“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am, to be blessed.” – Mary Oliver
On the 25th August, a team of Senior Optometrists (Ms. Jameel Rizwana H, Dr. Krishna Kumar R, Ms. Vijayalakshmi A), M.Phil Optometry students (Ms. Archayeetha and Mr. Neeraj Kumar) and Optometry fellows (Mr. Danny Lewi Hau, Ms. Jasmine Jose and Ms. Uma Paul) from the Elite School of Optometry and Sankara Nethralaya witnessed the paradise on earth during their visit to the paradise home located at Muttukkadu. The special eye screening camp for the mentally challenged was organized by Mr. S.V.G Subramanian, Deputy Manager, eye bank and Mr. Raman from the “Daasya” an NGO, as an awareness creation and relief providing exercise to mark the ‘National Eye Donation Fortnight’ being observed between August 25th and September 8th 2013. This home serves around 70 people with special needs, primarily those with Mental retardation. Every one of the inmates deserves to be called a child though their physical age varied between 10 and 45 years.
Vision screening that comprised of assessment of visual acuity and functional vision, estimation of refractive errors, assessment of eye alignment and gross eye health assessment was done. Out of the 56 who were screened, refractive error was found in 27 children, anterior segment abnormalities including cataracts in 7, and strabismus in 10 children. Single vision glasses for near vision were distributed to 4 people. Further management including distribution of glasses and referral has been planned.
As eye and vision care professionals, catering to the needs of these special children gave the team a special sense of satisfaction a fulfilment to their profession, the mood of the team could be best captured in the following lines.
“You’ve developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto the delicacy of a daffodil … you are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.” -Lori Borgman