Visual outcomes of 2369 cataract operated persons(3655 eyes) across seven major Indian states were assessed in 1998. This is the largest ever study over the past decade in the country. 9.54 per cent of the examined population had undergone operation for cataract in one or both eyes. Intra-capsular cataract extraction was the commonest surgical modality adopted (91.62%). Intraocular lens implants resulted in better visual outcomes with 71.4 per cent of such patients achieving a good visual outcome (> or = 6/18 in operated eyes). Visual outcome was also good if ICCE operated patients were provided good quality aphakic spectacles. There were no gender differentials in surgical uptake rates. The risk of poor postsurgical visual outcome was strongly associated by type of surgery (Adjusted OR for ICCE-2.78; 95% CI: 1.41-5.49) and the non-availability or poor quality aphakic spectacles (Adjusted OR for poor/no spectacles 4.59-95% CI: 3.53-5.97). Duration since surgery and the source of surgery did not influence visual outcomes. Half the cataract blind remained unoperated in the study population.