Shrikanth specializes in handlooming, an ancient craft that requires sharp vision and a steady hand, as each piece of yarn needs to be threaded through a tiny hole. When Shrikanth’s vision started deteriorating, he found that he had to increasingly strain his eyes while working, which led to tired eyes and occasional headaches. His poor vision also impacted his productivity, making him much slower than the other workers.
When he heard he would be able to receive vision care in his village through a door to door vision screening service, he was incredibly relieved. “I do intricate detailing work so not being able to see well affects my job. I was struggling to keep up with the other workers and was scared I would be fired if I failed to meet my quota,” shares Shrikanth. “Through the Namma Kannu Namma Doddaballapura project, I got my eyes tested and received spectacles. Now I can weave works I am proud of again!”
Shrikanth is one of the many residents of Doddaballapura Taluk who suffered from uncorrected poor vision. With the aim of creating the first poor vision-free region in India, the Namma Kannu Namma Doddaballapura project screened 2.3 million residents, including Shikanth, and dispensed 41,000 free spectacles. In late 2021, Doddaballapura Taluk was declared to be poor vision free. The project was supported by EssilorLuxottica in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of Karnataka, Prerana Trust, a non-for-profit organization and Drishti Eye Hospital, a social impact organization.