Vision for all

If you wear eyeglasses, I’m sure you can remember what it felt like the first time you wore them. Personally, I was in denial for 2 years before I got my first pair. My bespectacled self realized that my whole world had been a blur. Suddenly, everything was bright and all those blotches had defined shapes. I could see clearly again, thanks to Salvino D’Armate, peace be upon him.

Unfortunately, millions the world over, and nearly 15 million people in India can never experience their first time. I shall resist brooding over how this affects their quality of life and how unfair the financial inequality in our country is. I will however mention that the aftermath of unaided poor vision is often blindness. 


A while ago, a friend told me how some IIT students had found this problem an ingenious solution. Today, I stumbled upon a similar initiative by Lions Club International. Apparently it has been in place for over 80 years! I’m still blown away by the idea, and to prevent further anticipation, here goes:

One can barely estimate the number of spectacle lenses that must go to waste each time a person’s eye-power changes, making it necessary to replace old, used pairs of spectacles. Throughout the year, Lions Clubs collect such obsolete pairs of spectacles, donated by owners who can no longer use them. These pairs are cleaned and classified by the power of their lenses. Volunteers then go to rural areas in developing countries and each pair of eyeglasses finds a new pair of eyes as soon as a suitable match is found. Really, a bright idea!

If you are still hoarding your old pair of eyeglasses, donate them now and let someone see the world again!

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  1. HMM got to think about it…having poor eyesight may not be a great problem on its face value but it is a problem of a unique nature…some dont want glasses..some crave for them…i cud never understand such abstract and absurd craze…fine donating the galsses is such a wonderful idea…everytime i break my glasses only then i uderstand the situation of ppl who never had or wil never ever have a chanc to wear galsses…be it due to poverty or watever u call them…great post

  2. LOL… I’ve been 4-eyed since I was in KG2…!! 😀

  3. This is a great idea. Another one about the eyes is Cataracts and Arvind Eye Hospital in Madurai is doing a great job on it.

  4. encephalomalacia says:

    heyyyyyyyyy…this is really neat !! i have like 3 pairs of old spectacles lying at home. something about coming to SMU has just made my power shoot up .. i know what to do with them now. maybe we involve the aasha build people in this and send them a whole bunch of lenses. practically no one i know has 6/6 vision anymore !

  5. encephalomalacia says:

    This radhika by the way. p.s encephalomalacia means ‘softening of the brain’ lol .

  6. This is a great initiative and innovative too!!

  7. Hey this is really good. Any idea about any such organization in Bangalore? I will ask my parents to donate their glasses.

  8. @Varun: Try checking out the lions club website. I should think they have a collection area in Bangalore too.

  9. Optical direct Online Store is your online one-stop shop for prescription glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and eyeglasses. We also have E Try-on so that you will know the exact size of the glasses in relation to your face. You can purchase most types of lenses: single vision reading glasses, multifocal(progressive) glasses, bifocal glasses as well as computer glasses. Australian customers can even claim optical rebate from your health fund for the glasses you purchased from the web site.

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