Rural Vision Care Program
Project Duration: Since August 2017
Project Partner(s): Carl Zeiss India
Project Region: Gudalur Block of the Nilgiri District, Tamil Nadu
Target Group: Low-income people in remote areas, who cannot afford or access vision care services
Principal Objective: Providing affordable and accessible vision care through social entrepreneurship models
In the Nilgiri Hills many low income people live in remote villages and don't have access to vision care and screening services and/or can't afford to buy spectacles. Those people suffering from visual problems are thereby put in a strongly disadvantaged position – for example at school or at work – and are adversely affected in their everyday life.
In August 2017, we started to collaborate with Carl Zeiss India – an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries – to provide affordable and accessible vision care especially in remote areas of the Nilgiri Hills. This involves awareness raising, screening and dispensing of spectacles in resource poor settings. The project is based on a social entrepreneurship model, in which five local entrepreneurs are trained by Zeiss. They are responsible for providing screening and sales of spectacles at a low price primarily in rural areas. Two centers are set up, which serve as workplaces and to store the equipment provided by Zeiss. The centers are opened weekly to conduct screenings and to sell the spectacles. In addition, a minimum of two camps monthly take place in very remote areas for people, who are not able to visit the screening centers. CTRD is responsible for the overall coordination of the project and is the intermediary between Zeiss and the local entrepreneurs.