she’s a girl. Boys are often prioritised for treatment as they are more likely to work for income, leaving girls like Archana to slowly lose their sight.
Through our school eye health screenings we can help girls to access sight-saving treatment and empower them to get an education and escape the cycle of poverty.
Before Archana’s treatment, she couldn’t dance or play with other children, and she was spending every day on her own. Seeing Archana get her sight back was like seeing something suppressed inside of her finally come out. Suddenly she was the clever, playful and confident young girl she was destined to be.
Sadly, there are more girls suffering from cataracts. It is vital we give them the life-changing treatment they need. But we can only do this with your support.
Please, will you give a gift to help more children suffering with cataracts?