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Vision-Aid Wins “Best Small NGO” Award

Anu Chitrapu

Vision-Aid Center in Vizag, India

“Best Small NGO” Award in South India

Finalist at All India Level


The India NGO awards organized by the Resource Alliance and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation were recently awarded in New Delhi. NGOs that were considered for the award were categorized into 3 groups – small, medium and large based on annual budgets. 15 regional winners were selected as finalists for the national award. Amongst those regional winners was Vision-Aid, Vizag, winning in the South India region in the small NGO category.


The jury for this year’s India NGO Awards included: Ms Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson Arghyam; Mr Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commission; Mr Rowland Roome, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation; Mr Ajay Mehta, Executive Director, National Foundation of India and Mr Pradeep Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, CyberMedia (India) Ltd.


The key attributes considered for the award were how easily replicable was what a non-profit was doing, how much did the adoption of systems and processes contribute to the organization’s success and how metric driven was the management of the organization. No surprise then that Vision-Aid came out in flying colors because these three attributes are what form the three pillars of Vision-Aid’s strategy!


The key to Vision-Aid’s success: Adoption of systems and processes


“The WHO estimates there are around 160 million visually impaired persons in the world with over 90% of them living in developing countries like India. Many of these people are needy and live in rural, difficult-to-reach regions. Traditional models of building a single service center, and then expanding it, will not work for this kind of problem. Right from the outset, the founders of Vision-Aid recognized this and advocated an operational model of several small centers amidst the populations that need them,” said Ram Raju, one of the founders.  “In order to set up this model, the critical factor was to find a way to replicate a center efficiently and quickly and the only way this could be done was by establishing a set of clear, unambiguous processes that could be followed easily. And that was what Vision-Aid focused on. Today, Vision-Aid has a set of well documented processes and systems to support it. Its model is simple, easy to replicate and the set up time for a new center is as low as 30 days.”


Vision-Aid has its flagship center in Vizag, India and has started a second center in partnership with Susrut Eye Foundation, in Kolkota, India. For more information on Vision-Aid, please visit www.visionaid.org.


On behalf of all the directors of Vision-Aid, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Boston friends for the unwavering support and contributions that have helped us not only achieve the goals of Vision-Aid but to run our operations well enough to win this award!

(Anu Chitrapu is currently President, Vision-Aid, Boston Chapter. )

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