August 2019 has been a month of achievements for India Vision Institute (IVI) with vision screenings spanning the far corners of India, from Tamil Nadu in the south, Haryana to the north, and two districts in Odisha, hitting a new record 31,000 in a month.
The activities included 18,404 vision screenings in tribal schools in remote communities in Tamil Nadu's Kolli Hills, Namakkal, and Salem, 2,047 screenings in schools across Chennai, as well as 8,993 screenings in Odisha's Boudh and Cuttack districts, Hauz Khas village in Delhi, and Nuh in Mewat (Haryana).
"IVI's activities during the month continue to touch lives in remote corners of India with little or no access to vision screening," said IVI CEO Vinod Daniel.
"With an estimated 62 million visually impaired in India – including eight million blind - it is a challenge. Our efforts in August will impact a good segment of the population in these states," he said.
"Whether it is Boudh or Kolli Hills, the beneficiaries will be able to transform their lives through improved livelihoods for adults and better education leading to changed career opportunities for children," added Mr Daniel.
At a special event organised by IVI, 120 children screened earlier from among 1,942 at Chennai Higher Secondary School received glasses from the leader of the visiting Australian Trade Mission 2019, Mayor Stephen Bali MP of Blacktown City in New South Wales (NSW). Nathan Rees, a former Premier of NSW and a member of the Trade Mission, also distributed spectacles at the school.
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."
In 852 screenings of daily wage labourers in and around Chennai, 589 were found to have refractive errors. In 332 screenings of daily wage workers in Salem district, 236 were found to have refractive errors. All those found to have refractive errors will be provided free spectacles.
Balu, Head Master of Monfort Higher Secondary School at Alandur, said “Through IVI’s screenings, children in our school have gained awareness about eye care. The screenings were a great tool to detect vision issues in them. They were fortunate to have IVI in our school. As a Head Master, I wish every district has this screening. I see students struggle to read and wonder how many have visual issues. The screenings were quick, easy and can possibly find a piece to the reading puzzle.”
Kolli Hills GTR Model School’s 14-year-old K Dhayalan suffered from frequent headaches, difficulty seeing the blackboard, and increased eye strain. Although his parents took him to a nearby eye hospital, where he was diagnosed with refractive errors in both eyes, they could not afford a pair of spectacles. Following IVI’s screening, he received a pair of free spectacles on the spot, and now has clear vision. Dhayalan said, "I am happy with the trendy glasses.”
To date, across India, IVI has conducted over 588 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. Around 250,000 individuals from underprivileged communities (including around 190,000 children) have been screened and free spectacles distributed to over 17,000 individuals (including over 20,148 children).
For the activities during August, IVI acknowledges the support of Our Children’s Vision & Essilor Vision for Life, Vision Spring, Essilor Vision Foundation, SRF Foundation, L&T, Vinayaka Mission and Vasan Eye Care at Salem, Lions Club at Kolli Hills, Rotary Club at Namakkal, Krupa Foundation, Montfort Community Development Society (MCDS), and Optometry students of SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Potheri for volunteering for the vision screening programs in Chennai.
About India Vision Institute India Vision Institute 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