Enabling people with the power of vision for a better tomorrow
One of the most important organs in one’s body is eyes as we perceive up to 80% of all impressions through sight. However, many people are suffering from vision impairment or blindness. It’s not that people with visual impairment or blindness are unable to work, have families or engage in various activities but seeing them struggle to do things we normally don’t pay attention to was heart-breaking. Due to high cost, many are unable to afford the required treatment at the right time as a result of which a simple optic problem can even lead to blindness. The safety quotient of the people is also compromised due to loss of vision leading to some serious crimes being committed, emphasizing the importance of proper optical treatment.
We as a CSR organization resolved to work for the welfare of people suffering from optical issues in order to support and help them to put their potential to complete use. Initially, our csr activities started with developing facilities such as the renovation of girl’s hostels, installation of solar plants at Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh, a co-educational blind school and building a school & old age home at Louis Braille Drishtiheen Vikas Sansthan. But the thirst to work for the welfare of people was not quenched with just providing support to blind schools, we wished to contribute in other possible ways also and then we decided to do the thing we are best at – “Livelihood Enhancement”. We identified job profiles at AU Bank and provided visually impaired individuals with employment opportunities at our bank.
We wished to extend our horizon to help, serve and support more people and spread awareness related to eye care. In 2014, Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, MD & CEO, AU Small Finance Bank met with an NGO, Shekhawati Agrawal Samaj Sanstha who wanted to help people by providing timely healthcare solutions by setting up Medical Health Camps and wished to collaborate with AU Bank for it. This provided us with the opportunity to take our resolve to work for the welfare of the people to a whole new level. With the shared aim of providing medical services free of cost to people, AU Bank and Shekhawati Agrawal Samaj Sanstha joined hands to work together and eventually organized free eye check – up camps.
From January 2015, free eye check – up camps are being organized every third Sunday at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, Jaipur where people come, get registered and undergo a primary check-up where they are advised on their eye health by reputed doctors from the prestigious hospital. Depending upon the primary consultation, they are given medication and a pair of corrective glasses, if required. Upon identification of cataract or other issues that require surgery, patients are admitted to ‘Sahaya Hospital’ where they undergo the required surgery and are provided with the necessary care. Once the surgery is done, a follow-up check-up is also done after a month.
Since then there has been no looking back. To date, 48 camps, 9716 OPD Services, and 787 Operations have been conducted. We have also distributed 4033 spectacles. We are constantly striving to expand the reach of these eye check-up camps by targeting a specific set of audience such as cab drivers, auto/tempo drivers with a motive to make our roads safer by helping them, as one of the consequences of not receiving proper treatment is accidents caused by blurry vision. Our team of corporate social responsibility in India also extends help to artisans, laborers, tailors and other people whose livelihood can be risked due to vision problems. Hence, we are also doing livelihood enhancement through our eye checkup camps. AU Bank has conducted eye screening camps and distribution of free reading as well as prescribed eye glasses with Vision Spring in Mumbai. AU Foundation is also open to associating with new partners in multiple cities.
Conducting these free eye check-up camps where people come with a problem and leave with a solution and a smile on their face, gives us a feeling of contentment and also acts as our contribution to society’s development.