Signs of Change in the Slums of Mumbai, India – June 18, 2003
South Asia Partnership Canada and Operation Eyesight Universal
Cordially invite you to
A multimedia presentation on
Signs of Change in the Slums of Mumbai
By Dr. Gopa Kothari
Day: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003
Time: 12.00 to 2.00 P.M.
Place: CCIC Board Room (Third Floor), 1 Nicholas Street, Ottawa
Dr. Kothari is a senior member of the Mumbai medical community. Dr. Kothari has spent more than 20 years in the service of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Her story is a dramatic example of international cooperation, community development and street-level initiative.
A pediatrician who specializes in community health, Dr. Kothari has a close relationship with Operation Eyesight, which supports her work. Through the encouragement of clean communities and proper nutrition, blindness has been averted in thousands of people, especially children. As well, her work involves education and training for micro enterprises. This has had the effect of fundamentally changing the lives of women in the slums, and their status in their own society.
Run largely by female staff and volunteers, the Child Eye Care Charitable Trust provides for the eye health of children and training for nurses, while contributing to education, nutrition, sanitation and literacy needs. These efforts are having a dramatic effect on local living conditions. Merchants in the area are encouraged to stock Vitamin A rich foods like green vegetables, which are crucial in the prevention of blindness. Young mothers can now read food labels, and small business projects have allowed them to earn money to buy the things their families need. Residents are taught to grow their own vegetables in large tin cans and plastic buckets. This improves the local environment and, in turn, the health of the community improves.
The program is truly sustainable – once Dr. Kothari has a local team in place to maintain the effort, she and her organizers move on to introduce the program in a neighboring area. There is a clear, measurable difference in the health, sanitation and prosperity of the areas where the project operates.
Among her credentials, Dr. Kothari has lectured at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and was a senior physician at one of Mumbai’s major hospitals. She has turned down many professional opportunities to focus instead on improving the lives of the desperately poor, especially women and children.
For more information and other speaking dates, see Dr. Kothari’s Canadian tour web page http://www.operationeyesight.ca/what_events.html#story2 .