The Telegraph
Wednesday , August 18 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hope for trafficking victims

Ranchi, Aug. 17: For 770 girls of rehabilitation homes it was their first taste of freedom — an eye check-up camp organised by the Kashyap Memorial Eye Bank of Ranchi.

City-based Kashyap Memorial Hospital, saw the girls — all victims of human trafficking and aged between eight to 15 — queuing up for an advanced eye check up.

“Out of the 45 million blind in the world, at least 1.4 million are below the age of 16 with one child losing his/her sight every minute. Hence, we made it our priority to conduct the camp for the victims of trafficking lodged at various rehabilitation homes run by NGOs,” said Bharti Kashyap, medical director of Kashyap Memorial Eye Bank.

While preventable blindness, curable by the administration of Vitamin A, accounts for 28 per cent of the total number of blind cases, an increased awareness on the part of society can help in bringing down the number of cases of blindness caused by vitamin deficiency, Kashyap added.

Nearly 300 girls of Burmu based Kishori Niketan, a rehabilitation centre run by ATSEC, had their eyes checked at the camp. IAS Wives Association sponsored spectacles for the children with deficiencies. Another rehabilitation centre, Asha Kiran, too had 470 girls participating in the camp.

“All these girls have been rescued by us from Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai and other major metros. They had been sold by brokers to work in homes. Most of them worked without wages and were often beaten and sexually assaulted,” said Sister Jemma Toppo, chief sister of Asha Kiran.

“These girls are now attending school run by us at Phundi. These girls are also encouraged to take up a vocation of their choice so that they are not dependent on others for sustenance,” Toppo added.

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