Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali MP is leading a trade delegation to India and visited the India Vision Institute project at Chennai Higher Secondary School, Maduvinkarai in Guindy today.
The Trade Mission India, comprising 16 business and civic delegates from Western Sydney, visited the institute, distributed spectacles to students with refractive impairment, and discussed health care programs for people in need.
As part of IVI\'s Eye See & I Learn program, some 120 students from the school in Guindy received free spectacles.
Mayor Bali is also the Member for Blacktown I in the state parliament of NSW.
Blacktown City Council has partnered with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in bringing businesses to join the trade delegation to India. The Trade Mission led by Mayor Bali includes the former Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees.
Mayor Bali said, \"It is an honour for our delegation to witness the work carried out by IVI in providing children from less privileged backgrounds access to screenings and providing them a pair of spectacles. The work IVI does is very impressive and we wish the organisation greater success in the future.\"
IVI\'s CEO Vinod Daniel said \"the Mayor\'s visit to our project was most encouraging for us and the school children. The interest of this important delegation is most appreciated. At the event, IVI also launched a campaign to vision screen 50,000 children in Tamil Nadu’s tribal schools. As part of the launch of the program this week, 6,863 tribal school children were screened in Kolli Hills and Salem district.”
\"IVI’s approach has been to provide access to vision screening and spectacles to the needy in far-flung under-privileged communities. Australia\'s small grants through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) has benefited Indian NGOs, including IVI, to make a positive impact to changing people\'s lives for the better. We hope to see more and more businesses play an active role in philanthropic work,\" he noted.
“To date, IVI has conducted over 550 vision screening programs in and around Chennai and other cities in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Pondicherry, West Bengal, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Mizoram, Assam, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Over 250,000 individuals from underprivileged communities (including over 190,000 children) have been screened and free spectacles distributed to over 35,000 individuals (including over 20,000 children).” Mr Daniel added.
“It gives us immense satisfaction to be involved in IVI’s work, which has touched so many lives across India. On behalf of the business delegation and Austrade, I thank IVI for having invited us to the event today,” said Munish Sharma, Australia’s Trade Commissioner for South India.
About India Vision Institute (IVI)
India Vision Institute (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. (For additional details on IVI, log on to www.indiavisioninstitute.org ) For media queries, contact Shekhar Nambiar, +919810154167