My Right to Sight

Background and Need: For students’ visual impairment can affect not only education and participation in sports, but listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehensive skills. Most common visual problems in children of 6-18 years are blurry vision caused by nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hypermetropia) and astigmatism. In India, 1.1% of the population is blind. In school going children, the prevalence of refractive errors is 2–3% and 5.5% in rural and urban areas respectively. 30% of India’s blind population loses their vision before they turn 20 years1,2.

Assessment: Between April 2019 and Dec 2022, out of 8126 school-going students evaluated for refractive errors, 1270(15.56%) required correction and 800(9.84%) were referred for specialist consultation for different non refractive problems identified during screening camps.

Implementing Partner: Help Poor Voluntary Trust

Aims: Identify school going children with visual impairment and provide free spectacles to the needy and refer children with other eye disorders for further ophthalmologic assessment.

Start Date: April 2019

Design:  MY RIGHT TO SIGHT, vision screening project for children 6-18 years age in under-privileged schools was taken up by KASHMER in collaboration with HPVT and AL-IMDAD Trust as implementing partners. Initially pilot project was taken up in Baramulla/Srinagar districts to optimize program design and allocation of resources. School based visual screening camps were implemented. Program has now been expanded to all districts of Kashmir valley. Vision screening is followed by provision of free opticals to children with refractive errors. Children identified with other visual impairment are referred for further evaluation. Designated teachers in the schools on screening day are given basic training how to recognize students with visual impairment and arrange for referral.   

Personnel: One Optometrist, One Assistant and One Driver


Numbers/Key Performance Indicators


Assessment of the impact: Impact of the project has been positive with students getting to know status of their vision with some getting spectacles, and some getting evaluated for other structural/functional eye impairment that prompts corrective planning and action. Spectacles having improved the vision of children has also led to better performance. Community is appreciating the program and more schools are seeking similar camps   

Current status: At present project is running successfully catering to schools in all districts of Kashmir valley. As we focus on school going students in under-privileged remote areas of valley, under privileged schools in urban areas also need to be brought under the ambit of Right to Sight program.  

  • This project has been implemented with support of Dr. Amarjit Singh Foundation NY.
  2. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 10(4), NC09–NC14.