The Nidek Handy-Ref – helping the people of Kolkata

2 October 2019

We are delighted to be supporting the Specsavers team and the Hope Foundation again this year by donating a Nidek Handy-Ref for their visit to Kolkata next month.

Patrick Dennehy, Optom Director in Specsavers Liffey Valley, was also part of the team that travelled to Kolkata in 2018 to help carry out 1296 sight tests and hand out over 1,000 pairs of free glasses to people in disadvantaged areas.

“We began our partnership with the Hope Foundation in November 2017, our first trip to Kolkata consisted of 2 Specsavers Partners and one optician travelling to India, hoping to help provide eye care to the street communities. For this trip we knew the equipment we would have access to would be basic and we also knew that we would be testing quite literally on the streets of the city so we decided to purchase a hand held Nidek auto refractor. This piece of equipment became invaluable and allowed us to test, quite possibly four times the number of people we would have done without it.  It made such a difference to the level of eye care that could be delivered that we gifted the auto refractor to the Hope Hospital.

To say we were smitten is an understatement, the people of Kolkata, although living in horrendous conditions, are the most amazing, humble and beautiful people we have ever met. So two years on and with the amazing support of Specsavers Ireland we have raised over 150,000 Euro. This money has allowed the Hope Foundation to implement their ‘Eradication of Blindness’ project. From April 2018 to January 2019 7188 people benefited, among those 1445 were children. We also provided 4455 pairs of free spectacles. Our fund raising efforts have also allowed us to fund 234 cataract surgeries. On our November 2018 trip, our numbers had grown to 10, allowing us to test over 1300 men, women and children providing 1100 pairs of free glasses. This years trip will be the biggest one yet with 2 more opticians in attendance which will allow us to test even more people. ”


The Hope Foundation Ireland is a registered Irish charity working with street and slum children in Kolkata.

The charity works to free children and poor families from lives of pain, abuse, poverty and darkness and seeks to improve their lives by providing access to healthcare and nutrition, education, drug rehabilitation and life skills and training.

With the help of Specsavers and The Hope Foundation, improved eye care is made available to the children living in slums and hospitals in Kolkata.