Founders of Sagar Trust -
Dr (Capt) Anjali Mehta, MBBS, DO, DNB
Specialist in Cataract and Oculoplastic Surgery with over 28 years experience in the medical profession and 23 years in ophthalmology.
Anjali's detailed resume
Mr. Kapil Mehta, MBA (IIM Ahmedabad), Mechanical Engineer (IIT, Delhi)
Managing Director, SecureNow TechServices Pvt. Ltd. (www.securenow.in)
Message from the Founders, Sagar Trust -
The Sagar Trust came into being in 2009. As young doctors, most of us were given a freer hand when treating poorer patients as compared to wealthier private patients. Most of these poor people were very gracious - they thanked and blessed us profusely for any good outcomes and took the blame on themselves and their destiny when outcomes were less than successful. As we became more skilled we were increasingly allowed to handle the richer patients and our success was judged by the economic standing of the group that we were assigned to deal with. This did not seem fair; the poor who had aided our early learning, deserved our skills the most. I was determined that a considerable part of my experience should be shared with those whom I will always remain indebted to for my skills - those poor patients. We formed the trust so that over the years many poor people benefit from the expertise of skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists.
This trust is quite different in that its main thrust is in the specialised area of oculoplasty which deals with the ocular adnexa (the area around the eyes). This field includes all disesases of the lids, bony socket, soft tissues around eyes, lacrimal system, thyroid eye disease and also cosmetic surgery. Most current charitable infrastructure is geared to cataract surgery. Oculoplastic surgeons are relatively few in number and these surgeries typically take far longer to perform than cataract surgery. For these reasons the underpriviledged do not have easy access to free/subsidised oculoplastic procedures. The trust attempts to provide this.
Our long standing experience has been in providing medico - social care to financially underprivileged and marginalized communities such as sex workers, daily wage earners, and women in resettlement cluster communities amongst others.
We do this through a health care model wherein we provide:
- Regular ophthalmic care (our core area of expertise) at the community’s doorstep through regular, comprehensive camps along with effective and long-term follow up through our local NGO partners in the community. Our free eye check up camps are conducted with regularity in areas lacking facilities, using quality equipment whereby the beneficiaries are provided with eye medicines, general health tonics and customized spectacles at their doorstep. We facilitate blood tests for diabetes and anaemia during the camp where required. Ophthalmic surgeries are carried out at our centre, free of cost. Our documentation is meticulous.
- Along with ophthalmic care, our camps provide a safe and friendly contact point where patients are encouraged to voice other concerns they face for example mental issues, intimate partner violence, etc (women’s issues- our second area of experience). After we gain an understanding of their challenges we co-opt doctors of other specialties, social workers, drug counselors, motivational speakers, mental health providers etc. in our subsequent camps to address these or else refer the patient in a supervised manner where camp level help is not possible. Our early experience with sex workers some years ago (the newest phase of our project is still ongoing there) is described in our first white paper: http://bit.ly/OphthalmicCareforSexWorkers
One of our main concerns is that most of the donations should actually reach the intended beneficiary. We intend to spend as little as possible on overheads by using our existing infrastructure and keep overhead costs to a minimum.
The Trustee Board currently has eight trustees of high standing and repute who are experts in their respective fields. We expect the collective energy and ideas to produce excellent results. We hope that over the years Sagar trust becomes a well-respected name, synonymous with quality work and a high standard of ethics and transparency.