Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], Oct.14 : Bollywood and European film actor Nicole Faria kicked off the Walk in the Dark in Bangalore today.
The walk organized by India Vision Institute (IVI), a pioneer in optometrist training and visual care delivery to prevent blindness, started at the Freedom Park.
It was supported by Essilor to mark World Sight Day on 13 October, which aims to create awareness to eradicate preventable blindness.
Walking 'blindfolded' and led by visually impaired students and Nicole Faria, participating in the march were Sean Kelly, Australian Consul General to South India, Shiv Kumar Janardhanan, CEO, Essilor India Pvt Ltd, Ramachandran, COO, Essilor India Pvt Ltd, and IVI CEO, Vinod Daniel.
Others included government officials and dignitaries. Nicole started modeling at the age of 15. At age 19, Nicole went on to winning the South India 2010 beauty pageant, Miss India Earth 2010 and, in Vietnam 2010, created history by winning India's first international crown at Miss Earth.
She has been associated with many charity organisations and enjoys giving back to society. "Walk in the Dark is an interactive way of drawing attention towards uncorrected refractive error and the danger of 'preventable' blindness.
Both issues are easily addressed by a pair of spectacles so that those affected are not hindered by poor vision, or blindness that could have been treated," Mr Vinod Daniel said.
"It is estimated that over 80% of global visual impairment is preventable or treatable with uncorrected refractive error being one of the major causes of blindness worldwide," Mr Daniel added.
Mr Shivkumar Janardhanan, CEO of Essilor India said he was delighted to participate in the walk on the occasion of World Sight Day.
"The objective was to bring in awareness for eye care and this is in line with Essilor's vision improving lives by improving sight, he added." Over 250 students, opinion makers and people from all walks of life took part in the walk spreading the message of eye care.
Essilor employees and members of the Ophthalmic and Karnataka Optometry Associations, Samarthanam Trust For The Disabled, Nethradhama School of Optometry, Sankara College of Optometry and the Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology and Research also took part in the walk.
Previous walks organised at Chennai in November 2014 and Hyderabad in April 2015 have received enthusiastic responses.
Falling on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness about avoidable blindness and vision impairment.
It highlights the importance of good vision for everyone and the consequences that uncorrected vision impairment can have on the lives of those affected.
India Vision Institute (IVI) is an independent, not-for-profit registered trust established in 2012, an initiative of the L V Prasad Eye Institute of Hyderabad and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney.
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.