A young girl and Vision Ambassador for Orbis REACH project stands outside in front of a tree in Chennai, India.

Earth Day 2022

Happy Earth Day! In honor of this special day, we're announcing some sustainable initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint. Read more below how we're doing our part to protect the planet.

Green Vision Centers

To kick off Earth Day, we've teamed up with our partner Susrut Eye Foundation and Research Center (SEFRC) to open 9 new Green Vision Centers in rural communities in India. Green Vision Centers are an innovative approach to pediatric eye care that improve the quality and accessibility of eye health services while focusing on sustainability. Centers run on solar power which not only reduces carbon impact, but also solves challenges caused by frequent power outages. This means patients are ensured uninterrupted, quality eye care, regardless of access to electricity.

Children receive free access to eye screenings, glasses and other eye care services at the Green Vision Centers, which also provide primary eye care services to the community. Routine eye screenings are critical in catching diseases early, when they are most likely to be treatable. For complex cases which require advanced care, each center is connected with a hospital for referrals. Staff also conduct screenings and provide glasses to children in schools and day care centers located in the communities surrounding the centers.

A patient receives an eye screening at a Green Vision Center

A patient receives an eye screening at a Green Vision Center.

Benefitting Women and Girls

Five of the new Green Vision Centers also address a variety of traditional barriers for women and girls. We trained women-led management teams to run the centers, creating jobs and increasing financial independence for women. Fifteen vision technicians have also been trained and employed to work in the new facilities. An added benefit of having female staff is that many women in rural communities in India are more likely to seek eye care for themselves and their children when it is administered by other women. As we continue our partnerships with local hospitals, we aim to empower even more women through career opportunities.

Meet the Reach Team

In addition to adding and improving Green Vision Centers in India, we've partnered with Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital (SGLEH) to expand our REACH (Refractive Errors Among Children) project. Our REACH project makes eye screenings even more accessible for children, employing a strategy of both door-to-door and school outreach. The door-to-door approach was particularly helpful during the pandemic, when many children were at home due to school closures.

The team responsible for these these invaluable screenings is comprised of a range of eye care professionals. Community health workers Niharika Paul and Suman Majumdar conduct school and door-to-door outreach, while also raising community awareness. By traveling on electric scooters, they further reduce our environmental impact.

Project manager, Kuldeep Sharma, leads daily meetings to synchronize field activities and mitigate challenges—like how to approach a family during a visit, and how to identify eye ailments. Kuldeep is often joined by optometrist Koyel Jana, who shares her expertise on eye diseases.

Kuldeep holds a morning meeting with Niharika and Suman.

Kuldeep holds a morning meeting with Niharika and Suman.

Niharika and Suman start by approaching every household for eye screening. Using handy tools and following COVID safety protocols, the workers ensure that early diagnosis and treatment is possible for every child. Children and elderly identified with an eye ailment are immediately referred to the Green Vision Center for secondary evaluation.

In the evening, Niharika and Suman upload the details of individuals screened and referred into the Orbis door-to-door mobile application, REACHsoft, where optometrists like Koyel can monitor patient care.

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks to all of you—our supporters—we’ve provided 4.25 million eye screenings, over 129,000 optical treatments, and 1,400 sight-saving surgeries since launching REACH in 2016. With the expansion of our program and addition of even more Green Vision Centers, we will be able to save the sight of even more

“More children are blind in India than in any other country, and in over half of cases, sight could be restored with early intervention and treatment,” said Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director for Orbis India. “Ensuring that families can access their children’s care close to home is critical to overcoming this challenge. That's why I'm so proud of the Green Vision Centers in operation today – with all the potential they represent for children, for rural communities and for our planet.”

Dr. Rishi Raj Borah

Country Director for Orbis India

More chil­dren are blind in India than in any oth­er coun­try, and in over half of cas­es, sight could be restored with ear­ly inter­ven­tion and treat­ment. Ensur­ing that fam­i­lies can access their children’s care close to home is crit­i­cal to over­com­ing this chal­lenge. That’s why I’m so proud of the Green Vision Cen­ters in oper­a­tion today – with all the poten­tial they rep­re­sent for chil­dren, for rur­al com­mu­ni­ties and for our planet.


Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again