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India: Lay Catholic leader conducts eye camp

Eye camp

"Your old spectacle frames can be of immense help to those who are in need," says Priyaranjan Dwyer, a lay Catholic leader in Gaya town in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. 

Dwyer conducted a ‘See Well' program and an eye camp at 'Nobo Jivan' a destitute home, run by the religious brothers of Saint Mother Teresa's organization, the Missionaries of Charity last week.

Dwyer, who is the General Secretary of the Gaya Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), also runs the well-known 'St. Thomas School' in the city. 

His Dwyer Foundation networks with several organizations and smaller clubs regularly in several charitable works.

"People often throw away such old spectacle frames which we collect and reuse. This provides peoples' participation, inculcates a spirit of 'giving' to the needy, creates social awareness, and gives them an opportunity for social service," says Dwyer.

Dr. Purnendu Sekhar, a renowned ophthalmologist conducted the eye tests. A local group 'Durango friends' also supported the program. 

Brother Samir, Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, Gaya, and Vinod Sharan helped as volunteers.

While Dwyer Foundation and Durango Friends paid for the new lenses, old frames donated by Catholics in Australia and from Canada were reused. 

All who came for the eye camp were presented masks sewn by the village girl students of 'Pragati Sewing Centre being run by the foundation at Sekhwara and Khajwati villages in Bodhgaya.

"The day their new specs were made, they were so excited. The one sitting next to me has with mischievousness, put on the specs upside down,” says Dwyer, sharing a photograph. 

Dwyer reminds friends and family members to motivate people to hand in their old spectacle frames. 

"Once in a while, I send reminders to my contacts via WhatsApp messenger.  We collect the frames from local donors. Some of my friends send the old frames via courier as well,” Dwyer said. - Frank Krishner 


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