hi INDiA Copyright 2020
Blind Foundation for India Reaches Five Million US Dollars
About 75% of BFI funding is provided to various Ramakrishna Mission Centers
NAPERVILLE, IL – The Blind Foundation for India (BFI) was established in 1989 with a mission to prevent and cure blindness, and educate and rehabilitate permanently blind people in India. There are over 15 million blind people in India which translates to one out of every three blinds in the world. There is a power of Prevention such as $1 of Vitamin A drops administered from age 4-6, prevents the child from going blind. That child getting education has a potential to earn $100,00, during his/her lifetime – $1 investment leading to $100,000 benefit of exponential power. Additionally, in India it only costs $20 for a Cataract operation as compared to $4,000 in the US, a multiplier of 200.
Recently, the BFI team reached a major milestone of raising over Five Million US dollars. These funds are used to examine eyesight of over a Million adults. So far, BFI has conducted over 200,000 Cataract operations, donated 131 medical mobile vans to transport doctors and patients, and distributed over 10,000 Braille Kits to blind children for their education. The major BFI focus is on prevention of Blindness through Child Sight Projects. Over a Million school children’s’ eyesight has been examined and given free glasses, eye drops, Vitamin A, and in some cases, Cataract operations.With Rotary International Matching Grants, at BFI we have completed 14 projects worth $500,000.
About 75% of BFI funding is provided to various Ramakrishna Mission Centers throughout India for blind welfare work. In 2012 with major BFI funding, OPD Hall and Consulting Rooms was established at the Vivekananda Eye Care Center at Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama (SRA), Rajkot, Gujarat. Currently, they treat daily 500 OPD eyecare patients with 25-30 Cataract operations per day are performed all year round. In 2019, a new Cornea Transplant Center was added at SRA, Rajkot, Gujarat. In 2014, two Medical Mobile Vans were donated to the Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service, Varanasi, UP for regular outreach to rural communities surrounding Varanasi area.
On June 1, 2004, BFI received a Daily Point of Light Award by the Points of Light Foundation. Received Letter of Commendations from Presidents Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. In meetings with the Vice President of India, BFI Updates were shared in 2001 (Shri Krishan Kant) and in 2004 (Shri Bhairon Singh Sekhawat). In 2011, 30 BFI Volunteers received Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama. In 2011, the BFI work was recognized with an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The Chicago Public Radio covered BFI work in their Global Activism Segment in 2008, 2015, and 2017 In 2018, Times Now and ICICI Bank recognized BFI work with an NRI of The Year 2018 Award in Philanthropy from North America