The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) authorities have joined hands with Dr Om Parkash Eye Institute here to serve the underprivileged children with free eye surgeries and treatment.
The Amritsar-based eye institute and Directorate of School Education headed by KS Pannu have now taken up the responsibility of performing surgeries/treatment free of cost on 350 children from all over Punjab under the SSA. This help has been extended under the 'charitable care' project of the institute.
As many as 350 children with eye problems have been identified in Punjab. The eye institute is the only one to offer free services to about 100 children in the first phase and follow it up by undertaking corrective surgeries and other treatment on 250 more children in the next phase.
According to the institute records, of the 100 children treated in the first phase, surgeries were performed on 21. Talking about these, Dharmender Singh, SSA coordinator for special children who is supervising the project, said that while the surgeries were conducted free by the eye institute, spectacles and medicines were provided by the SSA.
Under its social responsibility project, the noted eye institute funded major eye surgeries in children, including implantation of intra-ocular lenses without any financial burden on the government or the patients under the SSA.
Institute director Dr Rohit Om Parkash said on Friday, "Early eye check-up in children leads to early treatment. A defective vision is difficult to detect for a child. Timely help can save a child from many major future difficulties including in studies, sports besides developing complexes."
Talking about the children who underwent eye surgeries, Dr Parkash said that they were in the age group of 3 to 17. Most children operated upon till now were suffering from 'squint' or 'cataract'. The children belonged to Amritsar and nearby villages like Tarsika, Chugawan, Verka, Meshompur Khurd, Patti, Rayya, Faizpur, Chete Kalan, Kotli, Baba Bakala, Pandala, Jagdev Khurd and even Moga. The youngest in this group was Ramanpreet, a 3-year-old from Moga.
Dharmender stated that under the SSA, a free eye check-up camp for children was organised a few months back in Amritsar by a US based NGO 'Sight Saver' to identify children with defective or infected eyes. The progress report of each child would be duly monitored and recorded by the hospital, Dr Parkash stated.