In a small tribal hamlet called Somgaon, located in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh, India, lives 70 -year-old Mangi Bai and her husband. The village has challenges like a need for clean drinking water, roadways, and electricity, and a lack of adequate medical and educational facilities. Mangi Bai’s husband is an agricultural labourer and the family’s sole breadwinner. But his deteriorating vision started to affect his work taking a toll on the family income.
Three years back, Mangi Bai began facing problems with her eyesight as well. At first, she ignored the issue, but over time her vision worsened significantly. Mangi Bai could barely recognise an object a few yards away and could not identify people. She could not carry out daily tasks, do household chores, or walk properly. Mangi Bai felt frustrated, thinking there was no way out.
One day, during CBM India’s routine eye care awareness event in her village, she met our community mobiliser, who suggested she visit our Inclusive Vision Centre. At the Inclusive Vision Centre, she was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, with her left eye needing surgery.
Mangi Bai was taken aback by the news of surgery. At first, she was hesitant about the surgery due to the costs involved, which left her feeling quite burdened. But when the optometrist assured her that it would be free of charge, she was relieved and agreed to the surgery. Filled with anticipation and optimism for the future, Mangi Bai travelled 150 km to Bhopal for her surgery, along with other patients.
After the successful surgery, Mangi Bai’s vision began improving significantly. With each follow-up appointment, her sight continued to get better. She could finally recognise people again. Mangi Bai wasted no time jumping back into her daily routine, like cooking and caring for her home. She has even started to help her husband in the field during harvest.
Mangi Bai says, “I am very happy with the surgery; now, I can see clearly from my left eye. I can recognise people”, with a gleaming smile. The journey may have been long, but it changed Mangi Bai’s life and improved her quality of life.
Mangi Bai’s transformation after her cataract surgery has left her overjoyed and convinced her husband to take the same step. Both of them are waiting for the harvest season to end so that they can undergo surgery.
In India, many people like Mangi Bai suffer from treatable eye conditions but cannot access the necessary medical care due to distance, cost, and lack of awareness. To address this, with support from Standard Chartered Bank, CBM India Trust is implementing 117 Inclusive Vision Centres across eight states. These centres provide accessible quality eye care services to ensure the overall well-being and development of communities.