Hyderabad [India], Sept.11 : CooperVision, Optometry Giving Sight and India Vision Institute (IVI) today announced a joint initiative to screen over 22,000 children across India, including Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi and provide free spectacles as needed.
The program, launched at the Government Primary School, Gopanpally Tanda in Rangareddy district, Telangana, in the presence of M Somashekar, Chief of Bureau (and) Senior Deputy Editor, The Hindu Business Line will see 2,000 screenings in Hyderabad.
So far, 351 children from poor and underprivileged backgrounds have been screened. These children are drawn from Mahima Ministries Homes, SOS Children's Village and the Government Primary School.
Twenty-six free spectacles were distributed to those found with refractive errors. Mr Someshekar was the Guest of Honour at the event. Vinod Daniel, CEO, India Vision Institute; Michael Wilkinson, General Manager, CooperVision; Gary Orsborn, Global Vice President, Professional Affairs; Arnab Sarkar, Director, CooperVision India; and Clive Miller, CEO, Optometry Giving Sight, distributed the spectacles.
Michael Wilkinson said, "In keeping with the mission of correcting people's vision, we are glad that our global One Bright Vision Child Health Program can play a role in India and we are excited to partner with IVI in this initiative.
As the first wave of this initiative in 2016, over 34,000 underprivileged children were screened and over 2,900 free spectacles were provided.
I am very proud of the efforts and commitment to have direct impact on the children in India. Arnab Sarkar further added, "Following the very successful screenings in 2016, today we are delighted to launch the new 2017 screening program coinciding with the World Congress of Optometry to screen over 22,000 children across India.
Vinod Daniel said, "The launch of the vision screening program on the eve of the World Congress of Optometry 2017 in Hyderabad from tomorrow (11-13 September) assumes importance.
The World Congress, the largest gathering of its kind, will see professionals discuss and deliberate on policy and practical issues in blindness prevention, including address problems of the shortfall in optometrists and their training.
Over 1,500 optometrists, ophthalmologists, public health professionals and others from all corners of the world are participating in the World Congress.
"IVI has organised screening programs across several states and cities of India. Previous launches with CooperVision participation have been undertaken in Chennai, March 2016, and in Delhi in April 2017.
Yet another screening will be organized in Mumbai in October with other cities following subsequently," Mr Daniel added.