To provide eye care to the underprivileged, RC Mumbai Bhandup, RID 3141, in association with the Bhaktivedanta Hospital and Research Institute and the Billawar Association, is executing Project Cataract Free Bhandup since August. Doctors from the hospital visit the locality in a well-equipped mobile clinic on the first Saturday of every month to screen patients for eye ailments.
Though the project is aimed at the residents of Bhandup in Mumbai, “we also get people from other parts of the city,” said Narayana Shagrithaya, treasurer, RC Mumbai Bhandup. Persons diagnosed with cataract are asked to report back after two days when they are transported to the hospital at Mira Road for surgery.
Eight camps have been conducted so far in which over 470 patients were examined and 148 have successfully undergone cataract surgeries at the hospital. While the surgery expenses including medicine, hospital stay, food and transport are paid by the hospital, the club takes care of logistics and other arrangements for the monthly camps. The club monitors the progress of patients after their operation.
Other vision disorders are also addressed at these camps and spectacles are given to people with defective eyesight, said Shagrithaya. “We plan to continue the cataract camps as an ongoing project of the club.” Club president Uday Shetty is leading from the front with support from Janardhan Poojary, president, Billawar Association.
Some of the other notable projects of the club include Pink Auto for underprivileged women, skill development centre to train women in tailoring, and providing interest-free loan scholarships for students to pursue their college studies.