The Charity Film Awards (en)
  • Sally Phillips

Reach for the Stars

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For almost a decade, Savitri has supported AJEH in Bihar, an eye hospital providing cataract surgeries to some of India’s most marginalised rural communities.

In 2018 Indian Foundation PVR Nest joined us to fund 200 paediatric cataract surgeries. We sought help from our talented Trustee, Sunhil Sippy, to capture just how transformative a surgery can be for a young child and set out to make a short film, Reach for the Stars.

In Samastipur we met Bharti and her family. She was born with bilateral cataracts, meaning she had bad vision and struggled to see. She was painfully shy, not just with us, but with her friends, hanging back from the other children, on the outskirts of the games. We observed her relationships and watched her struggle to participate. Her mother Manju explained she’d been missing school as she couldn’t keep up with the lessons.

Six weeks later post-surgery we returned to see a whole new person.

The transformation in Bharti’s confidence and her approach to life was incredible. She was skipping with her friends, showing us how she could do up her shirt buttons all by herself, reading, drawing. She was like all the other children in the village, just living life.

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