Activity Report: VisionSpring Foundation for the period 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020


 Mission:

To provide eye-screening, primary eye-care services, and eye-health advice to the people at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid.

 
Current Scenario:

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, more than 700 million people in the developing world struggle with poor life quality due to bad eyesight. It is estimated that uncorrected vision results in $227 billion in lost productivity to the global economy. 1.1 billion globally need eyeglasses for near vision correction and their vision can be restored with just a simple pair of reading glasses. In India alone, an estimated 550 million (55 Crore) people require eyeglasses for vision correction. Blurry vision compromises one’s ability to work effectively, to read and learn in school, and to navigate surroundings with ease and safety. For many living in developing countries suffering from vision loss, a pair of eyeglasses could mean the difference between opportunity and loss of income and quality of life.

Activities:

VisionSpring Foundation (VSF) is an NGO (not-for-profit) that does eye-screening for the poor people, provides primary eye-care services, and eye-health advice with FCRA Registration Number: 231661855. VSF also has the facility of providing eyeglasses to those who need them. VSF conducts community outreach activities and free eye-screening camps. The mobile eye-care units (vans) go to the remote interiors and provide last mile vision-care services to the poor. VSF also provides eye-care/eye-health advice centres and refers patients with complex eye diseases (such as cataract, etc.) to the nearest eye hospital. VSF helps change the lives of the poor people in India by aiding in restoring their vision.

VisionSpring Foundation (VSF) received a grant amount of USD 7,59,942 from 1st January 2020 to 30th June 2020:


 

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Praveen Kumar was a garment factory worker in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh. He lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team distributed him the hygiene kit and created awareness. He realized the importance of wearing masks. He collected some unused cloth and used his tailoring skills to make masks for his entire village. He distributed these free of charge. 

Maya Kapte is a 40-year-old daily wages worker and pottery artisan from Kelzar village from the Wardha Taluka in the Wardha District of Maharashtra., Her pottery work stopped due to the lockdown. The pottery pieces that she had made for the summer season could not be sold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The worst affected was the state of Maharashtra where her village was located. She was unable to feed her family due to financial reasons. Maya started working in the farms as a daily wage worker to generate some alternative source of income in order to feed her family. Maya was very grateful to VisionSpring Foundation for making her family aware about the social distancing protocols, handwashing norms, usage of masks, mask washing instructions, and maintenance of the masks as preventive measures to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. She expressed that the team is doing a great help to the society by helping people in the remote villages by distribution of the hygiene kits and conducting the awareness activities. 

Key Survey Findings:

  • Lack of Awareness: People were not aware about safety measures due to lack of information in their villages.

​             Statement by a Few Beneficiaries:

            "We heard the name Corona a lot but did not know what it was about. Now we know more how                  to protect ourselves.”

 

  • Behavioral Change on Hygiene Practices: Due to constant awareness creation, people have now started practicing hand hygiene and maintained social distancing.
  •  Lack of Work Leading to Financial Issues: Due to lack of work during the COVID-19 pandemic, people experienced financial issues.
  •  Lack of basic amenities: Marginalized communities living in poor conditions were unable to follow COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. They did not have access to essential hygiene supplies and masks and were unable to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.
  • Survey Outcome: A long and sustained battle against COVID-19 would follow. It can be controlled through continuous efforts towards maintaining social distancing and following hygiene and sanitation practices.


 

 

The novel coronavirus does not discriminate, it affects everyone. However, the ability to withstand the attack of COVID-19, and the ability to overcome the distress caused by it varies from the rich to the poor, from the haves to the have nots. People from marginalized communities are impacted disproportionately, especially the women, children, and elderly from these communities. As the pandemic continues its spread, the importance of hand washing, respiratory hygiene, and social distancing appeared as a key preventive measure against COVID-19, as well as many other infectious diseases. Marginalized people become even more vulnerable in emergencies due to factors such as lack of access to effective surveillance, and   early-warning systems, and health services. The COVID-19 outbreak is predicted to have significant impacts on various sectors. VisionSpring Foundation provided information, trained communities, identified misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, and updated on Government of India guidelines and protocols. Rising to the challenge posed by COVID-19, the Foundation got involved and helped the underprivileged people of India to fight this disease.  

 
Objective


Distributing hygiene kits to more than 20,000 low-income households (to touch more than 1,00,000 beneficiaries) across 12 states in India and creating awareness on prevention and safety measures for COVID-19. Assessment Survey of more than 18,000 beneficiaries to be conducted.

 
Our Approach

We focused on delivering impact. We actively explored to create the right solutions at the point of need. The team was trained in infection prevention and containment activities and received certificates from WHO on: (i) Infection Prevention Control for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and (ii) Emerging Respiratory Viruses, including COVID-19: Methods for Detection, Prevention, Response, and Control.

 Partnership with Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for Masks Production

Foundation partnered with Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for masks production and women microentrepreneurs made more than 1,00,000 masks that the Foundation distributed among low-income people across the country.

Door-to-Door Awareness, Sensitization, and Hygiene Kit Distribution

  • 56 Districts in 12 States across India were covered.
  • The campaign began in May 2020 and ended in June 2020.
  • 20,053 low-income households were given hygiene kits and 1,02,132 beneficiaries were touched.
  • Each hygiene kit had 4 cloth masks, 1 soap bar, 1 detergent bar, and information brochures/leaflets.
  • Assessment Survey of 18,800 beneficiaries was conducted.
  • Awareness creation, counselling, and behaviour change communication on hand hygiene, social distancing, mask wearing and maintenance, and COVID-19 symptoms was done.
  • People were informed to regarding myths related to COVID-19.
  • Precautionary measures were informed.
  • Helpline and Government emergency numbers, hospital and quarantine centre details, and other important information regarding COVID-19 support was shared.
  • Gram Panchayats, ASHA Workers, and Local Police and Administration were involved at all steps to ensure smooth execution. 

Photos and Coverage

Anantha Ram and his family suffered financially. He runs a small shop in the roadside of Chikbanavara Village in Bangalore, Karnataka. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his did not have any customers. Amidst all this struggle, his wife had to go through heart surgery. He spent all his savings towards the medical treatment of his wife and was left with no money to purchase the masks to safeguard himself and his family from COVID-19. He had also been fined by the State Police Authority for not wearing mask two days prior to our campaign.

On team members sensitized his family and gave hygiene kit to him which consisted of masks, soap, detergent, and leaflet for awareness on safety practices to be followed to stay safe from COVID-19. The team explained to him the precautionary measures to be followed. Anantha Ram was very happy to receive the kit and shared that majority of people in his community need awareness.


 


Locations Covered

Project Background and Plan: 

 Poor vision due to lack of eyeglasses leads to significant decrease in educational outcomes because 80% of all learning is through vision. Our key impact theme “See to Learn” aligns with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4.1 and 4.5 under Quality Education. We partnered with Karuna Trust in Karnataka and provided 651 eyeglasses to children. Karuna Trust was established with prime objective of 'Reaching the Unreached' to provide health care to the underserved and the poor in the remote areas.

Our Approach:

VisionSpring Foundation in collaboration with Karuna Trust distributed prescription (Rx) eyeglasses to children in Karnataka.