An eye on the eyes

about 8 months ago
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There are a lot of things which happen at the grassroot level, to which, we urbanites, walking around with a nose up in the air are completely ignorant about. Did you know that there are a lot of ventures from USA which are  helping better the life of villagers in India, empowering them?

One such name is that of VisionSpring, a social enterprise venture -  it distributes examinations and eyeglasses to India’s poor for $2 to $3 each.  Their aim is to provide equitable access to the eye care products they need to live a full, productive life. This company, a social enterprise has been founded by Jordan Kassalow and Scott Berrie in 2001 and it was launched in India in 2005.

VisionSpring, with its business model, provide employment opportunities in India by training Vision Entrepreneurs (VEs) to give eye screenings, sell eyeglasses to the different communities and to refer customers who needed prescription glasses to a VisionSpring optometrist. Once hired, a VE will receive a package containing marketing materials and the details required to carry out an eye test. For every pair of glasses sold, the VEs will earn between Rs.40 to 50. These VEs are responsible for reaching out to the innermost area of rural India, as most eye care professionals are located in the urban area and are very costly. It conducts about 60,000 eye screenings in Andhra Pradesh alone every year.

The company has trained more than 450 VEs and has sold more than $100,000 worth of glasses. In India, it has generated $228 million in economic growth and increased the earning potential of an average customer by $381. Now this is what we call an "eye" on India's underprivileged.

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