Sightsavers uses Art to Promote Healthcare Access

Do you know someone with a disability, or perhaps you have a limiting condition? Any impairment is unfortunate, but many people thrive regardless of what hinders them. Sightsavers is an organization that is trying to bridge the gaps for those who have eye afflictions and other diseases that cause eye damage. In one particular blog post on the Sightsavers website “Young artists get creative to promote disability inclusion” by Andrea Pregel, disabled youth were invited to participate in a discussion and a different approach to empowering themselves and to stimulate support for the rights of those with disabilities.


A plan was put in place by Sightsavers to paint wall murals, with added messages from local citizens with impairments, around significant hospitals. Madhya Pradesh in Bhopal, India was one site chosen and brightly colored people were painted on many vibrant backgrounds along the walls of buildings at the busy intersection for many to see. The murals depicted disabled individuals using medical assisting devices in the community. December 3rd was a significant day in Bhopal’s history, due to a chemical leak tragedy that occurred there in 1984, and thus that calendar date was chosen to implement the artwork. The night before the event the author met with members of the Chingari Trust, which is also supported by Bhopal Medical Appeal, and includes two survivors of the 1984 incident.


While the wall paintings began on a foggy morning, across town another initiative was made to promote better access to healthcare. In a very poor area of town, an eye screening camp was set up for adults and children. This was an effort by several Sightsavers partners, including Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital, World Vision India, and an agency in Bhopal AARAMBH. The camp was a great success and those who were advised that treatment was needed were referred to the hospital to receive glasses, which were provided at no cost for those with very low incomes.


The murals were completed by the Sarjana Academy students by sundown as promised, and then the next day several other walls were completed also. The students really enjoyed working on the project, and were praised by representatives from local and national groups, who renewed their partnership with Sightsavers and their efforts for equalized healthcare access. I found the blog post to be very engaging and elightening. Sightsavers really cares and is definitely making an impact!