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Our work in India

More than 8 million people in India are blind, and millions more have eye conditions such as cataracts. Our work in the country focuses on providing good-quality eye care and fighting for the rights of people with disabilities.

Rukmani has pre-surgery tests at Sewa Sadan Hospital, Bhopal, India

Sightsavers has worked in India since 1966, treating people with eye conditions and bringing eye health services to the most remote areas of the country.

In the past 50 years we have also educated, counselled, trained and rehabilitated people who are blind or visually impaired, many of whom live in the poorest areas.

Despite the nation’s recent advances, a significant proportion of the population has little access to essential health services. This is why our work in the country remains so important.

In 2015, our work in India was streamlined to focus on seven national programmes. Our three eye health programmes cover schools, urban areas and rural settlements, to deliver good-quality eye care to everyone who needs it. Our low vision programme aims to diagnose and treat people with cataracts and other eye conditions, while our truckers programme offers eye checks and treatment to India’s five million truck drivers.

Finally, our inclusive education and social inclusion programmes make sure that people who are blind or have other disabilities are able to go to school, earn a living and take part fully in society.

At a glance

Total population
  • 1.3 billion

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Disability rights

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Inclusive eye health
  • Truckers’ eye health
  • People born with a disability are often considered a burden. I want to help them understand they can live a full life.
    Bhagirath, disability advocate
    Bhagirath is now a DPO leader.

    How we’re making a difference in India

    A lady wearing a face covering speaks to a man in a wheelchair.

    Disability rights

    Sightsavers staff around India are working hard to make sure that during the pandemic, nobody is excluded because of disability or gender.
    Read what we're doing

    A woman stands outside her home.

    Eye care for all

    In Kolkata, many people cannot afford eye care. Sightsavers is ensuring it is affordable the thousands of people living in the poorest areas of the city.
    Read the story

    Sir Clive stands with a group of people.

    Truckers’ programme

    Sightsavers' chair Sir Clive Jones visited India to find out how we're saving lives by screening truck drivers for eye problems.
    Read Clive's blog

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