The Sundarban forest lies in the vast delta on the Bay of Bengal not too far from the city of Kolkata. It is famous for its natural beauty and wildlife. In terms of health indicators, it is one of the lowest performing regions in the country. The landscape consists of difficult terrain and inaccessible areas and the region is home to several historically marginalised groups. The existing government health system is inadequate to meet the health care needs of the local population. Recognising the need, Sightsavers launched the Sunderbans Project to strengthen existing eye health systems and provide comprehensive eye care to the locals. Through the project Sightsavers aims to conduct 27,400 corrective surgeries and screen 4,57,800 children in schools over a five year period.
Looking at the challenge of reaching out to people with eye ailments, Sighsavers in association with Standard Chartered Bank has launched mobile eye boat clinics. This is an innovative initiative as people can easily come on board and can undergo a comprehensive eye screening through our local hospital partners.