15/09/2015 (PA-CN/09/03) Media Release: By Australian Consulate-General, Chennai
Australia Supports Better Vision for School Children in Vijayawada
The Australian Consul-General to South India, Mr Sean Kelly, visited the AKTP Municipal High School in Vijayawada on Tuesday, 15 September to inspect a vision screening program funded by the Australian Consulate-General in Chennai and to distribute free spectacles to nearly 100 children suffering from refractive errors.
The vision screening program, supported through a grant from the Consulate-General’s Direct Aid Program is being led by the India Vision Institute (IVI) - a joint initiative of the LV Prasad Eye Institute of Hyderabad and Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Australia. Under the program around 8,000 disadvantaged school children between the ages of 4 and 15 from schools across South India have had their vision screened until now. In Vijayawada alone, around 800 school children underwent vision screening and 97 children were diagnosed as requiring spectacles.
“Good vision is essential to every child’s future” said the Australian Consul-General to South India, Mr Sean Kelly, “Better vision can improve their ability to study, secure gainful employment and lead productive lives. I’m delighted to be here at the AKTP Municipal High School in Vijayawada and distribute spectacles to the children who will benefit from this initiative”.
In addition to the vision screening program for school children in South India, the Australian Consulate-General had also earlier supported a vision screening and spectacle distribution program for people affected by Cyclone Hudhud in Visakhapatnam in partnership with IVI.
“Three quarters of a typical school day constitutes of reading and writing, the comprehension and performance of which is affected adversely by vision impairment” said Mr Vinod Daniel, CEO of IVI. “Given the direct correlation between improved vision and improved academic performance and emotional development, IVI is pleased to assist with vision correction of school children in Vijayawada through screening and provision of free pairs of spectacles.”
IVI acts as a catalyst to help India achieve socially responsible, high quality vision care and an industry that can support: excellent eye care available to all; state of the art Indian optometry; excellent eye care education; international leadership in cutting-edge vision care research and development; and viable Indian vision and optical industry, playing a substantial part in global eye care. Leading the global Our Children’s Vision campaign in India, IVI will screen one million children through its Eye See & I learn campaign and an additional nine million in partnership with several eye hospitals over the period 2015-2020.
Venue: AKTP Municipal High School, Satyanarayanapuram, Vijayawada
For further information, contact Ms Sukanya Ramanujan, Public Diplomacy Manager, at Sukanya.Ramanujan@dfat.gov.au or on + 91 44 4592 1300.