To come up with its list of 52 best photos of 2016, National Geographic went through 2,290,225 photographs taken by 91 photographers. And the one selected from India shows a beautiful side of the country – the happy, helpful, concerned, and caring side.
Shot in the Sundarbans region, it is a picture of two eye-care workers using test-lens frames for eye exams during a free check-up session.
Source: National Geographic/ Photograph by Brent Stirton
The photo was originally published in an article called “Why There’s New Hope About Ending Blindness,” on Nat Geo in September 2016. According to the article, the eye-care team is led by Asim Sil, an ophthalmologist who travels in remote Sundarbans regions to help reduce the population of blind people in India that is more than eight million. The team uses boats to travel across Sundarbans, to diagnose eye health problems and offers glasses and surgical solutions to patients who need them.
Giving the example of a resident named Muhammed, Asim says that he used to go a quack for check-ups and now his blindness is irreversible. If there had been a vision centre in the area, his eyesight could have been saved. Asim’s team collect patients from different islands by boat and by bus, take them to the base hospital where surgery is done and they are sent back to the villages. The follow-up is done at primary eye care centres in the region. Their mission is to create a positive eye health seeking behaviour in the area.
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