D.N.I.S. News Network- Moved by the phenomenally high rate of preventable blindness cases in Uttar Pradesh, Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi has set up a 65-bed eye hospital in Amethi.
The Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre, which was declared operational on 4 December at an impressive ceremony by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and was attended by other members of the Gandhi family, was built in a record time of eight months.
Rahul Gandhi said that he had drawn the inspiration for setting up the hospital from his visit to the remote areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh, where the suffering of the blind moved him. Since he found that 70 per cent of the blindness was curable, he decided to establish the ultra-modern hospital.
Linking health to all-round development, he said education and employment could improve the financial condition of an individual but one could not sustain it without good health.
"We have named the hospital after late Indira Gandhi, who sacrificed her entire life for the nation and its people," he said. The Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in collaboration with Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai, has made the hospital possible.
Studies conducted by experts have indicated that the magnitude of eye ailments in Sultanpur, Rae Bareli and neighbouring districts were fairly large and around 2,32,000 surgeries per year will have to be performed for cataract alone. According to one statistics, one out of every three blind people in the world lives in India - an estimated 13 million blind people live in India.