India’s capital of New Delhi has the fourth largest urban population in the world. Because of fast growth, shortages of medical care and services and lack of employment, slums have emerged in many areas of the city. Zakheera is one of these, an urban slum situated in the central part of New Delhi, and one of the city’s most congested areas.
We began working in Zakheera in 2004, and in 2008 we began a program to develop a comprehensive eye care program with community development intervention to improve the quality of life and restore sight to those in need. The program worked to engage the community, develop needs assessments, train health workers, establish linkages with government and non-governmental agencies, and develop eye health and general health care. It also offered awareness and education programs, immunization programs, nutritional supplementation, and other forms of training.