It has been studied that three-fourths of the world’s blind children are in developing countries, thus ruining the lives of millions. One of the significant causes of childhood blindness is deficiencies in Vitamin A. According to Tej Kohli and Dr SandukRuit, this is a needless blindness situation because proper food habits and living conditions can lessen this burden of childhood blindness in developing nations.

How Difficult Is It To Get Vitamin A?

Vitamin A deficiency has been noticed in children who fail to receive rich, nutrient-based foods. Often, Vitamin A can be easily sourced from foods like oranges, eggs, carrots, liver, and sweet potatoes. The other source of Vitamin A is breast milk. However, due to poverty, the mother has to leave the baby and go to work soon after the child is born, thus starting the first step in vitamin A deficiency. Furthermore, the lack of money due to poverty often leads to attaining these easy-to-access foods for children. Resulting in vitamin A deficiency and deteriorating ocular health, sometimes even cataracts. Unless early detection is done and operated on, the blindness cannot be reversed.

Why Does Having A Blind Child Cause More Poverty?

It has also been studied that every year, 1.4 million children are affected by blindness. The report also stated that fifty percent of the young children who lose sight die within the first twelve months. The rest of the half and their families who struggle to survive with the disability are often reported to be pushed further into poverty, according to the USAID (United States Ag3ency for Children Development).

The question remains: how and why?

  1. Less resources

The family who could have worked hard to bring themselves out of poverty and get the much-needed resources have to forgo those in the effort to take care of the blind child. Already in developing countries, about 90 percent of blind people lack the resources to get their sights back, which includes visual aids, eyewear, regular check-ups, and other related services. On the other hand, healthcare workers are overworked and spread thin across the area to provide essential services.

  1. No education

In most underserved regions, where going to school is already a novelty, often patents do not send the blind child to school for fear of getting embarrassed or hurt. Also, most schools lack the basic methods of teaching a blind child. An estimated 85 percent of blind children do not attend school. The result is a decrease in the quality of life, suffering isolation, and all these, adding to further poverty.

  1. Lack of employment

All these factors follow a blind child into adulthood, where the struggle for opportunities continues because they lack education, the skills to navigate life while being blind, and social skills. This creates an extra burden on the family as they cannot provide as adults while leaving the younger generation to care for their blind parents and often quitting school. Thus, the cycle of poverty continues.

TKRF Making the Way Out

TejKholi and Ruit Foundation (TKRF), an NGO by the philanthropist Tej Kohli and eye surgeon Dr SandukRuit, understands the vicious cycle of poverty that blindness causes, mainly when a child suffers from ocular diseases. The outcome of this knowledge is creating a sustainable society where the ‘needless blindness’ as correctly put by angel investor Mr Kohli is eradicated. With the TKRF, the duo is on a mission to cure this needless blindness of 500,000 people for free after screening 1,000,000 people in the underserving regions of the world by 2030.