Becoming an Eye Mitra has changed my life

Eye Mitra, the world’s largest rural optical network providing communities with sustainable access to vision care, is empowering women like Rekha Kumari to contribute socially and economically to their communities.

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My name is Rekha Kumari and I am one of the Eye Mitras who is bringing eye care to where it didn’t exist before in India. Growing up, I’ve always been fond of lending a helping hand to the people around me. My current role as an Eye Mitra primary vision care provider has given me plenty of opportunities to do just that - helping others in my village to see better and do better.

When I was younger, I lacked the confidence to speak freely in front of other people. This changed after I took part in the 12-month Eye Mitra training, which equipped me with classroom knowledge and on-the-job experience of providing primary vision care services. We are trained to carry out basic vision tests and supported to set up our own business to sell prescription glasses and sunglasses in our community.

Becoming an Eye Mitra has not only empowered me to help my community but has also meant that I am able to bring in income and contribute to supporting my family. I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to choose this path in something that I’m passionate about.

Eye Mitra (friend of the eye in Hindi), launched in 2013 by EssilorLuxottica, trains men and women in rural and semi-urban areas to become primary vision care providers, bringing sustainable vision care to communities where it didn’t exist before. It’s also helping locals earn a livelihood, as well as empowering women like Rekha to contribute socially and economically to their communities.

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