Sightsavers stories

Sharifan's story

“The spectacles corrected my near vision challenge, and for that, I am thankful to the team for their assistance and free-of-cost spectacles.” – Sharifan.

Sharifan, a resident of Indore, found herself in a challenging situation. She lives in a slum where they primarily work as waste pickers, domestic workers, or daily wage labourers. Sharifan is a widow and lives with her younger son.

At 60, Sharifan works as a waste picker, often travelling long distances within the city to collect waste.  She struggles to meet the household’s needs due to her financial condition. Additionally, she suffers from sciatica, adding to her physical challenges.

Previously, she would collect waste, plastics, and paperboard within the city, but lately, it has become increasingly difficult due to the scarcity of garbage and the absence of involvement in a solid waste management system by the local authorities. As a result, she must venture far to find waste. The segregation of trash is a laborious task.

Sharifan had been experiencing blurry vision for a long time, but her financial crisis prevented her from seeking medical attention for her eyes, which also affected her work.

One day, she received information about a Mobile Van Clinic (MVC) that would be conducting eye check-ups in her area. The mobile van clinic is an initiative by Sightsavers India under its Urban Eye Health Programme. Throughout the day, she noticed people getting their eyes checked at the MVC, but she hesitated to approach the mobile van. However, a staff member of the MVC counselled and encouraged her to get her eyes checked.

She mustered the courage to undergo the examination, which revealed that she had a refractive error in her near vision, and considering her economic condition, she was provided spectacles free of cost. This news brought her great delight. After receiving the spectacles, Sharifan B experienced a profound sense of happiness.