Community development delivers hope to millions
Rasoolpura Urban Slum Project
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Monitoring growth of babies
In 2006, Operation Eyesight began a
community development program in India’s sixth largest city, Hyderabad. About
2.8 million people –more than half of the city’s population – live in Hyderabad’s
more than 1,600 slums. Most of the residents fall below the poverty line and
have no access to medical or eye care services.
The objective of the Rasoolpura Urban
Slum Project is not to eliminate the slum so much as it is to encourage its
residents to assume responsibility for their own welfare. Community development
teams work closely with neighbourhood leaders to improve health, basic
infrastructure and the quality of life for those who must live in the slums. In
addition to health care, programs include adult education, non-formal
children’s education, sanitation, nutrition and practical micro-skills training,
such as sewing or weaving.
To help gain the confidence of the
slum dwellers, volunteers and staff are recruited from within the community
itself. After a six-week training program, they fan out through the slum to
counsel residents on the services available to them.
A vision centre, which is usually in a
building donated by the community, is staffed by a vision technician. Trained
at the LV Prasad Eye Institute paid for by Operation Eyesight donors, the technician
provides eye screening, hospital referrals and eyeglasses prescriptions as
Over the years, community development
programs supported by Operation Eyesight have improved the lives of millions of
people. The support of donors with a special interest in India’s slums has been
crucial to the start-up and continuation of this important program.