£5 is what it costs to give a blind person in India an operation that will enable the individual to see again

Reported by Christopher Edwards

Following a presentation at a weekly Skype meeting in the London E-club of the Guildford Rotary Eye Project (GREP), members decided to make a donation of £100 – an amount enough to cover the eye operation for five avoidably blind persons in India.


The Guildford Rotary Eye Project has helped to set up 16 eye hospitals across India and now carries out 40,000 operations a year. Its aim is to open a lot more hospitals and to carry out 100,000 operations. In addition, the project has established its first eye hospital in Nigeria.

GREP was founded in 1997 by Dr. Samarendra Das, an eye surgeon and member of the Rotary Club of Guildford. The project first started its work with poor people who are avoidably blind in Calcutta (Kolkata), the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.

Speaker at the Skype meeting, on July 26, John Miles of the Rotary Club of Leatherhead, District 1250. England, serves as the charity project’s Awareness and Fundraising Co-ordinator.

With the astute use of Rotary Foundation’s Matching Grant scheme the £15 cost of a sight saving operation can be funded with a donation of just £5  in Great Britain. Taxpayers in the UK can Gift Aid their donation and add 25% plus to its value. The eye project has the charity reg no 1127630.

Through Rotary £5000 can provide 1000 eye operations in India. The E-club money for the eye project came from the members so-called coffee club (*).

Click here to see the project video.

CONTACT: John Miles, e-mail john.miles13@btinternet.com or through the projects  website. Click here for online donations.

here to see John Miles' website report of a several months long trip to India.

Picture: The Rotarians John and Fiona Miles in India in 2009.


cup of coffeeEditor's footnote: (*) The Coffee Club idea is that each member "donate" what a cup of coffee might cost the individual member at a café/restaurant where each of us lives - for every meeting wether a member can participate in the Skype meeting or not. Every three months or so you may then transfer the money to the club.