Service to humanity is the greatest creed of all, with there being no greater good than giving back to one’s own community. It plays an important role at Ekya and helps students identify themselves as part of the community, develop empathy and respect for others, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves.
As part of the Service Learning Program, our students of Grades 5 to 12 conduct several fundraising activities at school – newspaper drives, selling handmade scented candles and body scrubs to name a few, with the funds directed to charity.
We visited the Sankara Eye Foundation. It is a non-profit organization that strives to eliminate curable blindness in India. On our entrance, we were first introduced to the Quick Medic software which was designed to reduce the patient wait time to eight minutes and do away with long queues. We were navigated around the hospital and walked through the procedure that a patient undergoes in order to receive optimum eye treatment. The hospital had a paid patients wing and a community wing, where buses plied daily to help the underprivileged receive the treatment that they need. We had the golden opportunity to witness a cataract surgery via television and viewing glass setup. We were then taken to the auditorium where a presentation on the hospital’s philanthropy work and its mode of functioning was delivered to us.
The hospital follows an 80/20 model, where the 20% consists of paying patients and 80% is devoted towards community service and is also dependent on donations from people and firms such as Microsoft and Infosys. Their altruistic work extends to 100-150 villages in Karnataka and has funded several cataract surgeries for senior citizens in rural areas. Nanna Kannu, also known as Rainbow in other parts of India, is an initiative that has been undertaken by them in collaboration with the Karnataka State Government to provide preventive and curative eye care to children between 0 and 18 years from government recognized schools and shelters.
All in all, it was an informational trip which left us with a sense of satisfaction as we had been able to contribute to his noble cause by donating the profits from our school fundraiser to fund cataract surgeries.
By Madhuria Rudra (Student Of Grade XI)