Sightsavers from the field
October to December

October to December:

Highlights from across India.

January 2024

Eye Health

Rural Eye Health

Assam

  • On the eve of World Sight Day 2023, Sightsavers India, in association with Jorhat Lions Eye Hospital, inaugurated its first primary eye care centre in Golaghat.
  • Under the “Netra Vasant” – Assam Rural Eye Health System Strengthening Project, World Sight Day was celebrated in Golaghat. Alongside an awareness campaign, 104 individuals were screened for diabetes, and 25 were found to have high blood sugar, subsequently being referred for diabetic retinopathy (DR) screening.

Bihar

  • A High-Impact REH project in Aurangabad, supported by Chola, was inaugurated this quarter. The Vision Centre in the Goh block was established to provide the community with primary eye screening and spectacle dispensing services.
  • The second Data Quality Assessment (DQA) of the NBJK partner in Gaya District was conducted, following up on recommendations from the previous year. The report was prepared and shared for critical decision-making.
  • A workshop was organised to strengthen eye health services in Aurangabad. The ACMO sought Sightsavers India’s support in revamping the eye operation theatre for secondary eye health services at the district hospital in Aurangabad.
  • World Sight Day Celebrations under the Standard Chartered Bank supported Programme in Bihar:
  1. An eye health awareness walkathon was organised in Samastipur district, with 115 healthcare staff and 25 government program management staff participating.
  2. An eye health screening camp occurred in the District Jail of Samastipur, examining 135 prisoners above 40 years old, with 15 identified with cataracts.
  3. A school screening camp was organised in the Gaya district at Shri Ram Bharti High School, Tankuppa, screening 105 students for eye ailments.
  • An inclusive camp was organised in Sekhwara village for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), where 70 people were examined, including 34 PwDs.
  • NBJK, the implementing partner, organised a district-level stakeholder meeting in Gaya. Representatives from district health society and development organisations like WHO, UNICEF, IDF, ICDS, and Jeevika participated, discussing project progress, challenges, and potential solutions and expressing commitment to collaboration and continuous support.

Chhattisgarh

  • On World Sight Day 2023, Sightsavers India organised a special camp in Bhilaigarh block, focusing on making the village blindness-free. An orientation session was conducted for PRI members and community influencers to raise awareness about this initiative.
  • Collaborating with the social welfare department of Balodoabazar, a dedicated Eye Screening Camp for senior citizens took place, resulting in 80 screenings. Furthermore, 38 individuals were provided with free spectacles during this camp.
  • In the village panchayat of Banda Bazaar, Rajnandgaon district, a special eye camp for persons with disabilities was conducted. A total of 83 individuals were screened, including 25 persons with disabilities, out of which 15 were women.

Jharkhand

  • A collaborative effort with the District Blindness Control Society and JSLPS led to the organising of a Mega Comprehensive Screening Camp in Hazaribagh on October 13th. The Additional Chief Medical Officer, District Social Welfare Officer, District Superintendent of Education, Secretary NBJK, and numerous other dignitaries attended the event.
  • An integrated Diabetic Retinopathy camp was conducted at the District Hospital through joint efforts by the District NCD, Eye Department, and implementing partner organisation on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2023. The camp received appreciation from the Government, with 45 people diagnosed with diabetes and 16 cataract patients referred for surgery.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with the District Blindness Control Society, organised a workshop on the district vision plan at the District Hospital, Ramgarh. An action plan was developed during the workshop.
  • A state-level event for World Sight Day took place on October 12, 2023, at the Indian Medical Association campus in Ranchi.

Madhya Pradesh

  • Due to the collaborative efforts of Sightsavers India, RP Centre AIIMS Delhi, and the National Health Mission, Madhya Pradesh, approval has been granted to undertake the RAAB (Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness Survey) in seven districts. The objectives are to determine the prevalence of visual impairment among the 40+ population and identify its causes.
  • The Core Committee of MP State Network for Universal Eye Health conducted its 3rd round of meetings with representatives from Sightsavers India and network member partners.
  • “World Sight Day 2023” (Theme – “Love your Eyes at work”) was celebrated by organising Eye Screening and awareness camps by REH program partners and partner hospitals.
  1. In the Raisen district, screening camps were held for 458 industrial staff workers, with 147 persons refracted with RE and dispensed with spectacles.
  2. Industrial staff/workers of LM Bakers Pvt Ltd in Katni district had 458 staff getting their eyes checked, and in Katni district, 245 inmates were screened, with 25 girls with refractive errors dispensed with spectacles.
  3. In the remotest villages of Jhabua, Dhar, and Alirajpur districts, the project team reached out to 4198 men and women, screening 645 persons identified with refractive errors and dispensed with spectacles. Additionally, 306 people with cataracts were referred and underwent cataract surgery.
  4. In the Sagar, Rajgarh, and Ashok Nagar districts, 273 front-line workers – Accredited Social Health Activity (ASHAs), Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), Community Health Officers (CHOs) – and 122 panchayat members were oriented towards primary eye care, emphasising prioritising eye health issues in their locations.
  • A comprehensive screening of diabetic Retinopathy was conducted by Katni City Clinic on “World Diabetes Day” for patients with diabetes.
  • An orientation programme on Eye Health was conducted for ASHA, Auxiliary Nurse and Midwife (ANMs), and CHOs workers in Narsinghgarh and Rajwans within the Rajgarh and Sagar, Mungaoli in Ashok Nagar district.
  • A workshop at Janpad Panchayat, Sarangpur, saw the participation of more than 180 members from various panchayats building PRI capacities for monitoring and prioritising eye health issues in Rajgarh district.
  • CHOs were capacitated in maintaining gender-disaggregated data during a meeting at CHC, Sarangpur, with the participation of 27 CHOs.
  • Training sessions to orient health workers on eye health were conducted in Shadora and Isagarh, where 42 ANMs, 21 CHOs, and 19 other health workers attended.
  • At CHC Khurai in Sagar district, a training session was conducted to orient 21 ANMs, 18 CHOs, and 10 other health workers on Basic Eye Health.

Odisha

  • In December 2023, partner LVPEI organised a joint meeting and community talk on eye health with Community Health Volunteers from the Tribal Health Centre in Harichandanpur block and the Rural Reconstruction Organization in Harichandanpur. The objective was to create a community-driven approach to eye health advocacy, establishing a network of informed volunteers ready to impact remote tribal blocks positively.
  • Successful Eye Screenings and Surgeries in Juanga Community by Partner LVPEI: In the Juanga community in Harichandanpur Block, 75 people were screened, and 10 individuals underwent surgeries to improve their vision, making a positive difference in the lives of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) by helping them see better.
  • World Sight Day Awareness Rally Across Partner Locations in Odisha on October 12.
  • Eye Screening Camps for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) organised in November by partner JNC identified 15 individuals with refractive errors who were provided with free glasses.
  • Since mid-October, eye screenings have been conducted at BBSA campsites in 12 districts of Odisha in partnership with the Department of SSEPD. Over 5,000 individuals have been screened, and over 1,900 free glasses have been distributed. Additionally, hospital partners are facilitating free cataract surgeries for those in need.
  • A district-level SDG consultation was organised in Gajapati with district officials to plan sustainable development in the region.

Rajasthan

  • A week-long “World Sight Day 2023” celebration occurred in the High Impact district Nagaur, where four mega screening camps were organised with mine workers in high-priority blocks. A total of 1,275 people were screened, and 678 near-vision spectacles were provided, of which 57% were females. Additionally, 74 cataract surgeries were performed.
  • Door-to-door mapping by ASHAs and village volunteers is in full force in two high-priority blocks of Parvatsar and Makrana, covering eight Gram Panchayats.
  • Distribution of 2.4 NVG spectacles provided by One Sight was initiated on “World Sight Day 2023” at outreach camps.
  • Two special camps for women were conducted in Mundwa, Nagaur, and the HI District, with 65% of women participating in the screening.
  • A School Awareness Program on primary eye care was conducted at the Parvatsar block. These students will be encouraged to support BLBC patients and people with eye issues.
  • In Nagaur HI district, in December, six camps were organised in high-priority blocks of Makrana and a medium-priority block in Jayal, focusing on increasing reach to women. This initiative set a notable precedent as the inaugural camp in the HI district of Nagaur. Of the 1,160 patients who received comprehensive eye screenings, 60% were women, illustrating the camp’s commitment to female healthcare. Additionally, 716 individuals, 62% of whom were needy females, were provided free optical aids.
  • An eye screening camp was organised for prison inmates of Parvatsar block of Nagaur, where 179 jail inmates’ eyes were tested. This eye screening camp highlighted the need for regular health check-ups in prison settings.

Uttar Pradesh

  • On “World Sight Day 2023,” special eye screening camps were organised for vulnerable communities such as transgenders and labourers in Uttar Pradesh. Training sessions were conducted for health workers, including ASHAs and Anganwadi workers, and meetings were held with private practitioners and PRI members.
  • Under the REH program, the Eye Health programme was introduced to 31 government employees of Kanpur Dehat. Stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and sanitation workers, were leading in spreading awareness and encouraging eye screening. Branding materials were displayed in government offices and PHCs, pledging assistance for social causes.
  • In October 2023, 43 community meetings were conducted, primarily focusing on villages near Dr. Shroff Charity Hospital and the Vision Centres. These meetings raised awareness about eye-related diseases, reaching 846 women and men.
  • An awareness campaign was conducted on “World Diabetes Day,” focusing on the theme “Eye Problems Caused by Diabetes and their Solutions,” reaching out to 1800 people in Unnao district.
  • A one-day orientation was conducted for the ASHA at CHC Shahjahanpur, led by Dr. Shroff Charity. A total of 119 ASHAs received training, and they were reminded to prioritise eye health.

West Bengal

  • Jagatballavpur block in Howrah HI district was declared CBBF on November 17, 2023, following all state and district protocols. It is the first block to receive CBBF status in South Bengal.
  • Data Quality Assessment of SCB partner VMA was conducted by the PPRL team in South 24 Parganas, and the report was prepared and shared for important decisions.
  • A state-level assessment was conducted in the Jalpaiguri District to declare the entire district as CBBF, where representatives of Sightsavers India actively participated.
  • Sightsavers India celebrated World Sight Day, which was marked by events and activities across various operational districts in West Bengal. Sightsavers India’s WSD theme was ‘Eye Screening Programme at Workplace.’ Several eye screening programs and awareness events were conducted through collaboration with various corporate companies and government departments.
  • In Howrah, Sightsavers India collaborated with the PEPSICO company and organised an eye screening program for their staff, where 362 people were screened, 125 were refracted, and 111 spectacles were dispensed.
  • In South 24 Parganas, people aged 50 and above in Frezarganj had their free cataract screening camp on World Sight Day.
  • In Alipurduar district, in coordination with the ‘Water Resources Investigation & Development Department,’ a two-day awareness camp and eye screening program were organised for Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) and Water Users’ Association (WUA) members. A total of 265 farmers were screened, where 135 were identified with refractive errors and received spectacles, and 17 people underwent free cataract surgery.
  • In Paschim Midnapore, an eye screening camp was organised in collaboration with TATA Metallics.
  • All six blocks of Alipurduar district in West Bengal have now received the CBBF status with the declaration of the remaining blocks (Alipurduar I & Alipurduar II) as CBBF in December.
  • Sightsavers India organised 13 special camps for the Fisherman Community and aged SHG members supported by SCB during World Sight Day 2023 in Kakdwip and Namkhana Region. More than 250 beneficiaries were catered through the camp.
  • Two special camps were planned during World Diabetes Day (November 14, 2023) in Kakdwip and Canning II blocks, where people are more prone to diabetes. 105 positive patients were confirmed with Diabetic Mellitus (DM) and referred to the base hospital for further checkups and eye screening through a fundus camera.
  • In December 2023, a special camp was organised with WBSRLM for the SHG Federation (40+ age group) members in Patharpratima Block. A total of 107 beneficiaries were screened. 61 free-of-cost spectacles were distributed to 60+ aged beneficiaries. 19 beneficiaries were identified with matured cataracts and referred to IPA’s base hospital.

Urban Eye Health Programme

Bihar

  • World Sight Day was celebrated among the slum dwellers in Patna, supported by Essilor Foundation, where 2655 spectacles were distributed from October 12th to October 30th in 27 UPHCs of Patna. Mindful of eye health and gender disparity, the initiative targeted 60% of women beneficiaries in the spectacle distribution.
  • The second Urban Private Vision Centre was inaugurated on October 11th, supported by the Mayor of Patna and Ward members.
  • World Diabetes Day 2023 was celebrated in Patna’s urban Primary Health Care (PHCs). The ASHAs and MAS referred and brought patients, particularly women above 40 years, to the NCD clinic and Eye OPD for diabetes screening and eye check-ups.

Jharkhand

  • In Ranchi, two training events for community health volunteers (urban ASHA workers) were organised to increase awareness of eye health and establish a referral mechanism in the slum areas of Ranchi city.
  • To raise awareness of eye health updates and behaviour change communication in slum communities, a mega awareness event was organised through a mobile van. The van was flagged off by Dr Prabath Kumar, Civil Surgeon Ranchi, in the presence of many dignitaries.

Madhya Pradesh

  • On “World Sight Day 2023,” an Eye Screening and Awareness Camp was organised by the UEH project team jointly with NPCB & VI and Sewa Sadan Hospital.
  • A Mobile Eye Health Unit was launched under the UEH program by Ms Priyanka Das, MD NHM, and others in the presence of government officials.
  • A poster focusing on protecting vision in the workplace was released at the NHM state office in Bhopal by Mr K. K. Rawat, CEO of NHM. This was followed by a screening camp for the staff working at NHM. 381 key officials and supporting staff had their eyes checked. 163 people identified with refractive errors were prescribed spectacles. 54 spectacles for near vision correction were dispensed, and 34 were examined through a fundus camera.
  • A Special Screening Camp was organised for 46 members of the Special Task Force in Bhopal. In Indore, Fullerton supported the Mobile Eye Health Unit and organised a special eye check-up camp for the prisoners of Central Jail. 478 jail inmates were screened, and 344 were found to have refractive errors, with 181 provided free spectacles.
  • A special eye screening camp was organised for senior citizens in collaboration with a city-level NGO.
  • A one-week campaign was organised on “World Diabetes Day,” covering 4 government NCD clinics through the Mobile Eye Health Unit. 136 people were screened, and 46 people were screened for DR.
  • Sightsavers India’s partner AARAMBH, in collaboration with Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital, organised a workshop on “Universalization of Eye Health – DR and Glaucoma Integration.” CMHO Dr Prabhakar Tiwari and DPM DBCS Dr Neelu Gupta participated. The workshop covered DR strategy, planning for a mobile eye health unit, and Dr Ansul’s orientation session on DR and Glaucoma. CMHO Dr Prabhakar Tiwari addressed participants, emphasising support for eye screening.
  • Optometrist training was jointly organised with Chirayu Medical College and Hospital, conducting optometrist training on DR and Glaucoma screening. Dr Mayank Gupta oriented optometrists, including a practical session in the Mobile Eye Health Unit. Five optometrists were trained on symptoms, screening, counselling, and precautions.
  • Two special camps for senior citizens were organised, resulting in the screening of 118 individuals. Thirty-five with refractive errors received spectacles, while 14 with cataracts were referred for surgery.
  • A special eye checkup camp at the police commissioner’s office was organised, and 103 police personnel were. Fifty with refractive errors were prescribed and provided with spectacles.
  • Collaborating with organisations like Sympathy Foundation and Lions Club, five special camps were organised for Disability Day 2023. Screening for 925 persons identified 383 with refractive errors, with 270 receiving spectacles. Sixty-six persons with cataracts were referred for surgery.

Odisha

  • World Sight Day 2023 (October 12) was organised by the partner LEPRA Society at the Capital Hospital Conference Hall in Bhubaneswar and supported by Sightsavers India. The event focused on the importance of eye health under the theme “Love Your Eyes at Work,” with 70 participants attending.
  • World Disability Day (December 1-3, 2023) was celebrated at KIIT University and the National Career Service Centre for Differently Abled (NCSCDA) Department in Bhubaneswar. The LEPRA team screened 280 people, providing 17 men and 9 women with free reading glasses.
  • On November 6, 2023, the UEH team conducted an eye screening camp for drug-addicted patients and their families at Behera Sahi IDU colony, Bhubaneswar. A total of 51 beneficiaries were screened, with 30 receiving spectacles and 9 patients being referred for cataract operations.

Rajasthan

  • World Sight Day 2023 was observed for a week in Jaipur, focusing on factory workers and personnel at a cancer rehabilitation centre, with the theme “Love Your Eyes at Work.” A total of 541 people were screened, and 299 were dispensed spectacles.
  • Distribution of 2.4 NVG spectacles provided by One Sight took place during this period.
  • An eye camp was organised for Self-Help Group members with disabilities at Sightsavers India’s state-level event on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Forty-five persons with disabilities received a comprehensive eye health checkup, and 20 people with refractive errors were prescribed spectacles.
  • The urban team fulfilled the request of our long-time donor, Fullerton, to organise an eye screening camp at their location in Jaipur Urban, where 115 people’s eyes were tested. Of these, 38 people were prescribed spectacles, and 7 were referred to a secondary hospital for cataracts.

Uttar Pradesh

  • To ensure a strengthened eye health system delivering services in the urban slums of Kanpur Nagar, 26 eye screening camps were conducted, screening a total of 781 individuals. Among them, 572 people were identified with refractive errors, and 128 spectacles were distributed.
  • On World Sight Day 2023, a Special Eye Screening Camp was conducted in Kanpur Nagar to promote eye health.
  • Eye health services were delivered in the urban slums of Kanpur Nagar to strengthen the eye health systems, with 1382 people screened in 28 camps.
  • On World Diabetes Day, an eye screening was conducted in the Dabauli locality to promote eye health and raise awareness about “Eye Problems Caused by Diabetes and their Solutions.” Of the 60 DR screenings, 15 were referred to the base hospital.

West Bengal

  • Sightsavers India is planning to exit from Kolkata Municipality as it has reached its saturation level. The programme is set to move to Asansol Municipality in 2024. The partner organisation, Susrut Eye Foundation, will now manage the existing Vision centres in Kolkata. Sightsavers India will continue to provide support for the mobile van.

School Eye Health Programme

Odisha

  • Kalinga Eye Hospital provided 650 eye screening kits to teachers to streamline the screening process for children. This initiative is intended to make the screening faster and more accessible for teachers responsible for conducting these screenings.
  • Partner JNC conducted training for 252 schoolteachers in the Karalamunda and Madanpur Rampur blocks of Kalahandi district. The focus was on equipping teachers with the skills to examine students’ eyes, identify those with eye defects, and refer them for further examination during secondary camps.
  • On December 16, a stakeholder review meeting was held for the School Eye Health (SEH) program in Junagarh. The meeting was attended by staff from the Health and Education Departments, aiming to explore ways to enhance eye health services for students across all schools in the Kalahandi district.

Jharkhand

  • Two block-level sensitisation programs for School Management Committee (SMC) members were conducted in Ramgarh District of Jharkhand, where 112 SMC members were sensitised.
  • A training session was organised in Ramgarh where 47 regular schoolteachers were trained on different components and their roles in making the program more effective.
  • Sensitization of Eye Care Champions: Eye Care Champions were created in different geographical locations in the Ramgarh district, and a series of eye health sessions were conducted. These sessions covered eye care, nutrition, spectacle usage, monitoring, and referral linkages for children through Eye Care Champions groups. In total, 24 such eye health sessions were conducted under the evolved project.

Social Inclusion

Bihar

  • World Disability Day was celebrated in the Gaya district with the PRI members. The OPD engaged in a dialogue with the PRI members, making them aware of the support PwDs in rural areas need to avail their entitlements. There was a discussion about the interest in working closely with the PRIs.
  • Saras Mela was organised by the Department of Rural Development, where PwDs were allotted a stall to sell their products. PwDs from Gaya and other rural areas participated in the fair, where Sightsavers India’s intervention was acknowledged.
  • PwDs in the EE blocks of Gaya were trained in goat management and brought under a group, providing them with a platform for self-entrepreneurship. They have started goat rearing in groups and are being capacitated with the skills to promote them as a producer group.

Chhattisgarh

  • An eye screening camp was conducted by the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Chhattisgarh, on the “International Day of Older Persons.” Over 600 senior citizens were screened, and 265 spectacles were distributed.
  • Awareness programs on inclusive elections were conducted by OPD members in Mahasamund and Balodabazar.
  • OPD members from Balodabazar and Sightsavers India DPC from Mahasamund were nominated as district Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation Committee members.
  • As an outcome of Sightsavers India’s engagement with the Department of Social Welfare, the list of blind voters in Balodabazar was shared with PRIs and OPD members, requesting them to motivate and support these voters to cast their votes.
  • A Self-Help Group (SHG) of eight members trained by Sightsavers India started poultry farming as part of their livelihood in the Mahasamund district. Another SHG initiated mushroom farming in Pithora.
  • As part of the membership drive, 126 PwD members joined the OPD forum in Mahasamund. The total PwD membership in Mahasamund is now 1488.
  • OPD members in Mahasamund conducted several awareness campaigns to encourage PWDs to vote to shape inclusive policies in the state.
  • Training on grooming, documentation, presentation, and interview techniques was provided to forty OPD members in Mahasamund, with twenty-three women participating.
  • In Mahasamund, a training session on the repair of motorised cycles used by Persons with Disabilities was conducted. Eight women out of the total participants benefited.
  • A total of thirty persons with disabilities were trained in mushroom cultivation in Mahasamund. Out of this, twenty-three were women.
  • Resource mobilisation training was organised in Mahasamund, where twenty participants, including ten women, were trained on budget making, mobilising resources from government and CSR entities, and the registration process for 12A and 80G.
  • In Mahasamund, a total of thirty-five participants, including nine women, were trained on demand generation, market surveys, profit-making tips, and marketing strategies.
  • About thirty officials from NRLM, Social Welfare, Education, Women and Child Development, RES, CG State Gramin Bank, and officials from the Udyog department attended an interface meeting organised by Sightsavers India at the district level. During this meeting, officials shared information about their schemes for the underprivileged population. At the request of Sightsavers India, officials assured consideration and provision of unique benefits for the PwDs.
  • As an outcome of Sightsavers India’s advocacy, an accessibility assessment of the Directorate office and Physical Referral Rehabilitation Centre of the Social Welfare Department was conducted. This assessment aimed to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. Sightsavers provided technical support for the exercise, including a certified accessibility auditor, senior officials from the Directorate SWD and Civil Engineer as part of the assessment team. Upon completion, a comprehensive report with detailed recommendations for necessary improvements to ensure a barrier-free environment has been submitted. Sightsavers is closely working with the department to include the cost of implementing the recommendations in the state budget.
  • Additionally, eight OPD members from Mahasamund and Baloda Bazaar were provided hands-on orientation on accessibility audit during the assessment of the buildings.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, organised sensitisation sessions on the disability certification process, specifically focusing on educating the Medical Board members of all districts in Chhattisgarh. This was the first sensitisation on disability certification in the state. The orientation sessions were strategically conducted across four divisions, ensuring comprehensive coverage and participation. Notably, the enthusiastic engagement of more than 150 medical practitioners highlighted the significance of the initiative. The primary objective of the session was to familiarise medical professionals, especially specialists, with the latest government policies and guidelines about the disability certification process.

Jharkhand

  • An Inclusive Employment Fair for Persons with Disabilities was organised by Sightsavers India in collaboration with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) on November 7, 2023, at Aranya Vihar, Hazaribagh. A total of 116 PwDs registered and were facilitated to interact with the companies. As a result, 38 PwDs were selected by the companies and initiated for placement at suitable locations based on the company norms.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society and various other developmental organisations and state-level networks of PwDs, conducted a special event called “Ek Sham Divyangjano Ke Naam” on December 2, 2023, at Dhumkudia Bhavan, Ranchi. The event aimed to look forward to transforming solutions for the inclusive development of persons with disabilities in the state. A similar function was organised on December 5, 2023, at Snow Valley, Hazaribagh.
  • Vocational Training for PwDs was organised in the economic empowerment block of Hazaribagh district during October 2023, for which 45 PwDs were trained. Eight PwDs were linked with the bank for financial inclusion and to take up small business ventures.
  • A total of 5 PwDs were placed at suitable companies or medium-scale micro-enterprises.
  • The District Social Welfare Department, Hazaribagh, organised block-level assessment camps for aids and appliances in Hazaribagh District, and suitable aids and appliances were distributed to 24 PwDs.
  • A meeting with the RDD Department (JSLPS) was held to share findings, challenges, and the way forward coming out of JRP orientations on November 8, 2023.

Madhya Pradesh

  • The Katni Collector forwarded access audit recommendations, based on the access audit of the collectorate facilitated by Sightsavers India, to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, New Delhi. They have proposed 13.97 lakhs for making the collectorate completely accessible for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).
  • OPD members from Katni and a Sightsavers India project team member were nominated as members of the district-level monitoring Committee for accessible elections.
  • A total of 158 SHG members were screened and dispensed with spectacles.
  • Twelve visually impaired girls from Katni, Hoshangabad, and Jabalpur were selected for the 12th National Blind & Hearing-Impaired Judo Competition under the Indian Blind & Para Judo Association in Amritsar, Punjab. Players who will be chosen from Amritsar will be participating in the Judo competition at the international level in January/February 2024.
  • OPD members of Katni facilitated a saturation camp for social security benefits and government scheme assistance for their fellow members in 18 Gram Panchayats, where 654 PwDs were registered for various benefits.
  • Employment Initiatives:
  • Facilitated interviews for 19 PwDs in three companies, resulting in five successful placements. Mentored 26 PwDs to pursue self-employment opportunities.
  • Met with AISECT’s Shri Dev Paroha, planning an interface meeting with PwDs. Discussed potential collaboration on organising a job fair.
  • During industry visits, sensitised 11 company owners in Madhavnagar and Barangwa about the employment of PwDs, receiving positive feedback from employers.
  • SHG Highlights:
  • A total of 9 groups of SHGs and SHGs were formed in Katni and Reethi to open bank accounts for 5 SHGs.
  • Conducted a joint market survey with PWDs, SI team, and SHG members, exploring employment opportunities with bag manufacturers and fashion designers. Linked six members of the Bohta SHG in Katni block to sewing work, providing employment opportunities.
  • Refresher training was conducted in Raisen under the Bajaj SI program for 37 OPD members, focusing on various aspects, including rights and entitlements.
  • Under the Bajaj Supported SI Programme in Mandla, a two-day refresher training on micro-business planning and livelihood, including customised jewellery making, engaged 35 PwDs.
  • Under the Bajaj Supported SI Programme in Raisen and Mandla, focused training sessions were conducted for OPD members.
  • Shri Sandeep Rajak, State Commissioner for Disability in Madhya Pradesh, received the National Award for Empowering Persons with Disabilities at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The award was presented by the President of India, Draupadi Murmu. Our State consultant at Sightsavers India assisted him in completing the application form and provided all necessary information regarding our collaborative efforts with the State Commissioner for Disability. As a result, he acknowledged Sightsavers in his address message.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with MP SRLM and FMCCI, organised a State-level Employability Campaign in Bhopal to enhance job opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The aim was to create a platform, bring acceptance among corporates/private sectors, and extend equal opportunities for employability for PwDs. Mr CB Malpani inaugurated the event from FMCCI, Mr Vipin Kumar Jain, President, MP Small Scale Industry Organization (MPSSIO), and Ms Anita Vatsalya, SPM, MPSRLM. On the occasion, An Employer’s Guide on “Disability Inclusion Workplace & Pathways to Inclusive Employment” was also released. Sightsavers shared an Inclusion strategy, particularly on economic empowerment, Diversity Inclusion, and employment of PWDs in the workplace. MPSRLM Representatives highlighted skill-based training for employment.” Key sector representatives, including MPSRLM, DDU-GKY, RUDSETI, and industry members, shared insights to shape inclusive employment practices. Shri Sandeep Rajak, State Disability Commissioner, concluded with a call to establish a state-level working group for PwD employability.
  • As a result of the employment campaign, MPSSIO has invited the Sightsavers team of Madhya Pradesh to their meeting to share details about our programme.
  • A three-day OPD training focused on capacity building on the saturation approach and graduation model. Subhra Das from Trickle is oriented towards understanding the graduation process, benefiting OPD members from Katni, Raisen, Mandla, Hoshangabad, and Chhattisgarh, including the SI team. The saturation approach process was reviewed along with OPD, identifying gaps to be addressed. The workshop’s collaborative nature facilitated cross-regional learning and active engagement, contributing to a rich exchange of ideas. An OPD advocacy plan was also developed by all the dist OPDs for 2024.
  • A one-day interface meeting organised Under Sightsavers’ Social Inclusion Program for MSME owners and Persons with Disabilities in the Katni district. It was highly informative and promoted employment opportunities, significantly empowering individuals with disabilities for more inclusive lives.
  • Conducted a Panch Sarpanch sensitisation workshop on PwD inclusion, informing Panchayat members about the project, disability-related schemes, 21 types of disabilities, RPWD Act 2016, and a comprehensive plan for effective government scheme implementation.

Odisha

  • Sightsavers India signed an MoU with the SSEPD Department, Govt. of Odisha, on November 10th at Loka Seva Bhawan. The MoU was signed to work jointly for 3 more years.
  • Entrepreneurship Development Program was organised on November 3rd, 2023, in collaboration with SELCO Foundation, where 100 PwDs were present. A total of 44 applications were processed for support under the SELCO Foundation, which promotes renewable energy-based livelihood in the district. During the program, 4 youths with disabilities were selected for a fellowship training program at Vedanta, with 2 each for skill training at NCSCDA and RSETI.
  • State-level consultation on Financial Inclusion and Livelihood for PwDs was held in Bhubaneswar.
  • District-level stakeholder Consultation in Bhawanipatna was organised in November, where representatives from all Government Departments, NGOs, and Civil Society shared their views on the inclusion of PwDs in various schemes and programs.
  • Career Counselling and Skill Development in Kalahandi: Career Counselling Sessions were conducted in Kalahandi, resulting in the selection of 12 youths with disabilities for skill development training.

Rajasthan

  • In Dungarpur, awareness rallies for inclusive education were organised throughout the month, with active participation from members of both the district chapters of APNO Sansthan. In Pratapgarh, the Sub District Magistrate flagged an election rally; in both districts, the Deputy Director of the Social Justice and Empowerment department encouraged everyone to vote and actively participate in the rallies.
  • Livelihood training on goat farming was provided to 44 people with disabilities who are members of the Disabled Peoples’ Group (DPGs). A plan was formulated to initiate their goat farming venture, utilising the amount received from Rajasthan Grameen Ajeevika Parishad’s (SRLM Rajasthan) T1 investment fund.
  • To saturate the economic empowerment blocks with livelihood engagement, advocacy was done with Rajeevika to increase the target of the Rehabilitation Resource Persons, reaching out to more persons with disabilities, forming Disabled Peoples’ Groups (DPGs), and linking them with livelihoods. The department accepted this.
  • Historic outcome: In Dungarpur, five DPGs (PwD SHGs) have received the Revolving fund from Rajeevika, marking the first time in the history of the Rajasthan Social Inclusion Programme.
  • APNO and Sightsavers were recognised by the Social Justice and Empowerment department.
  • The livelihood mapping of the Disabled Peoples’ Group (PwD SHGs) of both Pratapgarh and Dungarpur districts has been submitted to Rajeevika (Rajasthan SRLM) to link them with their respective livelihoods.
  • We organised a State Level Consultation on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development, where 114 people participated, including government departments, allied organisations, persons with disabilities, and Rajeevika staff. Sightsavers India presented their vision for making Rajasthan a disability-inclusive state, which was well-received by all departments. The event also facilitated comprehensive healthcare services, offering eye checkups and anaemia testing. Notably, Rajeevika expressed a strong commitment to extending the social inclusion project to all districts of Rajasthan.
  • In Dungarpur, at the Panchayat level, 100 persons with disabilities have been oriented to the RPWD Act where Panchayati Raj leaders also attended the workshop, helping increase awareness among Panchayat representatives and paving the way for us in the mobilisation of persons with disabilities for certification and linking them with government social security schemes.
  • As part of the graduation model, 16 DPGs (PwD SHGs) have been formed in Dungarpur with a membership base of 81 persons with disabilities. Twelve DPGs’ bank accounts were opened to receive the revolving funds. Fifteen persons with disabilities received certification and were linked with DPGs. Twenty-five DPGs have applied for the revolving funds.
  • In Dungarpur, 58 ASHA and ANGAWADI WORKERS have been trained on disability inclusion to support the team in identification, certification, and linking with social security schemes, which will help the organisation saturate the entire districts with social security and livelihoods.
  • In Dungarpur, in December, medical assessments of 52 persons with disabilities were done at the district hospital, and their disability certificates were made with the help of village-level leaders whom the district team has developed.
  • In Dungarpur, sensitisation of PRI members on the RPWD Act and building their capacities in understanding the perspectives of disability were undertaken in non-EE blocks, namely Jhothari and Dovra. We built relationships with 91 PRI members and received their positive responses in helping with mobilising persons with disabilities in their villages for medical assessment and disability certifications and linking them with social security schemes.
  • On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Sightsavers organised a workshop in Dungarpur to felicitate officials of the SJE department, OPD leaders, and persons with disabilities who supported the social inclusion initiative in the district. More than 120 people participated in the event, and each one presented their contribution to effectively implementing the social inclusion initiative in the district. An action plan was also developed for 2024 to saturate the economic empowerment blocks with social security and livelihoods.
  • In Pratapgarh, we trained 22 OPD members on rights and entitlements, advocacy plans, and leadership to place them in the respective blocks to support the project in certification, linking persons with disabilities with social security schemes, increasing OPD membership, and effectively operationalise the OPD. A plan of action for 2024 has been developed, and responsibilities were delegated to ensure the effective implementation of the plan of action.
  • In Pratapgarh, we have been facing challenges in tapping all persons with disabilities in the district using regular methods. To address the challenge, we have developed 54 clusters in 8 blocks of the district with the support of the OPD Members. Each cluster will have a “Divyang Mitra” appointed who will act as a point person to support the project in the mobilisation of persons with disabilities, the certification process, linking PwDs with social security schemes, conducting accessible audits of the buildings, and advocacy with the respective departments, etc.
  • The livelihood mapping of the Disabled Peoples’ Group (PwD SHGs) in both Pratapgarh and Dungarpur districts has been submitted to Rajeevika (Rajasthan SRLM) to link them with their respective livelihoods.
  • We organised a State Level Consultation on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development, where 114 people participated, including government departments, allied organisations, persons with disabilities, and Rajeevika staff. Sightsavers India presented their vision for making Rajasthan a disability-inclusive state, which was well-received by all departments. The event also facilitated comprehensive healthcare services, offering eye checkups and anaemia testing. Notably, Rajeevika expressed a strong commitment to extending the social inclusion project to all districts of Rajasthan.

Uttar Pradesh

  • In collaboration with government departments, three UDID camps were organised in Sahawar, Sidpura, and Kasganj blocks. A total of 117 persons with disabilities applied for UDID.
  • In Kasganj, 250 PwDs applied for disability certificates, and 150 PwDs were facilitated for UDID. Additionally, 20 Persons with Disabilities were encouraged to register under the Vishwakarma Yojna. 112 PwDs were reduced for pensions and 45 for assistive devices.
  • The Annual General Body Meeting of the OPD was conducted in Unnao District. Twenty-eight PwDs, including 12 core members, attended the meeting. The agenda included well-functioning OPDs for the upcoming year, block-wise leadership, registration, and membership processes for OPDs.
  • An awareness and sensitisation session was conducted at Block Hasanganj in collaboration with the District Disabled Welfare Department and the Panchayati Raj Department. The focus was on educating officials from the PRI and Health Departments.
  • On “World Sight Day 2023,” a Special Eye Screening Camp was organised in Mirajpur Devgan Village for persons with disabilities in close collaboration with Vanshidhar Chikitsa Seva Sansthan. A total of 37 PwDs were screened.
  • In close collaboration with government departments, three UDID camps were organised in Patiyali, Amanpur, and Gunjdundawara blocks of Kasganj District. In these camps, 189 persons with disabilities applied for UDID.
  • A productive Networking and coordination meeting with the MSME/Industry Department for job linkage of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) took place in Unnao. Key participants, including Director RSETI, Director JSS, Program Manager PMKVY, District Mission Manager SRLM, and CEO of Safipur Nature Farming, shared valuable insights on available training, schemes, and financial support tailored for PwDs.
  • A Social Inclusion Programme supported by Bajaj Allianz was conducted in Kasganj to provide economic training to empower PwDs.
  • In the month of November in Kasganj:
  1. A total of 294 PwDs were facilitated for UDID.
  2. A total of 235 PwDs applied for disability certificates.
  3. A total of 30 PwDs were facilitated for railway passes.
  • In the month of November in Unnao:
  1. A total of 187 PwDs took membership in OPD.
  2. A total of 261 PwDs received UDID cards.
  3. Seventeen PwDs benefited from PM Awas Yojana.
  • Under the Sightsavers India Social Inclusion Programme, a transformative capacity-building session was conducted on December 30, 2023, focusing on empowering Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in Soron and Kasganj blocks. Facilitated by Associate Professor Satendra Yadav from GLA University, the training covered innovative micro-business ideas for economic sustainability, benefiting 23 Persons with Disabilities across five SHGs.
  • As part of the Sightsavers India Social Inclusion Programme, a highly impactful soft skills training session unfolded in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh, on December 23, 2023. Aimed at empowering Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the session, skillfully conducted by PMKVY trainer Vishal Kumar Saxena, focused on essential soft skills crucial for successful job interviews and effective job performance. With practical demonstrations, team-building exercises, and resume-building sessions, the training was attended by 36 participants who also shared their feedback, emphasising their satisfaction.
  • A successful event commemorating World Disability Day was celebrated in Unnao on December 3, 2023, with Mr Rishiraj Ji, IAS Chief Development Officer/In charge DM Unnao, serving as the Chief Guest for the inauguration. The rally program, aimed at sensitising the community about the inclusiveness of disabled individuals, was flagged off by CDO and BSA and organised by OPD members. Cultural performances by both OPD members and disabled children enriched the event. OPD members were recognised for their impactful efforts, receiving a token of appreciation and acknowledgement from the Basic Education Department. The event witnessed active participation, with around 250 attendees.
  • A 6-day Self-Defense training program in Unnao was organised from December 26 to 31, 2023. Fourteen visually impaired girls participated. Chief Development Officer Shri Rishi Raj Ji IAS and District Disabled Welfare Officer Mr Amit Kumar Sonkar inaugurated the training program. The program, led by international referee Mr Dilshad Ji, focused on empowering girls with self-defence techniques. Dr. Nikita, appointed by the Health Department, provided insights into health, nutrition, and sanitation, including menstrual hygiene management. Key dignitaries from the National Para Judo Association, Mr. Munawar Anjar and Ms. Kokila, appreciated the participants and distributed gifts and certificates to them. Mr Pramod Tripathi (SPL) from Sightsavers India expressed gratitude and encouraged the girls to improve.
  • In the PRI pilot project, as of November 16, 16 LoUs have been signed. In these 16 panchayats, the collection of baseline data has been actively carried out by the Pradhans and ward members.
  • The celebration of the “Har Dil Mein Samvidhan” campaign on Constitution Day in Sultanpur Thakru Gram Panchayat (Soron Block) took place. The primary focus was on underlining the significance of the Indian Constitution Preamble. Insightful discussions occurred with ward members, Panchayat Sahayak, ASHA, AWW, teachers, and villagers, aimed at cultivating a profound understanding of constitutional values.

West Bengal

  • On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a camp was organised at Howrah in collaboration with WBSRLM & Howrah DRDC, where two representatives from the World Bank visited. Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) from Economic Empowerment Blocks showcased their products (jewellery, hand wash, dish wash, detergent) learned through livelihood training provided by Sightsavers India.
  • Persons with Disabilities (PWD) beneficiaries of Sightsavers India participated in the Saras Mela, organised by the West Bengal State Rural Livelihood Mission from December 22, 2023, to January 1, 2024. They opened a stall where they showcased their products, interacted with buyers, and sold them, boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • A meeting was organised between Sightsavers India and Trickle Up to discuss the strategy and planning for successfully implementing the Graduation Model.
  • Under the Graduation Model, a log frame has been developed to implement the program correctly.

Inclusive Education

Chhattisgarh

  • 150 newly appointed teachers from various districts of Chhattisgarh were oriented on eye health and the role of teachers in identifying eye problems during their inception training conducted at SCERT. The State IE consultant conducted the session.
  • Sightsavers India presented a resource kit for the SCERT training centre, consisting of assistive devices and ICT, to the Director of SCERT. This kit will be used to orient teachers on their usage of CVIs.
  • Three-day and two-day General Teachers Training on Inclusive Pedagogy and ICT were conducted in Mahasamund and Basna Blocks, respectively. The objective was to equip teachers with comprehensive strategies for inclusive teaching. Participants gained valuable insights into leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to create diverse and accessible learning environments. The program fostered a collaborative atmosphere, enhancing teachers’ abilities to effectively cater to diverse student needs. A total of sixty-two teachers attended the training.
  • A sensitisation session for school administration and staff on 21 types of disabilities was conducted in Mahasamund, where thirty school headmasters and teachers were oriented on inclusive practices and creating a more accessible and supportive learning environment. The activity aimed to promote inclusivity and diversity.
  • A particular awareness drive was conducted on World Disabilities Day in Baloda Bazaar district to spread awareness of the rights and entitlements of Persons with Disabilities. A total of sixty-six PwDs actively participated in the drive.
  • A one-day training of social animators on supporting CVIs was conducted at the BRC office in Baloda Bazaar. This training aimed to assist parents and social animators in using various tools and resources to support the education, literacy, and self-reliance of children with visual impairment. A total of twenty-eight participants actively took part in this programme.

Jharkhand

  • Assistive Device Distribution took place on World Sight Day in collaboration with the District Education Department, Hazaribagh. A total of 25 children with visual impairments received suitable assistive devices and educational materials.
  • Cultural Events and various competitions like dance, speech, singing, musical chairs, drawing, and painting were organised on World Disability Day. In this event, more than 20 children with visual impairments participated in different events and won prizes and appreciation.
  • Improving the skill set of Children with Visual Impairment (CVIs): Under the Inclusive Education Project, Deoghar, a specialised training event was conducted to improve the skill sets of children with visual impairments (a total of 35 CVIs participated). The event focused on equipping them with crucial skills in utilising Braille, Daisy Players, and smartphones from October 9th to 10th, 2023.
  • Exploring the abilities and skills of CVIs: On November 15th, 2023, on the occasion of Jharkhand Foundation Day at the Shilpgram Auditorium in Deoghar, five visually impaired students demonstrated the operation of a laptop at a dedicated stall, effortlessly navigating through tasks, breaking barriers, and shattering misconceptions about abilities. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Mr Hafizul Hasan, graced the event and interacted with the CVIs.
  • Exposure Visit of children with disabilities: The IE Team of Deoghar district organised an exposure visit where 60 children from 10 blocks across the district embarked on a journey that promised not just sights and sounds but an experience transcending barriers. The CWSN students were taken on a tour of the district’s famous places—parks, mountains, river dams, and more.

Madhya Pradesh

  • On World Sight Day 2023, competitions like the Braille Championship, Daisy Player and Smartphone Championship, Drawing Championship, and recreational activities were held at the CWSN hostel in Katni. Twenty-eight CWSN participated enthusiastically and won several prizes.
  • The Sightsavers IE team trained 50 teacher trainees at DIET, Katni district, on Inclusive Education, 21 Types of Disability, Plus Curriculum, and Orientation and Mobility.
  • The Sightsavers project IE team, serving as DRG at DIET Katni, trained 112 teachers on Inclusive Education, 21 Types of Disability, Curriculum, Inclusive Sports, and Orientation and Mobility.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with Rajya Shiksha Kendra, MP, has developed guidelines for the CWSN Hostels based in 52 districts of MP. Points related to visually impaired children staying in these hostels have been incorporated, and a checklist for the assessment of the hostels in terms of Accessibility, Inclusiveness, Health/Nutrition, Safeguarding, Sanitation/Hygiene, Recreation, Daily needs, Linkages, Educational support, and pre-vocational activities has been developed. This guideline will be helpful for all the CwSN hostels, particularly hostels for girls, regarding safety and protection. There are 22 hostels for girls out of the total 66 in MP. This checklist will also identify gaps and support the government to improve the hostels. The mission director, RSK MP, has appreciated Sightsavers India for supporting the development of the CWSN Hostel guidelines.
  • Pre-donor visit to IE Programme in Raisen district by ITC team. Visited CVIs in schools and interacted with beneficiaries, animators, teachers, and government officials.
  • On World Disability Day, a competition for CWSN children was held in the Katni district. It included Braille and sign language competitions for teachers. Various events like spoon races, dances, music, chair races, and rangoli were organised, with prizes awarded to the winning children.
  • In Katni, Sightsavers India conducted a successful two-day training program, emphasising Braille, Orientation and Mobility, and Daily Living Skills for visually impaired children. The initiative equipped social animators and parents with essential knowledge to support visually impaired children, distributing 25 Braille kits to enhance their learning and communication capabilities.
  • Conducted a four-day fresher training program for CVIs on Plus Curriculum under the Bajaj-supported IE project in Raisen. The comprehensive initiative covered various aspects, including Braille kit orientation, Taylor frame, ADLS training, and preparing a 3-month action plan for animators’ roles.
  • As part of the Bajaj-supported IE program in Mandla district, a two-day refresher training was conducted for general teachers. Forty-five teachers from government schools actively participated, focusing on curriculum pedagogy, Braille writing in words and numbers, smartphone accessibility, and Daisy player usage to support CVIs and parents.

Odisha

  • Exposure visits of IE Coordinators and Block Resource Persons to New Delhi were organised from November 6th to November 10th, 2023. 14 individuals from 7 Odisha districts visited different New Delhi organisations actively engaged in inclusive education and disability.
  • OSEPA organised a state-level convergence meeting to prepare the Annual Plan and budget for 2024-25 and 2025-26 for Samagra Shiksha on October 17th.
  • Tarun Pradhan of Class 5 and Bhawani Panda of Class 9 from Ganjam participated in the AICFB East Zone Chess Championship for The Visually Challenged 2023 at Kolkata, where 52 participants participated from Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Bhawani Panda was selected for the finals in Ahmedabad in December.
  • The 8th Meeting for the Development of the Udyam Module for classes 6th to 8th was organised on November 3rd and 4th, 2023. The programme’s objective was to verify the writings of section 2 and to add the additional adaptation part by resource persons in the final writings. A total of 12 individuals participated in the meeting, including 9 resource persons.
  • Samagra Sikshya, Kalahandi, organised the three-day Braille Training Programme. A 10-day Residential Braille training programme was scheduled from October 11th to 20th, 2023, for CVIs in the elementary stage, covering 20 CVIs.
  • Training of Social Animators: A training program for social animators was organised by the Ganjam project from December 11th to 14th, covering 30 participants.
  • Training of Master Trainers: The training of master trainers was organised by the Ganjam project on December 15th and 16th, 2023. The main objective of the training was to train the participants on using the module in an inclusive classroom.
  • SMC meetings and parent counselling sessions: Four cluster-level SMC meetings and parent counselling sessions were organised at Chatrapur, Bhanjanagar, Purushottampur, and Digapahandi. Around 160 parents of CVIs and SMC members participated in these meetings. These meetings were organised to raise awareness of Inclusive Education.

Rajasthan

  • Representation of IE project activities was showcased during the review meeting organised by Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, Rajasthan.
  • During the meeting to develop the Rajasthan Vision 2030 for education, Sightsavers India participated and provided input on IE.
  • The completion of verification of new CVIs was followed by ICT training of 23 CVIs on using mobiles and 5 CVIs on using laptops. Additionally, Plus Curriculum training was completed for 10 CVIs, achieving the targets of fresh training for the DXC-supported IE project in Alwar.
  • A career counselling session was conducted for CVIs.
  • In Udaipur, a 15-day Plus curriculum camp focusing on Braille learning was organised for 20 CVIs.
  • Sightsavers India, a core technical committee member for CVI devices procurement, actively participated in two meetings, providing valuable suggestions for procuring 501 Refreshable Braille Displays (RBDs) with technical specifications.
  • A ten-day curriculum training for 20 visually impaired children at Astha Training Center, Bedla, Udaipur, significantly enhanced their academic capabilities. A mapping initiative identified 22 newly identified CVIs in the Alwar district, highlighting the need for support.
  • The development of a digital resource centre in Pratapgarh (BRC) to support children with visual impairment and other disabilities.
  • A step towards strengthening networking: Sightsavers India was invited to present at UNFPA’s State Consultation on Innovations in Education, where Tushita Mukherjee, Senior Project Officer of Rajasthan, was one of the panellists who presented Rajasthan’s outcomes in the area of Inclusive Education. At the consultation, the Alwar team demonstrated the use of various assistive devices in the education of children with visual impairment. The presentation was well-received by media persons, civil society organisations, and officers from the SJE department, paving the way towards building relationships with various stakeholders.
  • Students with blindness need competencies in the ‘Expanded Core Curriculum – ECC’ to cope with the school curriculum. Therefore, to motivate them, a ‘Competition of Braille (Braille-a-thon)’ was organised for eleven students with blindness in the Alwar district.
  • In Alwar, 10 children with visual impairment were provided training on using Daisy Player.
  • In Alwar, a low vision assessment was organised for twenty-one children with visual impairment, and low vision devices were prescribed by optometrists from Shroff Charitable Eye Hospital.
  • In Alwar, training on inclusive pedagogy and ICT was organised for 39 general teachers to support children with visual impairment studying in government schools.
  • In Pratapgarh, 05 mobiles, 05 DAISY Players, and 01 Laptop were provided to children with visual impairment, and training was organised for them to use these devices smoothly to cope with the school curriculum.
  • In Udaipur, 19 CVIs were trained on using mobiles, 03 CVIs on using laptops, and 60 teachers who specialised in special education were trained on low vision screening.
  • Sightsavers India was invited to present at UNFPA’s State Consultation on Innovations in Education, where Tushita Mukherjee, Senior Project Officer of Rajasthan, was one of the panellists who presented Rajasthan’s outcomes in Inclusive Education. At the consultation, the Alwar team demonstrated the use of various assistive devices in the education of children with visual impairment. The presentation was well-received by media persons, civil society organisations, and officers from the SJE department, paving the way towards building relationships with various stakeholders.
  • Sightsavers India, in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development and RAJEEVIKA, organised a consultation on World Disability Day in Jaipur. 114 participants were actively engaged, including government departments, allied organisations, persons with disabilities, and Rajeevika staff. SPL Rajasthan of Sightsavers India presented a vision of Disability Inclusive state of Rajasthan, emphasising collective action. Sightsavers India also organised eye health camps, and SPD RAJEEVIKA expressed a strong commitment to extending the social inclusion project to all districts of Rajasthan.

Uttar Pradesh

  • Under the Sightsavers India IE Programme in Kasganj, a comprehensive Plus curriculum training was conducted. The primary objective of this training was to empower children with visual impairments, specifically those classified as CVIs (Totally Blind and Severe low vision). The Plus curriculum offered a well-rounded educational approach, encompassing essential skills such as Braille reading and writing in both Hindi and English, sensory development, fine and gross motor skills, mobility training, and advanced daily living skills like folding clothes and combing. Nineteen children, along with their parents, participated in this transformative training.
  • During October, inclusive education facilitators conducted 43 home visits and 22 school visits. These visits aimed to support children with visual impairments (CVIs) in their academic pursuits, ensuring they receive the necessary guidance and assistance.
  • The Samagra Shiksha State Project Office in Lucknow held a crucial meeting to finalise the 90-day teacher training module for implementation across Uttar Pradesh. Sightsavers played a vital role in shaping the inclusive and comprehensive curriculum, providing practical recommendations for visually impaired students, particularly in the module focused on visual impairments. The success story from Kasganj was discussed, and the expert committee suggested its inclusion in the content.
  • Basic Shiksha Vibhag organised a successful exposure tour to Mathura and Vrindavan in Kasganj for 120 children with special needs. Notably, 20 Children with Visual Impairments (CVIs) actively participated, highlighting our commitment to equal opportunities for all children.
  • The Disability Welfare department conducted a four-day training program on specific learning disabilities and ADHD. Sightsavers India actively participated, emphasising Inclusive Education Pedagogy for a more inclusive and accessible learning environment.
  • Under the Sightsavers India Inclusive Education Programme in Kasganj, a comprehensive Plus curriculum training was conducted for 7 days. The training focused on empowering CVIs with essential skills such as Braille reading and writing, sensory development, mobility training, and daily living skills. Nineteen children and their parents actively participated in this transformative training.
  • Within the Sightsavers India Inclusive Education Programme in Kasganj District, a significant Plus curriculum training transpired from December 9th to December 15th, 2023, at BRC Gunjdundawara. Aimed at empowering visually impaired children, specifically those identified as CVIs (Totally Blind and Severe Low Vision), the training focused on vital skills, including Braille literacy, sensory development, mobility training, and daily living skills. Seventeen enthusiastic children, accompanied by dedicated parents from Patiyali, Sidpura, and Gunjdundawara blocks, actively participated in this comprehensive program, marking a substantial step towards inclusive education and holistic development.
  • Under the Sightsavers India Inclusive Education Programme, supported by Bajaj Allianz, a momentous celebration of World Disability Day unfolded on December 3, 2023, at Ganesh Inter College in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh. Coordinated with Basic Shiksha Vibhag, the event garnered enthusiastic participation from around 250 CwSNs and their parents in Kasganj District, including CVIs (Children with Visual Impairments). Esteemed political figures inaugurated the program, emphasising inclusivity and equal opportunities. A diverse array of cultural and sporting events, including specially crafted games like Braille writing, identification of objects by touch, and rope races, showcased the talents of CVIs, fostering camaraderie and joy.
  • In a proactive initiative, we successfully conducted a comprehensive Social Animator Training in Kasganj. The two-day program featured sessions at BRC Kasganj and BRC Gunjdundawara, with the active participation of sixty dedicated social animators. Our training approach centred on enhancing their understanding of the crucial role of social animators, emphasising both their responsibilities and technical skills. The attendees’ engagement highlighted the training’s success, contributing to our ongoing community development and empowerment efforts.

West Bengal

  • On November 24th, 2023, Sightsavers India inaugurated the Block Resource Centre at Sadar South CLRC Ratanpur, where 30 children with Visual Impairment and Low Vision were present.
  • The West Bengal Team has hired a consultant to document the Inclusive Education program of Howrah and Bankura. The consultant visited the field and interacted with beneficiaries, government officials, and district staff to understand the programme.

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