Miller Center Fellowship


Maggie Dennis

Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



The prevalence of curable blindness in India is among the highest in the world. There is a strong correlation between blindness and poverty. Sankara Eye Foundation Inida addresses this problem by providing high quality and affordable eye care to the rural poor in India. Sankara’s outreach strategy focuses on equitable care for marginalized groups. Though Sankara seeks to make eye care a reality for all, the emphasis on equality is especially evident in its treatment of women. In the past year, women have been Sankara’s largest group of adult beneficiaries. Founded in 1977 by Dr. R.V Ramani and Dr. Radha Ramani, Sankara has expanded to 13 eye hospitals covering 7 states. Through its community outreach program, Gift of Vision, Sankara has performed over 1 million sight-restoring cataract surgeries and has become one of the major eye care providers in India.

The Gift of Vision program operates by integrating with a community, capitalizing on preexisting community networks and a highly efficient patient care system. This report focuses on the importance of community networks in the outreach process and the impact of cataract surgery on patients’ lives. It includes a detailed outline of the patient treatment process, two patient case studies and quantitative analysis of Gift of Vision’s social impact.



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