As someone who joined Orbis to manage projects in India, Abhishek has since flourished along with the projects and crossed borders to implement and manage projects in Nepal as well. Given his dedication and leadership to drive quality eye care projects, we are proud to nominate him as a 2020 Eye Health Hero. Although a social development professional, Abhishek had not worked in the eye care sector before. Refractive Error Among Children (REACH) is a large-scale school screening programme that is spread across the country-it was a challenging programme which he led along with Orbis’s partners. He has navigated many challenges to ensure that children do not suffer needlessly due to avoidable blindness.
“When I was a child, my refractive error remained undetected for two years and I also turned amblyopic. I hated school and everything related to it. But once I got my eyes tested and started wearing glasses, I could see everything clearly. In the long run, it helped me make better decisions in life-specifically career wise. Call it destiny or my choice, when I saw Orbis’s work in children’s eye care, I could relate to it – when you have gone through it first-hand you are invested on a personal level- I knew that as an adult I can work towards helping other children not face what I did.”
-Abhishek Kumar Jha
Ask him anything about the REACH programme, he’s quick to give you an answer. He’s like the encyclopedia of REACH, you could say. He can be described as a quiet achiever with sound knowledge and understanding of what it takes to lead difficult projects. He has swiftly established himself as a leader while also demonstrating great talent and skill at connecting key partners together in the country and beyond to not only implement projects but also to successfully execute them.
Abhishek’s track record speaks of diligence, approaching his work in a calm and confident manner with dedication towards making progressive impact through the work Orbis does. He has a composed exterior, even in the face of challenges witnessed in the field, but confidently moves towards the solution.
Through Abhishek’s work in school eye health programmes in India and Nepal, we have reached millions of children. In India alone, through REACH interventions, over two million children were reached. Abhishek has been key to the success of REACH in India while helping replicate the model in Nepal as well. At present, under his leadership, projects in difficult as well as underserved areas of the country are on-going.
His persistence towards excellence in projects speaks of him as an upholder of the Orbis values while addressing avoidable blindness among children as a public health problem. Abhishek’s unique approach and commitment towards bringing favourable change in the children’s eye care makes him worthy of recognition.