Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 303--304

Community eye care - The Sitapur model

Madhu Bhadauria 
 Director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Chief Medical Officer, Sitapur Group of Eye Hospitals, Civil Lines, Sitapur - 261001, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Bhadauria
Director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Chief Medical Officer, Sitapur Group of Eye Hospitals, Civil Lines, Sitapur - 261001, Uttar Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Bhadauria M. Community eye care - The Sitapur model.Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:303-304

How to cite this URL:
Bhadauria M. Community eye care - The Sitapur model. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 May 30 ];68:303-304
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Full Text

It is indeed a proud privilege to have an opportunity to write about the history of the pioneer structured comprehensive eye care model of India, 'The Sitapur Model', which commenced in 1926, lived it's golden period from 1945 to 1974. Sitapur Eye Hospital was at one time Asia's largest eye care facility providing the highest quality of eye care to allwith 800 free beds (expanded to 1500) and 200 private rooms. Having gone through the life cycle of more than 90 years, it is again springing back to life. Let me share with you the tale of the golden past and the bright future.


The founder of this model was Dr Mahesh Prasad Mehray who believed in “life as mission, service as religion”. Sacrifice was in his blood. The name of the Sitapur Model comes from the District of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh, where Dr MP Mehray found his life's calling and vision. He was deeply moved by the misery of the blind people, especially those with avoidable or reversible blindness. From then on until his death, he remained the crusader against blindness. The golden past of the Sitapur Model is shown in [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

 Present Situation

The Sitapur Eye Hospital went down the slopes of time. Its re-incarnation has begun since 2009. I will briefly list the modified practices in conformity with the norms of modern day ophthalmology, yet based on the golden principles of the Sitapur model.


Diploma Orthoptics and Diploma Optometry are now upgraded to Bachelors in Optometry. We have initiated clinical fellowships in optometry, diagnostics, orthoptics, outreach, low vision aids and optical dispensing. Allied ophthalmic personnel training course has been restarted. For postgraduate ophthalmologists, we have robust clinical fellowships in comprehensive ophthalmology, glaucoma, retina and paediatric ophthalmology. Our initiatives into research awaits appropriate funding opportunities.

Clinical care

Sitapur provides comprehensive eye care and complete range of subspecialty tertiary care services. Our current collaborations are SightSavers, Christopher Blindness Mission, Sight Life, Orbis, Combat Blindness International, Vitamin Angels, Aravind Eye Care System, National Programme for Control of Blindness and Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram

Community outreach

We have optimized our community outreach capability to perform 500 camps per year and 30000 surgeries inclusive of all subspecialties. Paediatric outreach consists of screening, onsite spectacle dispensing, disease detection for surgery at the base hospital, low vision aids and vitamin A distribution. 13 new vision centres are started in the districts of Sitapur, Hardoi, Bahraich and Lakhimpur. Our entire hospital and vision centres are managed by an integrated Hospital Management System under closed-circuit tele-monitoring surveillance.

 What Was Right and What Went Wrong?

Sitapur Eye Hospital is possibly a management expert's delight to study the rise, fall and the rise-from-the-fall. At the level of the founder, it was the lack of a leadership succession plan. At the successor's level, the problem was probably the dichotomy of governing a non-governmental institution by the governmental model of administration. A remote-centralized power and absence of ground leadership likely resulted in demotivation of the staff. Paucity of financial support was also a major issue. What went right finally was the appropriate choice of successors with the right attitude and delegation of power and responsibilities. After having deeply studied most of the community-oriented eye care strategies in India and the rest of the world, I think it is reasonable to state that the Sitapur Model is the mother of many of the current models and it seems to have inspired several visionaries of the present and the past.

About the author


Col (Dr) Madhu Badhuria

An alumnus of KGMC Lucknow and Sankara Nethralaya Chennai, Col Bhaduria served in the Army Medical Corps for 25 years and took a voluntary retirement from the AFMC Pune in 2009. She is currently the Director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and the Chief medical officer of the Sitapur Eye Hospital. She has been the vital change instrument and a catalyst in the re-development of the RIO and the Sitapur Eye Hospital almost from the brink of closure to their past glory, and has taken it even beyond. At the dawn of 2020, the institution stands proud as a fully developed medical and paramedical ophthalmic educational centre, with state-of-the art comprehensive and tertiary care clinical services, robust community outreach program and visual rehabilitation services. Col Bhaduria has been awarded the SN Shah, Dharmsay Nansey Oman, Lotus and ICICI Lombard health care awards for having lead from the front to achieve comprehensive development of the Sitapur Eye Hospital