India: Optical technician fixes spectacles for free amid Kerala lockdown

Palakkad - K.P. Mohammed Shibili gets almost a hundred calls a day for his repair services



By Web report

Published: Sat 12 Jun 2021, 3:40 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Jun 2021, 3:45 PM

For those used to spectacles for many years, even a few minutes without the eyewear can be frustrating. And during the Covid crisis, when most shops including spectacle outlets are closed, a broken frame or a minor crack in the glass can be one of the most nightmarish experiences for spectacle-users.

But worry not, says K.P. Mohammed Shibili, an optical technician near Pattambi in Kerala’s Palakkad district. Since the start of the lockout, he has been busy getting calls and rushing to the aid of people who need their spectacles repaired. And the repairs are for free.

Shibili’s service is under the Santhwanam scheme of the Sunni Yuvajana Sangham. He used to work in an optical shop, but since the start of May he was stuck at home. “I got a few personal calls for help during the lockdown and I realised how seriously important spectacles are for those who constantly wear them,” Shibili was quoted in a report on Saturday.

“Then it dawned on me that I could do something useful for society.”

Not surprisingly, he got almost a hundred calls days after the launch of the scheme. “Most calls were for minor repairs like a loose screw or lens, or bent frame,” he said. He helped in the repairs and in also getting new lenses and parts, but could not get new spectacles as he felt it would be unethical when the shops were closed.

Conscious of the Covid protocols, he does not enter homes, but repairs the spectacles from outside. He then tells people to wash the glasses with soap. With the growing popularity of his service, he gets calls from people in distant Kottayam and Kozhikode, but Shibili operates only in Palakkad.

Most of the people desperate for his service are children and senior citizens. The young Shibili, who is 23, got trained by Mohammed Anas, his brother, and Ayishath Shibila, his sister-in-law, both optometrists.

Alamy
Alamy

More news from coronavirus