India is home to over 12 million blind people. Major causes of blindness are Cataract, refraction, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Corneal blindness apart from Age Related Macular Degeneration. Over 80% of the blindness can be prevented by timely treatment. Most of the eye-related problems are not treated in India because of any one or all of the THREE As – Awareness (lack of it), Accessibility and Affordability.
The first Rotary club was established in Calcutta on 1st January 1920, almost 15 years after Rotary International was formed in 1905 as a Service organisation. Today there are over 3,000 spread across India distributed over the length and breadth of the country under 38 Rotary districts. Several Rotary clubs in India have established independent eye hospitals or have been supporting eye hospitals in their community to provide eye-care to the needy over the last three decades.
Rotary Avoidable Blindness Foundation (RABF) was established on 25th September 2020 with the main objective of working with clubs across the country with practising Ophthalmologists or well established eye hospitals to provide the very much needed eye-care services at a very low or free of cost to the needy.
RABF plans to effectively leverage technology, volunteerism of Rotarians and philanthropic Corporate to provide this service across the country.