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Many of India’s nearly 400,000 blind children are confined to a lifetime of poverty and abuse. Blindness in some of these children, a result of cataracts, can be corrected through surgery. In the July Scientific American Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist Pawan Sinha recounts how these surgeries let blind children see for the first time. This effort, Project Prakash, has provided a new understanding of how late in life a child can develop vision.
Watch these videos of Project Prakash as it recruits children, undertakes surgeries and helps them adapt to a new “sighted” existence.
The Project Prakash team finds children in remote areas of India who can be treated with surgery for bilateral congenital cataracts.
Removal of bilateral congenital cataracts lets children who were previously blind gain sight in a matter of days.
Before and after
A child pre- and post-surgery searches for a treat.
The world of sight
After surgery children practice the visual arts to get accustomed to a new and unfamiliar sense.