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Mahavir Arogya Sansthan would adopt the panchayats of the state under a blindness-eradication programme.

The organisation would conduct eye surgeries for free from February, officials of the Sansthan said at a news meet on the hospital premises on Tuesday.

The Sansthan has collaborated with Chennai-based charitable eye hospital Sankara Nethralaya for the programme. In the initial phase, the Sansthan, which is run by Mahavir Temple Trust, would adopt panchayats of Patna, Jehanabad, Bhojpur and Nalanda.

Acharya Kishore Kunal, the chairman of Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts, said: “People would be provided hassle-free eye-related services under the programme. First, we would identify the problem. Second, we would provide vans to bring the person to the camp where the surgery would be done. This will save poor people from spending money on travel. We hope more people would show interest in the programme because of free transportation facility.”

“Many organisations have been organising eye surgery camps for free for the financially backward people. But the organisations that conduct such camps don’t do it on a regular basis. They don’t even cater to the entire population. Thus, we thought of coming up with the blindness-eradication programme,” said S.C. Mishra, the director of Mahavir Arogya Sansthan.

Mishra added: “Our programme is unique because it will cater to a huge population unlike other health camps where only a handful reap the benefits.”