The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury (1) are supporting two key initiatives through a ‘matching grant’ programme involving one of their overseas partners ‘The Rotary Club of Downtown Pune’ in India. (2)

Over a number of years the Chipping Sodbury Club have helped to finance the Disha Institute’s ‘Milk for Schools’ project and have covered their annual milk bill. An initial donation of £600 has steadily increased year on year.

‘The relationship with the Pune Club is now stronger than ever and when they approached us for further assistance we didn’t hesitate’ said former Chipping Sodbury Rotary President Keith Nuttall. ‘They approached us (Pune) for help with a matching grant to finance the ‘Gift of Vision'(3) initiative and we were very happy to help them’.

The ‘Gift of Vision Centre’ helps underpriviliged men, women and children with eye defects. It provides comprehensive medical eye care to the visually affected in and around areas of the city of Pune, India.

The project involved a funding grant of Rs. 10,06,894 and several major sub programs were executed to ensure the overall success, these included an Eye Check Camp at Madhav Ashram treating widows and an Eye Camp at St Francis and Janata Schools at Vishrantwadi attending to the needs of children from the surrounding slums and working class area.

Overall (4) the eye project has been a major success and is expected to have a long term positive impact on the community around Pune. The eye care given, mostly free of charge, has been proven to help the needy and ease their life, giving family members of those treated the opportunity to pursue their vocations.

Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club Committee Contact:

Mr Keith Nuttall

Tel: 01454 318001  E: [email protected]

(1) The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury, with 46 very active members, has been meeting in Chipping Sodbury for over 50 years. As well as meeting socially, the club raises money for local and international charitable causes, and is involved in community projects locally. The Rotary motto is ‘Service before Self’.

(2) The Rotary Club of Poona Downtown

Anihas, 18/81 Baner Road, Near Sakai Nagar, Pune 411007. India

The ‘matching grant’ programme is a way of helping Rotary programmes in third world countries. In this case, The Rotary Club of Downtown Pune, wanted to help men, women and children with eye defects. Costing the project was too much for them to proceed alone. Details of the project, together with the amount of finance they could afford was circulated to other Rotary Clubs and subject to the merits of the project, other clubs, in this case Chipping Sodbury, pledged to match their donation.

(3) ‘The Gift of Vision’
The Host Club, the Rotary Club Poona Downtown were actively involved in identifying and directing the underprivileged visually affected for treatment. Specific treatments required were; medical diagnosis for treatment by screening, after which the diagnosed patients were medically administered with treatment; prescription spectacles; antibiotic drops; tear substitutes; anti-glaucoma medicines; steroid antibiotic drops; cataract operation with pre- and post-operative treatment care.

(4) Community Impact
2069 people have benefited to date and the project continues to help those in need.
25% of the total check-ups resulted in spectacles being prescribed, largely due to the fact that many patients were over 50 years old and were economically weak and ill-informed.
The impact of providing free cataract surgery is immense and means that individuals benefitting can now conform to society and contribute to it meaningfully.
Correcting vision problems in a significantly high proportion of school children tested has been particularily satisfying, especially as many hailed from poor families.

Source: The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury

Photographs attached: Eye camp at Janata and St Francis Schools.