How can we innovatively address the complex problem of finding and curing children with eye disorders in rural communities? How do we incorporate the community and local partners i.e. government institutions? These are some of the questions that Mr. K. Madhu, the Executive Director of the Institute, was forced to face and confront as he toured the areas that Goutami was conducting eye camps in. “How do we solve the problem of preventable blindness and vision disorders among children?” he asked. He answered his own question with the creation and implementation of the Vision for Children program, an innovative new approach to diagnosing and treating vision problems in children. The Vision for Children Program seeks to ensure that school-going children are screened and treated for visual problems. Healthy eye sight is a prerequisite for the psychological, educational, and social development of children.

Understanding the magnitude and importance of ensuring proper vision in children, Mr. Madhu created the Vision for Children Program, which recruits and trains teachers in local schools to identify children with vision defects. The trained teachers do the preliminary vision screening of 200 children in the school and make a list of children with visual defects. The children’s parents are notified about the issue and informed about the free examination available at the Institute. The referred children are then given a comprehensive eye examination at the headquarters of each mandal. Children requiring eyeglasses pick the frame of their choice, which is sent to them with the required lens in a week’s time. The program has been implemented in Rajahmundry since 2007 and was extended to neighboring districts in 2011-2012. Thus far, over 300,000 children have been covered in over 1425 schools in the East Godavari, West Godavari and Nalgonda districts of Andhra Pradesh.