Sagar Trust partners with the Swiss family of Abem. Abem was a much loved grandmother who adored children. This project was started in her memory by Marie (granddaughter) and Gautam Prasad. Under this project economically underpriviledged children under 18 are treated free of cost, including hospital stay for their various eye ailments. The treatment costs are borne by Abem's family. This project has been underway since December 2014.
Through our ABEM project for children we reach underpriviledged children like Zoya (name changed). She had bilateral cataracts at the age of 11 and was unable to walk when she visited us. We supported her with bilateral cataract surgeries that helped her gain useful vision, physiotherapy to make her lower limbs strong, and educational resources.
Caddies Welfare Trust
Sagar Trust partners with the Caddies Welfare Trust (CWT) to provide year round ophthalmic care for the daily wage earning caddies of the Delhi Golf Club. The CWT is a pan India Trust meant to cater to caddies across the country with respect to their health, financial and educational needs. The CWT activities provides significant security as most caddies are daily wage earners with an income of less than Rupees 10,000 a month. Eye camps are held annually in the caddies hut. Any caddy needing eye related treatment or surgeries follow up with us throughout the year. This treatment is paid for by the Caddies Welfare Trust. The project has been underway since 2014.
Sahaj Sagar Trust
Sahaj Sagar Trust has established a weekly charitable medical clinic at Carterpuri Village Gurgaon. This is run free of cost by the wives of retired air force officers in Gurgaon. Sagar Trust takes care of the ophthalmic needs of the immigrant and labour population attending this clinic. Eye Camps are held at Carterpuri village and those requiring treatment of surgery follow up with us at our eyecentre. The cost of treatment is borne by the Sahaj Sagar Trust. This project is underway since 2013.
ONGC Project -looking after the sex workers and their families in the GB Road community
We had a one eyed young girl patient in our clinic who had come to us with symptoms of photophobia (aversion to light) in her only seeing eye. This is a common symptom in eye diseases. However, we could not find anything wrong with her eye. Her history led us to the clue. She had been rescued from a brothel some time ago and was being sheltered with an NGO. We realized that she had been in darkened rooms for so long that even normal light seemed too muchh for her eye. Her problem got ameliorated with a simple photochromatic glass. We thought there must be many other such patients and we thought of helping others like her. This prompted us to go and work in The GB Road area of Delhi where many women and girls are forced into trafficking against their will. We were able to do this when ONGC decided to support this idea.
Our project is different from the 'raid and rescue' models earlier prevalent in GB Road.
We have stayed there for the long term with our local partner, SPID, building support networks, encouraging sex workers to travel out confidently and inviting outsider visitors to our camps to lessen their prejudices. We have been there since 2016 and have conducted 18 main eye camps (and 15 follow up), reaching out to over 1700 people in the GB road community of sex workers and their extended families.
Under the project eye camps are held regularly in GB road thus bringing ophthalmic care to the very doorstep of the sex workers community. In addition to ophthalmic care, other medical needs and social challenges are determined and relevant doctors and counselors invited to the camps to mitigate these. Lobbying at strategic levels for social issues and specialized care is also provided .A white paper on the project has been published. Two phases of this project have been concluded in March 2020.
We await commencement and support for a third phase which will build in the new specifications related to Covid such as strict hygeine and social distancing. We will educate the local people about Covid safeguards and distribute masks and other items as required. Along with our core medico-social camps we will also invite medical specialists to work with us.
BPCL Project - attending to the eye care and social challenges of marginalized women
Even at the best of times, women have lesser access to good healthcare facilities due to financial, administrative and gender issues. We often find ladies of lower socioeconomic groups coming to us with advanced diseases. This may be for a variety of reasons-the family sometimes prioritizes the heath of male members ;women tend to neglect themselves; some in an abusive relationship become timid and lose confidence, and are unable to assertively seek heaklth care unless the issue is serious. Some elderly women are dependent on younger family members to escort them to clinics, who may be very busy in their work. We therefore felt the urge to go regularly to the doorstep of marginalized communities so that they can easily avail of quality medical care at no cost, at a place just a few metres away.
Nithari village was in the news when there were a series of child killings which had instilled fear in the local community. NGOs had stepped in to help in those days and there are schools and skilling centres for the underpriviledged community.Many resttlement colonies like Savdha Ghevra area have several clusters of colonies with semi-permanent roofing and crowded lanes with drug problems.
BPCL is a highly regarded and admired Public Sector Unit (PSU). Through this project, Sagar Trust reaches out to marginalised women residing in areas of NCR such as Savdha Ghevra, Vikas Nagar, Nithari Village - NOIDA and others. This project has been underway since 2019.
We made many discoveries during these camps. Some women in resettlement colonies were amazed to find how well they could see by simply giving them spectacles. A few had never visited an eye doctor and did not realize that their sight had a margin for improvement-thinking that everyone must be having vision like this ! We found groups of women who never had the luxury of time to themselves on any day as they were constantly doing chores or looking after others' needs and we arranged a motivational speaker to help them realize that they must tap into their own dreams and desires for a few minutes everyday. We helped with diverse social challenges ranging from drugs to mental health issues.