Akhand Jyoti assists in restoring sight and dignity, alleviating poverty,
and promoting gender equality in low-income states of India.
Our Approach – From Football to Eyeball
By delivering eye-health innovatively, Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital restores sight and dignity, alleviates poverty, and promotes gender equality in low-income states of India, initially in Bihar. We are using football as an instrument of change – targeting gender based inequalities, economic exploitation, malnutrition and child marriage, all of which afflict girls in rural Bihar. Soccer is hugely popular in rural India, but girls often aren’t permitted to play with the boys, even though many of them want to. We wanted to convince people in the community that girls are capable of doing a lot of things that they don’t do, so he founded a girls’ soccer team and started making the rounds to village families, persuading parents to let their daughters join. In exchange for their permission to let the girls play soccer, he promises them a free education in a combined vocational and educational program. Today there are 140 girls being educated in the school and playing on the soccer team. After they finish their basic levels of schooling, the girls are trained as optometrists and can go on to work at the hospital or at one of its clinics throughout India. Overall, more than three quarters of the hospital’s staff are women—many of them women who, without this training program, would have had little opportunity for such a lucrative and fulfilling profession.
Football to Eyeball
By delivering eye-health innovatively, Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital restores sight and dignity, alleviates poverty, and promotes gender equality in low-income states of India.
WORKING WHERE IT REALLY MATTERS
The poorest 200 districts in India are concentrated in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which together could form the world’s third largest country. Sample Bihar – it’s per capita income matches Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone. Blindness is both a cause and outcome of poverty.
Akhand Jyoti strategically chose to work in these 200 districts; the first mission is to make Bihar, the poorest state, blind free by 2022. That means doing over 400,000 sight-restoring surgeries on both adults and children over the next 5 years in a community primarily agrarian.
- build school