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Mano Netra Programme, Andhra Pradesh
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Subject Area="Inter-sectoral links." Objective="To empower the visually challenged students with a comprehensive eye care service."
Details for Reform Option "Mano Netra Programme, Andhra Pradesh"
Summary

Background: It has been really hard to meet the needs of the visually challenged such as reading material scribes and eye care services in the remote coastal areas of the Andhra Pradesh. Mano Netra is a programme for the empowerment of the handicapped in general and the visually challenged in particular. It is an initiative of the Seva Bharathi organization and in operation since the year 2000. Seva Bharathi is a nationally networked agency. Seva Bharathi Western Andhra Pradesh Agency is a part of the proud network, servicing the needy and remotely located tribals and rural people of western Andhra Pradesh. The organization is active in 4 of the 11 government hostels for the blind in the cities of Telangana and Rayalaseema region. Action: In the year 2000, the Seva Bharathi’s Mano Netra team surveyed the hostels of the visually challenged persons in the Telangana and Rayalaseema cities. Initial target was to reach the 770 inmates of the hostels in the two cities. The inmates were deprived of the reading material; the scribes to pen the examinations of the visually challenged and any eye care services. The full-fledged activities for the visually challenged in the two cities hostels came into progress for last two years. In 2005-06, Mano Netra has taken up campaign with a series of eye camps in the government hostels at Dar-ul-Shifa, Malkpet as well as government and private schools to check blindness through series of camps. The programme involves the following activities: (i) The Audio books containing the recorded lessons are distributed in free among the visually challenged (ii) Audio books library (iii) Writing Club (iv) Raising awareness about eye care and training the visually challenged, their teachers as well as their parents. (v) Counselling sessions (vi) Eye screening camps (vii) Eye screening awareness/ training programmes with LV Prasad Eye Institute (viii) Medical facilities at the hostels in particular and at the office of Seva Bharathi (ix) Providing nutritious food to blind students in hostels in collaboration with the Vivekananda Sevika Samithy (Committee). (x) Eye collection centre (xi) Slow learners awareness programmes in association with BODH school (xii) Computer training for blind students (xiii) Medical transcription training for blind students (xiv) Spoken English vocation course (xv) Volunteering programme for eye camps and to record lessons for the blinds. The beneficiary visually challenged students are not charged for any of the service they receive. Clients: visually challenged students Results: The campaign in the year 2005-06 in association with the LV Prasad Eye Institute has benefited around 1000 children and has been able to educate government and private school teachers effectively.

Cost INR 25000 per annum. Volunteering by the health professionals and donation of audio cassettes has significantly reduced the expenses involved.
Place Telangana and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh.
Time Frame Six months.
Advantages

Building up self-esteem: it helps the visually challenged students in developing their personality by winning over the physical incapacities. Raising awareness about eye care: screening through eye camps provides opportunities to raise awareness and sensitize about eye care. Prevention and control of blindness: early case detection and its timely treatment help in preventing the blindness.

Challanges

Supportive environment: persistent advocacy campaign is required. Continuous involvement of sighted people has been a tough challenge. It requires a lot of patience. Availability of service providers: the service providers loss interest in the activities if they need to cover a large distance. Intermittent transfer of important volunteers also affects the programme. Fear: fear of loss of reservation and facilities among few students; if their vision acquity improves and they shy away from follow up medical check up.

Prerequisites

Baseline data,need assessment, supportive environment, advocacy Audio cassettes and voice recorders Eye specialist and equipped health facilities Expert counsellor, child psychologist Public Awareness and donors to support Motivation and enthusiasm

Who needs to be consulted

Visually handicapped students, parents, teachers, hostels wardens, schools authorities, state education and health departments, social welfare department, eye specialists and Seva Bharathi for programmatic assistance.

Risks

Sustainability

Fair: Persistent support from the donor agencies, continuous capacity building and good coordination with the education department is required.

Chances of Replication

Good: The audio cassettes and the vocational training for the visually challenged were being practised in the education sector in different states but coordination with the health professionals under this initiative gives it a comprehensive facet in context of the rehabilitative services.

Comments

Mano Netra programme is a good example of development of specific services for the visually handicapped students. It can be further improved by time-to time need assessment of the client population and evaluation of the programme.

Contact

Submitted By

Dr. Anil Bhola, Research Consultant, National Institute of Medical Statistics, New Delhi November, 2006

Status Active
Reference Files
Visually challenged beneficiaries.JPG
Eye check up.JPG
Eye care education.JPG
Activities in details.doc
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