2018 Report

Executive Summary

In our first five years, Lokana’s success has exceeded my wildest hopes.
We have created a system for delivering comprehensive eye care to the
indigenous Chenchu communities of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana that is
unmatched anywhere in India. To our knowledge, we are the first group – either
governmental or NGO – to conduct Comprehensive eye camps for
Adivasis. We bring the eye clinic to them: providing all services free of
charge and guiding them through their eye care journey. This starts in the
camps  where patients get a full eye exam, including refraction to check
their “glasses prescription" and dilation to check for cataract,
glaucoma and retinal disease. Reading glasses are delivered on the spot, and
distance vision/bifocal glasses are custom-made in Hyderabad and delivered by
our volunteers. Patients who require surgery now receive top-notch care at our
partner hospital, Gajwel Eye Hospital. Nearly all our patients receive
phacoemulsification surgery and a very high-quality intra-ocular lens (IOL).
This is in contrast to free surgery provided by most Indian hospitals where the
older manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (mSICS) technique is used along
with a cheaper IOL. What makes Lokana different is the attention to these
details, ensuring that the most vulnerable patients get the best care. 

Lokana’s commitment to the highest clinical and
ethical standards comes through in daily acts of caring. We acknowledge a long
history of racism towards indigenous people that has led them to mistrust
outsiders. So we take the time to talk to each patient about their eyes and
what needs to be done. When a patient comes for surgery, we provide
housing for them and accommodations for family members to cook the meals
their loved ones prefer. After surgery, we provide housing for a week to
prevent infections. Even after they go home, we visit them in their villages
for a final check and glasses. This exceptional level of care is what we are
most proud of, and excellent results have followed – zero surgical
complications and excellent visual outcomes. But the numbers shown here are
only part of the story. People we know and care about are behind the
numbers: children now able to see at school, elderly patients who were once
confined indoors now confidently walking in the forests as productive members
of society.

On a personal level, returning to the Chenchu
villages is a homecoming for me every time. I see people I’ve known for over
two decades, mourn the loss of those who’ve passed away, and welcome the
smiling faces of new friends. They continue to teach me about Chenchu life and
my own. In the next 5 years, we hope to give shape to this cultural
dialogue and expand our ecological work while continuing to extend our eye
care services. I am so grateful to share this incredible journey with
so many volunteers in India and the US. Mahesh, Sheetal, and so many others
have served on the frontlines and behind the scenes, inspiring me
with their dedication and sincerity. Finally, all of our work is made possible
by our generous donors who embrace a vision of an
interconnected world where each person matters – it takes a village
to serve a village. We are profoundly grateful for your support and belief
in us.

Financial Summary

Lokana is an all-volunteer organization with no paid administrative staff. In 2018, Lokana did not yet have tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. We present the 2018 expenses for the sake of transparency, but these costs were borne by the volunteer founders (i.e. not by public donations). In 2019, we anticipate tax-exempt status and collection of public donations to support Lokana's programs. One-time startup costs included equipment purchase and website development. Lokana staff administering care does not get paid for their time. Volunteers also pay for the cost of travel to/from India. We believe Lokana's very low overhead costs will be attractive to potential donors who know their contributions will be wisely used to reach those in need.

2018 Lokana Financial Report (USD)