Linda O’Neill, one of the founders of the SQ Foundation along with her husband Derek, loved and lived by the saying “without vision the people perish”. She realized for the children and adults in the outlying areas to be able to be educated, they needed a vision in more ways than one. One aspect of that vision was having the hope that they could find a way to go to school so they could follow the dreams that we all have for a better life. The second aspect of that is to be able to see well enough to read the books necessary to obtain that education.
In the areas surrounding Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, India, there are many poor and impoverished people who struggle to meet their basic needs of food, warmth and hygiene. The SQ Foundation provided and ambulance for them to get to a doctor or hospital when they were sick or needed that help. It was not able to get them the necessary vision care as there were too many people, children and adults in the outlying areas to take them all in to have their vision checked and provide them with glasses on an individual basis. Linda thought of a way to bring the vision to the people…a mobile van that came to them and checked their vision and provided them with glasses.
It took more than a few years of planning, design and implementation of this project, finally in 2015 we were able to get this project off the ground and out into the villages. Girikonda, a long time Sai devotee in Puttapharti who is also the overseer of the SQ Foundation Ambulances for the rural areas surrounding that area, made it happen. He was very devoted to Linda and to making this dream of hers a reality. He oversaw the project from start to finish: purchasing the van, helping with the design and implementation of getting it outfitted properly, and finally taking it out to the people in the villages who need it. He drives, with other volunteer helpers, out to the outlying villages, to schools in the surrounding areas, and to wherever he is made aware of a need for these services.
He also went back to school himself to become an opthamologist, so he could provide the best care possible to those he was serving. They are now in the hands not only of a qualified professional but one of the most caring individuals you would ever meet, and Linda would be the first to attest to that fact if she were alive today. She is watching, guiding and helping from heaven to be sure.
The overall goal, as it is for all of the work the SQ Foundation does is to let people know they are not forgotten, and they are loved.