Mission for Vision, an NGO established for the eradication of avoidable blindness.

Blindness is largely a consequence of poverty and people with visual impairment are more likely to remain or become economically challenged.

The origins of Mission for Vision was through the Tulsi Trust, an organisation established by Mr. Mithumal Tulsi Chanrai in 1975, working as a non-profit in the social development sector via initiatives in the healthcare, education, poverty alleviation etc.

Seeing an incredible potential to eradicate poverty through enhanced sight - with the belief that eradicating avoidable blindness enhances productivity and leads to social and economic equality if the underprivileged are able to access the right treatment at the right time, Mr Jagdish M Chanrai (s/o of Mr Mithumal Tulsi Chanrai) along with fellow businessmen and associates, came together to form Mission for Vision (MFV) in 2000.

People waiting for an eye check-up at a rural outreach camp

Vision:

To restore the gift of vision to every visually impaired human being, irrespective of nationality, religion or socio-economic status.

MFV team conducting eye check-up at a rural outreach camp

Mission:

To establish in partnership, a hospital in every state of India providing free high quality eye care to the poor.

Mr. Jagdish M Chanrai

Philosophy:

Caring Capitalism is the philosophy that underpins the ethos of the organization.

“While capitalism focuses mainly on making money, Caring Capitalism focuses on how one can use a portion of that for the benefit of society.

As capitalists, we can continue to live well, enjoy our capital and live the lifestyle we choose. Yet as caring capitalists, we have a responsibility beyond ourselves to care for the social and environmental surroundings of our businesses. If the surrounding community is happy, healthy and secure, one is assured of a better tomorrow.”

Jagdish M. Chanrai, Founder - Mission for Vision

Values:

MFV’s values are centred around quality care, cost efficiency, sustainability and service for all.

Since its establishment in India, MFV has acted as a catalyst by strengthening several institutions towards excellence through equitable services and supported over a million eye surgeries. Today, MFV partners with 10 organisations in reaching out to economically challenged communities in 14 Indian states, with 21 reputed eye hospitals and centres, in pursuit of its mission.

Its unique Community Impact Assessment programme assesses the impact of cataract surgery on the socio-economic life of the people operated. It is conducted across India amongst 10% of the total people operated month after month, every month. Year after year the results indicate that around 90% of the patients have good Visual Acuity. World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines state that 80% of the patients should fall under the good visual acuity category.

To sum it up, MFV stands for comprehensive eye care that starts with community awareness and mobilisation, moves on to preventive outreach, patients' transportation to hospitals, advanced diagnosis and treatment, post-operative follow up and ends with the impact assessment study.

Where we work:

MFV partners reach

What We Do

Eye Health:

At around 7 million, India has the largest number of irreversibly blind and visually impaired people over the age of 50.

The main causes of blindness are cataract, uncorrected refractive error, glaucoma, childhood blindness and retinal conditions amongst others. The prevalence increases with poverty and age (above 50).

Women and those living in rural, tribal and urban slum environments are more affected.

Critical Issues:

There has been progress in endeavours to tackle blindness, but efforts are still woefully insufficient to meet the enormous needs of this large and diverse country. The translation of the country’s admirable policies into meaningful practice is highly inadequate, with achievements yet to make the profound impact which is the need of the hour. Some of the key issues are:

  • Wide inequity in access:

    Services in the North, East and North East are highly inadequate compared to the better served South. Access is a challenge for 21.9% of the population below the poverty line (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_India).
  • Inadequate human resources (HR)

    : Of the 16,000 ophthalmologists (Source: AIOS (http://www.aios.org), half are surgically inactive and most are based in urban areas. India has only a third of the paramedic capacity it requires and a significant proportion of personnel in this category are not trained adequately.
  • Challenge in accessing government facilities

    : In terms of attitude of personnel and quality of services; barriers with accessing government support due to transparency and bureaucratic hurdles.
  • Focus on cataract

    : A more comprehensive strategy is required that addresses other priority disease conditions, HRD and other components of health systems. Primary eye care needs more attention.

Any serious intervention to promote eye health, eradicate avoidable blindness and enable a disability-inclusive development agenda needs to pay serious attention to these critical issues. The key providers of eye health and disability services in the country are the government (national and state), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector. Of these, MFV is among the largest NGOs working to eradicate avoidable blindness across the country.

The Future

We started this journey way back, with one hospital in Coimbatore performing 600 surgeries annually. We also had a dream – a dream to provide accessibility to eye care for every Indian. This dream has been partially fulfilled with 21 eye hospitals and centres across 14 states which have performed over 170,000 free eye surgeries annually. This journey has been extremely fulfilling with more than 1 million people receiving the gift of sight till now.

As Mission for Vision begins its 15th year of operations, our dream has evolved – to become one of the largest eye care partnerships in the world. We hope to partner with eye hospitals in every state of India, so we can do 500,000 free eye surgeries annually by 2020.

Core strategic areas for the future will include:
  • Programme

    : Diversify to other eye diseases, promote comprehensive eye care, build human resources in the country, promote rights and opportunities for persons who are irreversibly visually impaired and reach out to through partnerships to other areas where there is significant need.
  • Geography

    : Reaching out to the poorest segments of society where the need is the greatest, especially in the North, East, North East India and countries with weak Human Development Index.
  • Promote good practice and technical excellence

    : By setting standards, demonstrating and documenting high quality cutting edge practices that are replicable and scalable.
  • Partnership

    : More and newer types of partnerships with organisations that are committed to comprehensiveness, excellence and equity.
  • Generate evidence through research.

  • Influence policy

    : At both national and international levels.
  • Build a leadership position

    : For itself, both nationally and internationally.

Any serious intervention to promote eye health, eradicate avoidable blindness and enable a disability-inclusive development agenda needs to pay serious attention to these critical issues. The key providers of eye health and disability services in the country are the government (national and state), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector. Of these, MFV is among the largest NGOs working to eradicate avoidable blindness across the country.

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