“I can run the store now!”

Manasi, nine years old, found reading what was written on the school blackboard difficult. Despite her progressively deteriorating vision, she continued to keep up with her daily activities. Helping with household chores, going out to play with her friends, and finding items in their kirana store proved more and more challenging.

At the SCD Eye Hospital, Manasi attended an eye health screening camp conducted with the help of CBM India Trust for school children at the B.R. Ambedkar High School in Balangir, Odisha. A total of 239 school students underwent screening, of which seven received spectacles, eye drops, and medicines for their vision improvement. Manasi’s eye test results indicated the formation of cataracts in both her eyes.

The next day, Manasi and her parents consulted the doctors, rechecked her vision, and confirmed the development of bilateral cataracts in her eyes. Her parents, worried about the cost involved in the surgeries and consequent treatments, were informed about the Odisha government’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) scheme that covers eye surgery and treatment procedures. Manasi had a pre-operative eye test before undergoing surgery on her right eye. After the operation, the follow-up test showed improvement in her vision.

Back at school, the letters on the blackboard became clearer. Manasi does not fumble anymore for items in the kirana store; instead, she now runs the store all by herself! She looks forward to her left eye surgery later this year.

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