London: The UK House of Commons has acknowledged the completion of a million free eye surgeries in India by a network of hospitals.
Labour MP Virendra Sharma congratulated Sankara Eye Care Institutions (SECI) India for "completing 1 million eye operations" at a function organised by the group`s European arm at the House of Commons.
"Giving eyesight is the best service you can render to humanity," Sharma told those involved in the movement.
Dr R V Ramani, founder of Sankara said "Sankara has come a long way in this journey and today it is a huge banyan tree giving benefits to thousands of people. Presently Sankara is serving in 69 districts in 11 states including Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Union Territory Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and UttaraKhand and performs over 500 free eye surgeries every day."
The event is significant as India has 45 million visually handicapped and 12 million totally blind people.
The majority of the blind live in rural India, where inaccessibility, non-availability and non-affordability of quality eye care are the barriers for the majority of the population.
Sankara Eye Care claims to be the only organisation working on a 80:20 ratio where 80 per cent of the beneficiaries are the rural poor who receive their treatment totally free and the balance 20 per cent are the rich and affluent who pay for the treatment, thereby cross subsiding the free eye care services.