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VisionSpring Shares the Gift of Sight With Dalai Lama, Buddhist Monks

His Holiness praised the nonprofit’s mission to bring affordable eyecare to underprivileged areas of the globe.

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VisionSpring Shares the Gift of Sight With Dalai Lama, Buddhist Monks
VisionSpring, India’s Board of Directors and leadership team had the honor of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and receiving his blessings. Pictured here is Noopur Srivastava, Director, Institutional Partnerships. PHOTO COURTESY: VisionSpring

The Dalai Lama is a living legend.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He’s been a symbol of Tibetan resistance to Chinese occupation since the 1950s. He’s been a worldwide symbol of peace and pacifism for nearly as long.

He also is a notable glasses wearer. He’s worn eyeglasses since (at least) he was a young man. At 88 years of age, he knows firsthand the power of sight.

VisionSpring made a pilgrimage earlier this summer to the Dalai Lama’s community of Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh India, where he’s lived in exile since 1960. The nonprofit organization provided vision screenings to nearly 700 monks, students, and artisans at schools run by His Holiness. More than half were presented corrective eyewear, many for the first time in their lives.

The Dalai Lama met with VisionSpring, India’s Board of Directors and leadership team during their visit. He blessed them, posed for a few pictures, and commented on their quest to provide affordable access to eyecare worldwide.

“I know from personal experience how a pair of eyeglasses can change someone’s life for the better,” says the Dalai Lama, in a recent press release. “I am pleased to know about the good work being done by VisionSpring to correct the vision of underprivileged people, young and old, in Dharamshala, recently, and in other places as well.”

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The screenings took place in three Buddhist monasteries and an art institute. Of the 681 individuals who were screened, 385 now have clear vision thanks to VisionSpring eyeglasses.

It was a humbling experience for the VisionSpring, India team.

“We are grateful to His Holiness for this humbling opportunity and his support for our mission to make clear vision through eyeglasses accessible and affordable for all,” says Anshu Taneja, Managing Director of VisionSpring, India. “It was a huge privilege for our team to visit the Gyato, Kirti and Namgyal Buddhist monasteries and the Norbulingka art institute – where ancient Tibetan art is practiced – to provide eyeglasses to His Holiness’ community members, the first pair for most.”

About VisionSpring

Founded in 2001, VisionSpring is the social enterprise accelerating the use of eyeglasses in emerging and frontier markets. Our mission is to increase lifelong earning, learning, safety, and well-being through eyeglasses for people vulnerable to poverty. We believe in the wonder of clear vision for everyone and envision a world in which all who need glasses will have them to see well and do well by 2050. As of 2022, VisionSpring corrected the vision of more than 10 million people living on less than $4 per-day, unlocking more than $2 billion in income earning potential.

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