Nazima Tigate, a ten-year-old student at the Government Urdu Lower Primary School in Kudalagi village in Kalghatagi taluk, was afflicted by an eye disorder, Keratoconus, which if untreated could have led to total blindness; but the problem was detected in time at an eye camp held in the school.

She was provided treatment free of cost. Now the problem is under control and the doctors are preparing for one more surgery required to cure the child’s eye fully. Likewise, Vinay Amblikoppa of Madihal in Dharwad, who was suffering from White Dot Syndrome, was able to get timely treatment.

What is similar in both cases is that Nazima and Vinay come from poor families who could not have funded their treatment. What helped them was an initiative by the Department of Public Instructions and the M.M. Joshi Eye Institute, the ‘School Sight Programme’, in a public-private partnership.

Children who needed medication were provided treatment at the institute free of cost. The cost of treatment is shared by the department and the institute.

As many as 280 children were benefited in 2011–12. While 187 were OPD cases, 18 children underwent surgery and 76 were provided with spectacles.