Bengaluru: A city-based hospital Sankara Eye Hospital has launched a customised bus to help with the rehabilitation of visually challenged. The bus is equipped to counsel and train people.
It will visit villages and centers within 100 kilometers radius of the city to provide “comprehensive rehabilitation services”. Named ‘Maitri’, the bus is meant to bring help to the doorstep and help visually impaired people lead an independent life. Microsoft has contributed around Rs. 75 lakhs towards this project.
According to Dr KaushikMurali, President of Medical Administration with Sankara Eye Foundation, a recent survey done by they found that many people who are visually impaired hesitate to visit the doctors or counsellers in the city because of the distance. “So we decided on a mobile solution,” said DrKaushik.
The bus will go to the villages and SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) Centers once a week. A pilot study conducted by the team and the SSA authorities will identify people who require training.
The bus has been divided into different sections for different functions. One section will hold the initial counselling to decide on the training to be given to the person, another section is dedicated to children to estimate the percentage of blindness and then there are sections to hold classes on reading Braille study materials, computer operations and basic life skills such as cooking and using a stove.
‘Maitri’, claimed the hospital, is the first mobile vision rehabilitation bus in the country. Dr. Pushparaj, Joint Director, Department (Ophthalmology), Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka, said, “It is a matter of pride that the first such bus has been made possible. This initiative will significantly benefit the people of Karnataka. We look forward to partnering with Sankara Eye Hospital in this wonderful initiative along with other departments, to ensure that the facilities are utilized to the maximum. We hope this will inspire more corporates to collaborate with healthcare institutions.”
Recently, in Hoskote village, the Maitri team screened over 130 citizens for vision. Training for more than 30 training for visually impaired people have been conducted in the Mobile Rehabilitation Facility. The beneficiaries included young children and adults. According to the team, so far, Maitri has concluded 32 visits across Hoskote. The hospital plans to conduct visits to various localities such as Devanahalli, Doddaballapura, Nelamangala and Kolar district.