Campaign to benefit 200,000 children and adults
Over 200,000 children and adults will receive better vision care and eye health through India Vision Institute’s (IVI) vision screenings across India during 2019.
The campaign was launched in Delhi 15 January by the Hon Jason Clare, Australia’s Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment and Shadow Minister for Resources and Norther Australia, in the presence of IVI CEO Vinod Daniel and Australian Labor Party (ALP) members Aisha Amjad and Harish Velji. It will expand IVI’s ‘Eye See and I Learn’ and ‘Eye See and I Work’ programs across the country.
Mr Clare, who is Member of Parliament from Blaxland in south-western Sydney, said, “I am happy to be launching the campaign by India Vision Institute that will make many visually impaired children and adults see better.”
He said he was impressed with the commendable work being undertaken by IVI in delivering vision health and care to underprivileged communities in India. “IVI is an Australian-initiated charity in India and that makes me even more pleased to launch its campaign,” he said.
Vinod Daniel said he was happy that the IVI initiative is being launched by Mr Clare. “Avoidable blindness is a major impediment to the overall health of the people and, over the past few years, IVI has made a good beginning to address the issue,” he said.
“Through the campaign, IVI will be able to more than double the beneficiaries of our Eye See and I Learn and Eye See and I Work programs for the underprivileged across India.”
Uncorrected refractive error remains a major cause of avoidable vision impairment and the second most common cause of blindness in India. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 39.3 million, including 1.6 million children in India, are blind or visually impaired due to 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. As with adults, wearing reading glasses was found to increase their productivity by 34% and income by 20%, Mr Daniel explained.
“The campaign will provide free spectacles to individuals identified with uncorrected refractive errors following vision screenings”, Mr Daniel noted.
IVI has so far conducted 422 vision screening programs in and around Chennai and other cities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Puducherry, West Bengal, New Delhi, Haryana and Mizoram. Over 1, 76,376 individuals from the underprivileged communities (including over 1, 28,549 children) were screened and free spectacles were distributed to 22,813 individuals (including 11,984 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.
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