Project Prakash has been working since 2005 at the very grassroots of India, in hundreds of villages, connecting them to the most sophisticated treatment available and building awareness regarding treatable and preventable blindness. Project Prakash Charitable Trust provides sight treatment free of cost to children who are too poor to afford it or are not aware that their condition can be corrected. Merging scientific research with pediatric medical care, this project provides treatment to curably blind children addresses fundamental scientific questions regarding brain plasticity and learning and creates a comprehensive picture of pediatric ophthalmic health across several sites in India. The aim is to use a digitalized application with which field workers can easily keep track of, and follow up with, patients with eye pathologies. The health data from this centralized repository will provide crucial context for formulating policies regarding what kinds of medical and rehabilitation resources are most needed for improving children’s health status.
- Livelihood generation: Prakash Vision Centers are a source of income for the individuals running them and those employed therein. The substantial profit margins on lenses and frames make optical stores a good option for achieving financial stability. The vocational training offfered through the PVCs will enable the visually impaired individuals to earn a living.
- Public health: In keeping with the mission of Project Prakash, the eponymous vision centers bring the gift of clear vision to large sections of India’s population that do not have access to optometric products and services.
- Epidemiology: The data collected as part of the Phase II surveys and on an ongoing basis in the vision centers provide a comprehensive picture of eye health across many sites in India.
- Neuroscience research: By acting as community-based referral centers, PVCs allow for more regular and efficient identification of children who can be enrolled for treatment and study in Project Prakash.
- Clinical improvements: Data from Project Prakash have begun changing the practices adopted by ophthalmologists. For instance, the outcomes of surgeries in Prakash provide the necessary evidence to force a reconsideration of age upper-bounds for provision of sight-restoring surgeries to children and young adults.