For the last two years, Kusum Ghatal, 55, a resident of Karwale Village near Saphale station, had cataract in her eye.
But thanks to the programme started by the National Social Scheme (NSS) department of KC College, Ghatal has now been operated upon.
“I was a bit worried. But when I saw other women from our village going for the check-up, I decided to give it a try. I feel better,” said Ghatal.
The programme was started by the NSS wing, in collaboration with the Bombay City Eye Institute and Vision Foundation, in 2009. They have successfully treated around 30 villagers so far.
The scheme has been of great help to villagers who cannot afford paying the cost of the lens — Rs3,500 — at government hospitals.
68-year-old Laxmi Vartha could be a case in point. “I was initially hesitant as I thought they would ask me for money. But, they did not charge me for the operation,” she said.
The volunteers arrange for buses to get the villagers to the city. The villagers then undergo initial tests, surgery and post-surgery check-up in two days. They are also given an instruction manual on post surgery care along with the medicines.
Satish Masani, a volunteer, said: “It takes some time to convince the villagers. You need to tell them that these surgeries are for their benefit. Developing a connect is very important.”
The students go to Karwale on alternate Sundays and also hold a 10-day residential camp in December.