LEAVE A LEGACY OF LIGHT
by Mritunjay Tiwary
This December Akhand Jyoti turned 15 years old.
For the last 14 years, we have been relentlessly working towards eliminating curable blindness from the poorest regions of India - Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
All these years people like you have been my angel and have seen me through thick and thin.
This has enabled us to serve over 12 million people through a network of 1 tertiary hospital at Mastichak Bihar, 4 secondary hospitals and 10 Vision Centres across Bihar and Eastern UP.
Yet today, the achievement is miniscule compared to the challenge in hand.
Bihar still has over 4.8 million visually challenged people out of which 2.8 million people need eye surgery.
The healthcare system in Bihar is still worse off than most of the states in India.
Such an inequitable environment makes Bihar a breeding ground of social and economic inequality.
One of the ways of addressing this inequality is to provide sight to the blind because restoring sight = restoring income.
The year 2020 has been rough year for everybody. More so for us as it caused a reduction in the pace of our delivery.
However, my biggest strength has been people like you who have supported me all these years for our cause. This gives me an extra zeal of confidence to carry on the work like never before.
January 2021, in collaboration with Sankara Eye Foundation, USA, we would be starting the construction of the hospital in Bihar adjacent to our existing facility.
Spread across 135,000 sq. ft. with a capacity to examine 600-700 patients per day, this state-of-the-art facility is poised to provide 300 surgeries every day.
From free cataract surgeries for the underprivileged to specialty eye care, the facility would work as a hub for ophthalmology academics and research in the region.
The finest and the brightest of our supporters are on a path to create an everlasting legacy in this wake.
This facility in the coming decade will:
*Note: An average of 2 persons are needed to look after each blind individual over a 24 hour period.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be US$ 6 million/ INR 44 crores* approx. Through our collaboration with Sankara Eye Foundation, USA, we have been able to raise close to US$ 3.5 million and need to raise further US$ 2.5 million/ INR 18.4 crores* approx.
*Note: FX is considered as US$ 1 = INR 73.61
Each one of you reading this can be my guardian angel on this journey. It is an opportunity for all of us to create and imbibe an everlasting legacy in the making.
I earnestly wish that you give Bihar a chance and join us on this journey of creating excellence.
Any amount, small or large that you wish to donate would help us collectively achieve the milestones and leave behind our biggest legacy, in our lifetime to some of the most deprived people in the region.
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