Women First with Football to Eyeball initiative

Don’t leave him.
To your Left.

Loud cheers erupted the otherwise peaceful morning at this football field where the “Girls in Red” played against the local boys of a remote village in Bihar.

Running shoulder to shoulder with the boys, these girls are the forerunners of Akhand Jyoti’s Football to Eyeball program.

Many of them have represented Bihar at the inter-state national level championships.

Akhand Jyoti is Sankara USA’s partner in Bihar, now building a 500 bed CoE in addition to its already existing three hospitals running at full capacity.

While running so many eye hospitals is a daunting task, even more daunting is finding the right people to run them, who have the same values and passion as the founders of the NGOs.

The Football to Eyeball program solves this issue, while empowering the young girls, their families and thus their whole villages.

Often, girls in these remote areas get married at the age of 14 or 15 years, moving into a life of early marriage, motherhood, thereby putting an end to any prospects of a career or dreams of a better life they might be nurturing, moving into a life of early marriage, motherhood and suppressed dreams.

Enrolling girls at Grade 10 level, the Football to Eyeball program includes educating, tutoring, skilling and employing them as they move from Grade 10, to Grade 12 and then on to Bachelor of Science in Sc Optometry, creating employees for the hospitals and in turn making them financially independent.

A few of them also progress on to doing their Masters in Optometry, or MBA in Operations or HR, being happy to keep working at the hospitals, as they have grown up and tasted the sweet flavor of independence while staying there.

They are full of gratitude at their workplace, but on the football field –  it’s all about just their strong defense and striking goals!