The India Vision Institute (IVI), an Australia India joint initiative, celebrated its first anniversary in Hyderabad on 16 September 2012 with the launch of Aksauhini, a strategic plan aiming at excellence in vision care and positioning India as a world leader in global vision industry. With India having one of the largest populations of avoidable blind and visually impaired people in the world, totalling 131 million people, and with a vast majority living in rural areas, Aksauhini sets out a road map to meet the gaps in vision care in India.
IVI Academy for Eyecare Educators was also launched to support the 130 existing Optometry schools in India. This Academy will have a major impact on reducing the economic and social impact of blindness and visual impairment by improving the quality of eye care education in India.
Six higher education scholarships to pursue PhD in Optometry were also announced on the occasion. This initiative is to ensure that India sees qualified eye care specialists in the future; who in turn will help in improving the quality of eyecare education.
Distinguished guests including, Mr David Holly, Australian Consul General for South India; Ms Sujaya Krishnan, Joint Secretary, Ministry for Health; Mr Robert McMullan, President, International Association for Prevention of Blindness; Professor Brien Holden, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), Australia; Dr G N Rao, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI); were among other 175 national and international leaders and professionals in vision care attending the event.
Mr Vinod Daniel, CEO IVI, said “the Institute will play a lead role in ensuring India deals with uncorrected refractive error more efficiently. Millions of Indians will be grateful to Aksauhini for being able to go about their daily life with independence and confidence.”
Mr David Holly, Consul General of Australia for South India, “congratulated IVI, a joint Australia-India initiative, on the giant steps taken since its launch last year in raising the standard of optometry care in India and in dealing with a fundamental need for people to have access to a pair of glasses, especially in the rural parts of India.”
IVI co-Chairs, Dr GN Rao and Professor Brien Holden, whose vision it was to establish IVI, reiterated continuing support of the LVPEI and BHVI for IVI’s pursuit of its visionary mission.
In its inaugural year, IVI has supported optometric professionals with higher education scholarships, skill and capacity building workshops, student seminars; signed MOUs with the Africa Vision Research Institute and the Salus University to promote educational research; and awarded 325 scholarships to enable participation in the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) 9th General Assembly (9GA).
For further information about IVI please contact: Vinod Daniel, CEO & Managing Trustee, India Vision Institute, Hyderabad; # +917893985353; firstname.lastname@example.org