Eyewear amnesty to help Indian slums

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A Northamptonshire optometrist has launched an Eyewear Amnesty to give improved vision to residents of an Indian slum.

People in the county with old or unwanted glasses or spectacles are being urged to drop them in to branches of Davis Optometrists in Kettering, Rothwell and Thrapston.

They have joined forces with the Slum Doctor Project, which organises medical camps in a village in the Punjab region every year to give life-saving treatment to thousands of people.

The UK-registered charity is staging its latest three-week visit next month, and will be taking the batch of spare glasses and spectacles collected during the amnesty when they fly out on March 8.

Dr Vijay Bangar, director of the Slum Doctor Project, said: “Every year we help thousands of people in a part of India where healthcare, including optometry, is just not accessible to some of the population.

“We would appreciate any help you may be able to give through this Eyewear Amnesty. I can guarantee that every old or unwanted pair of glasses donated will make a life-changing difference to those receiving them.”

Kim Durden, a partner optician at Davis Optometrists, said: “As well as supporting the local community, we also like to get involved with projects which make a difference to the lives of people living in some of the poorest parts of the world. So, we are calling on the people of Northamptonshire to bring in any old eyewear which might be hanging around the house gathering dust and put it to good use.”

The last medical camp organised by the Slum Doctor Project in March 2012 treated 8,000 patients. The team arranged for 300 eye operations, 300 hearing aids were fitted and 50 serious surgical operations were organised.

To donate drop your glasses in at any one of the branches based in Moyune House in Crispin Place, High Street, Kettering, in Bridge Street, Rothwell, or High Street, Thrapston.