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Indian Express
19 June 2010
By Anupam Bhagria
Ludhiana, India

High-quality, Cost Effective Eye Care For Poor
SANKARA Eye care Institutions have come up with rural outreach programme, through which they will provide high–quality and cost effective eye care treatment at the door steps of rural India.

This was disclosed by Dr R V Ramani Founder and Managing Trustee of Sankara Eye care Institutions. Sources reveal that about 2.7 lakh people in the state need to undergo cataract surgery annually, of which over 1.5 lakh do not avail of surgery due to lack of quality and affordable eye care treatment. The institution will open the hospital at Vipul World, Ludhiana.

Dr Ramani said, "To start
with, Sankara will cover nine districts of Punjab under this programme and will provide free treatment to economically less privileged people(80%) and paid treatment to the rest patients(20%) at the new Ludhiana hospital, which will be constructed in two acres of land doanted by Vipul World and will start functioning by the mid of 2011. The nine districts include Moga, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar, Jalandhar, Nawanshahar, Ferozour and Faridkot. On every Sunday Sankara team will visit villages of these districts and will give feedback about needy patients with their confirmed economic status. Our vans will go to their doorsteps and after performing surgery at Sankara eye care institute, the patients will be dropped at their house. After one month, the patient will be reviewed again."

When asked as who will pay for their treatment, Dr Ramani said, "It will be a Community eye care hospital, where we will get money by treating 20% patients who can afford to pay who will be given super–special facilities. This money will be used for the poor patients. The staff will include XII pass girls who will be selected on merit bases after conducting a test and interview. They will be given train ing, free of cost for two years along with the stipend of Rs 2000 per month at base hospital of Coimbatore and Rs 3000 per month during internship at Sankara Eye Care Institute Ludhiana. Similarly doctors selected for the hospital will also be given specialised training of six months before trying their hands on surgery.” Dr Ramani said that the hospital prefers girls for technicians and nursing staff because they help patients in delicate way and with compassion. He said, "We will perform 10,000 surgeries free of cost in a year." He appealed to the public that anyone willing to donate for the hospital constructions, equipments etc is welcomed.

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