AIBC on a mission to help gift sight to underprivileged children in India

Sheba Nandkeolyar, Immediate Past Chair, AIBC, IVI CEO Vinod Daniel, and Chair, AIBC, Jim Varghese, after the announcement of the IVI-AIBC partnership in Sydney

The Australia India Business Council (AIBC), the peak body for promotion of bilateral trade relations, has announced an important partnership with India Vision Institute (IVI) to support IVI’s Eye See and I Learn initiative for underprivileged children in India.

The announcement was made at an event at in Sydney on Thursday, 21 November, which was attended among others by the President of India, HE Ramnath Kovind, Australia’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Senator Marise Payne, NSW Premier the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, AIBC’s Immediate Past Chair Sheba Nandkeolyar, AIBC Chair Jim Varghese, and IVI CEO Vinod Daniel.

The partnership will help children across India to get their eyes screened and be provided with free spectacles to those identified with uncorrected refractive error.

Nearly 3/4th of a typical school day consists of reading and writing; the comprehension and performance of this is affected adversely by vision impairment. The partnership will bring light to children from underprivileged backgrounds in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh and will also help them learn better and live better.

AIBC Chair Jim Varghese said, “We are glad to support IVI’s Eye See & I Learn initiative and we will be donating 1 AUD per child for each guest attending an AIBC event, dinners etc. We will continue supporting them through 2020.”

AIBC’s Immediate Past Chair Sheba Nandkeolyar said, “We believe this partnership of providing access to screenings and spectacles will contribute to making a difference in the lives of children and their families.”

IVI CEO Vinod Daniel said that by providing spectacles through Eye See & I Learn, IVI aims to help them get good education, improve their quality of life and give them a chance for a good future.

Till date, IVI has conducted 374 vision screening programs in and around Chennai and other cities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Pondicherry, West Bengal, New Delhi, Haryana and Mizoram. Over 1, 63,944 individuals from the underprivileged communities (including over 1, 19, 206 children) were screened and free spectacles were distributed to 19,513 individuals (including 9,650 children).

IVI is an independent, not-for-profit registered trust established in 2012. It is focused on supporting and promoting eye health awareness, research, education and technological development in Indian Optometry to advance capacity in vision correction, and prevention of eye disease and blindness. (

Established in 1986, AIBC was founded to foster bi-lateral relations between the two countries. We are the only premier non-profit organisation, with a mission to promote trade dialogue between India and Australia through nurturing and maintaining close relationships in both Australia and India, with Federal and State government agencies, the diplomatic corporations and industry bodies. (


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