"A so-called Doctor would put some dreaded drops in my eyes in a bid to help me. Confused, I would try to protest but in vain; as my mother would hush me. I used to cry sometimes afterwards while sitting in a dark room that seemed like interminable time. This is all I remember from my childhood memories that I spent in my village during summer vacations," says 18-year-old Priya.
Priya, pursuing the third year of her Bachelors in B.A Programme from Delhi University, had been suffering from eyesight problems since childhood. Her mother, Rekha, has been coming to Asha ever since she migrated from Agra (Uttar Pradesh) to the Anna Nagar slum community after marriage. Rekha had been getting her Ante-Natal and Post-Natal care done at Asha Health Centre at times of pregnancy and delivery. The family of six has been relying on the sole income of the patriarch of the house- Priya's father. Working hard as a peon pays him back a meagre income of Rs 9000 ($ 131/£ 104) per month that barely helps to manage the expenses of the family.
"I still get scared when I remember my school peers ridiculing and tormenting me and calling me names for my weak eyesight," recalls Priya. "But not anymore," she added.
Under Asha’s Referral Programme, Priya recently consulted Dr Jolly, Head, Department of Ophthalmology at the G.T.B Hospital (a government-run hospital). With one advance eye testing, Dr Jolly could find the reason for her poor vision. She was advised to undergo an operation soon and till then, she has been given a pair of spectacles to wear.
We wish Priya a speedy recovery!
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