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Sulekha Rana

“Sulekha Rana is a true-changemaker and has impacted millions through her eyecare work. She has more than 10-years of experience and more than 6-years in eyecare. She holds a Master’s in Mgmt. from the prestigious-IMT-Ghaziabad-India and a PMP-Cetification. Sulekha joined VisionSpring-in-India in 2014 and has played diverse social-impact-roles.

Sulekha started by helping eye-hospitals/Government to build a sustainable-supply-chain of high-quality-affordable-eyeglasses for their low-income patients. She then joined the Vision-Access-Projects (VAP) vertical as its founding-member. VAP conducts eye-screenings and dispenses eyeglasses under 3-programme-areas: See-to-Earn (Community-and-Workplace Screenings); See-to-Learn (School-Eye-Screenings); and See-to-be-Safe (Truckers/Commercial-Vehicle-Driver-and-Allied-Transport-Worker Eye-Screenings). Sulekha was instrumental in growing VAP from approximately-9,000-screenings-in-2015 to more than 2.7-million-screenings-in-2019 across-India. VisionSpring touched more-than 1-million people with eyeglasses in India in 2019 and Sulekha played a key-role in this.

Sulekha has brilliantly-led creation-and-scaling of partnerships for VisionSpring with corporates such as Reliance, Mahindra, Castrol, Shell, Apollo-Tyres, RPG-Group, ACC, L&T, DLF, Aditya-Birla-Group, Uber, Ola, and others. She also developed NGO relationships with Sightsavers, Mela-Artisans, Swasti, Kumbh-Mela, and others. She also formed partnerships with Ministry-of-Road-Transport-and-Highways (MORTH), Directorate-of-Education, and National-Programme-for-the-Control-of-Blindness-and-Visual-Impairment (NPCBVI) in several-Indian-states. Sulekha’s exemplary-work has resulted in millions of low-income-people in the remotest-parts-of-India getting gift-of-clear-vision-through-eyeglasses.

Sulekha has also successfully-led the See-to-be-Safe programme since its inception 2-years-ago and made it the largest-such-program-globally. Her effective programme management and implementation skills have ensured that the program has grown to touch more than 350,000-beneficiaries, first with eye-screenings/eyeglasses and then recently with COVID-19 relief/readiness. The importance of the See-to-be-Safe-programme for road-safety is emphasized by the fact that there is a death every 4-minutes on Indian-roads and almost 80% of these are due to driver-errors. Approximately 65% of commercial-vehicle-drivers cannot see clearly due to lack of eyeglasses, thus increasing the risk of fatal accidents.

Under Sulekha’s-leadership, VisionSpring-and-Shell’s ’Drive-Safe-India’ initiative for ensuring road-safety with clear-vision through eyeglasses won the Prince-Michael-International-Road-Safety-Award-2019 at London (UK) and the IPRA-Golden-Award (Community-Engagement-Category)-2020. See-to-be-Safe-programme also won the India-CSR-Leadership-Award-2020.
Sulekha has travelled extensively as a clear-vision-evangelist and convinced numerous-partners to join the noble-mission of making India the first clear vision country. Sulekha has also overseen-and-implemented massive-field-programs with great-rigor-and-flawlessness. For Sulekha, eyeglasses are not just a health-intervention but a basic-building-block-and-a-catalyst to many critical-issues that face India such as employability/skilling/income-earning-potential/ educational-outcomes/road safety, and others. Sulekha is a true-changemaker-and-a-visionary and at a young-age has transformed the social-impact-landscape in eyecare.”

My goal in the near future is to ensure that no commercial vehicle driver meets with an accident because of blurry vision due to the absence of eyeglasses. Through VisionSpring’s See to be Safe programme, I want to touch the approximately 5 million truckers/commercial vehicle drivers and allied transport workers in India with eye-screenings over the next few years.

– Sulekha Rana