India Vision Institute (IVI), an NGO working to provide access to vision screenings and free glasses to underprivileged communities, has brought the gift of good eyesight and a life of renewed hope to a village in Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, near Auroville.
“The vision screening program, 23 and 24 January, has benefited over 300 underprivileged people, including women and the aged, at Bommayarpalayam village,” said IVI’s CEO Vinod Daniel.
With support from Essilor Vision Foundation, IVI has provided 184 pairs of spectacles free of cost to those found with uncorrected refractive errors in the village. Sixty-two individuals have been given referrals for further hospital consultation.
“IVI is beginning vision screening activities in parts of the country, suspended since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent government restrictions and lockdown during 2020. Our current activities follow all government guidelines and protocols, including wearing personal protective kit, masks, use of sanitizers, and ensuring social distancing norms,” Mr Daniel added.
IVI’s screenings at Bommayarpalayam are the result of a collaboration with Auroville Village Action Group, an NGO working in integrated grassroots community building with villages surrounding Auroville in Villupuram district, Yantra Studio, an architecture firm, and Temple Tree Retreat.
“AVAG has been organising health and eye camps for many years in the villages around Auroville with the support of hospitals and organisations. The eye camp in Bommayarpalayam village is something very special to us because of the quality of the service offered and the commitment to serve the marginalised, particularly women and the aged. The beneficiaries have appreciated the service and are grateful for the spectacles given free of cost,” said Jerald Morris, Project Director, AVAG.
To date, IVI has screened some 360,000 individuals, including 290,000 children across 19 states in India. IVI has provided free pairs of spectacles to 27,000 adults and 28,000 children under its Eye See & I Work and Eye See & I Learn programs.
About India Vision Institute (IVI)
India Vision Institute is an independent, not-for-profit registered trust established in India in 2012. Initiated to advance Optometry, through our extensive activities and programs, including vision screenings across India’s far corners, we have made a mark with many achievements. Our approach to advance Indian Optometry has been through awareness generation, capacity building, leadership development, and promoting the research culture. For prevention of avoidable blindness, IVI has worked through timely intervention in providing access to vision screenings and provision of free spectacles in disadvantaged communities and remote areas. Our Eye See & I Learn and Eye See & I Work campaigns reach out to these key constituencies where services are lacking and most required – notably children and adults. (www.indiavisioninstitute.org ).
About Auroville Village Action Group (AVAG) is a unit under Auroville Village Action Trust (AVAT) committed to grassroots, integrated community development with the aim to attain a society that is inclusive, culturally rich, fair, and sustainable and to reveal the innate wisdom and manifest the full potential of rural communities through collaborative efforts. Founded in 1983, AVAG (https://villageaction.in/) works with 34 Panchayats and 75 settlements in Vanur block, Villupuram district, in a radius of approximately 25 km around Auroville.