Debra Winger, the Hollywood actress who is promoting eye care will be approaching Indians living abroad to help the visually impaired people living in India. Even though the country has a very high number of visually impaired people, 80% of them can be cured, according to Debra Winger.
Winger, who at the age of 17 met with an accident that left her temporarily blind, but she came out of it, is today a global ambassador for Sight Savers International.
'The purpose of my trip is not to promote but to learn because I have not been to India before,' said the actress who starred in such films as 'An Officer And A Gentleman' and 'Terms Of Endearment'. 'India is important because of the partnership between Sight Savers International and Venu Eye Institute and Research Centre (VEIRC) and for their work,' she added.
She went to Rewari in Haryana 5 January 2006 to see a community-based program run by Venu, the Indian partner for Sight Savers - for visually impaired people. She visited camps for cataract operations and spent time with the patients and she was moved by the work of field workers.
'I met the field workers in Rewari District, the important link in this chain that works. They are being trained by Venu and doing a great job. They travel to the remotest area to help these visually impaired people.'
She was surprised to see them traveling by bicycle and suggested to former Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who was also present at the conference, that the roads should be improved. Pataudi, who has a false eye, has been associated with Venu as its Sight Ambassador for the last 10 years.
He said: 'This is a global problem and lots of people are affected. My family and I are associated with Venu for more than a decade and have been working for these people'.
The actress who has been involved in a lot of charity work joined the organization two-and-a-half years ago and before coming to India she went to Kenya. Debra started her acting career at the age of 17 but it was the John Travolta- starrer 'Urban Cowboy' that made her a star.