When his father was killed in an accident six years ago, Mahesh was only nine years old. Now 15, he lives with his mother Sailu and two younger siblings in Fatehnagar slum in the city of Hyderabad, India. Sailu supports the family as a daily wage labourer, earning around INR 5,000 ($92 CAD) per month. The little family barely manages to make ends meet.
Now in the equivalent of grade 10, Mahesh is a very conscientious student who wants to achieve good marks so he can take post-secondary training. He dreams of getting a job so he can support his mother and siblings.
However, over the past year, a secret anxiety gnawed at him: his marks were going down! His family started losing hope that he would pass his upcoming secondary school exams. What would become of them?
The decline in performance was not without reason: Mahesh found it extremely difficult to read the blackboard in school, and found it challenging to write in dim light. He didn’t want to worry his mother, knowing Sailu would struggle to find money for treatment.
Fortunately, Mahesh attended a school located in an area where Operation Eyesight was promoting eye screening for all students. A community health worker identified Mahesh’s eye problem, and brought him to the local vision centre, where he was diagnosed with uncorrected refractive error and prescribed eyeglasses. Considering his family’s economic status, he was given a pair of brand-new, custom-fitted glasses completely free of cost, thanks to Operation Eyesight’s generous donors.
Today, Mahesh is able to read and write without difficulty. He is preparing for his examinations and has regained confidence that he will do well in his studies and have a bright future.
But that’s not all! When the school principal learned about Mahesh’s story, he requested that the project team screen all the students in his school. The happy result: three of Mahesh’s schoolmates were diagnosed with uncorrected refractive errors – and they have also been provided with eyeglasses!
You can help other students, too. A $20 gift will provide three children with custom-fitted prescription eyeglasses. With the school year coming to a close here in Canada, please consider making a tribute gift in honour of your child’s teacher. It’s a great way to say “thank you,” and at the same time help students in India and Africa see a bright future!