Shimla: Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) India and partners, today announced the launch of a program which will provide access to quality eye care services to 10,000 underprivileged children in the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. A partnership among the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DHFW) of the Government of Himachal Pradesh, India Vision Institute (IVI), EVF and RayBan Sun Optics India Pvt Ltd, the program was officially launched today by his Excellency Honourable Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, who marked the occasion by distributing spectacles to children present at the launch.
The program will screen 10,000 underprivileged children from government or government aided schools of Shimla District over a period of five months and provide free spectacles to those with refractive errors. A significant number of these children live in suburban or rural areas with limited access to eye care and qualified eye health professionals.
The program is jointly implemented by EVF and IVI, and supported by RayBan Sun Optics India Pvt Ltd, a member of the Luxottica Group. RayBan Sun Optics India Pvt Ltd is a funding partner and its employees will also be volunteers at the screening events.
Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Chief Mission Officer, EssilorLuxottica and Essilor International said, “80% of a child’s learning is through the eyes, so poor vision has a serious impact on a child’s ability to progress at school and in life. Programs like this not only provide much-needed access to vision screening programs and the right eye care for children in need but also help increase awareness among parents of the importance of good vision which hopefully encourages them and their families to participate in regular eye check-ups.”
IVI CEO Vinod Daniel said, We hope the campaign will go a long way towards ameliorating the difficulties faced by children, particularly in their classrooms. With spectacles, their vision will improve considerably, and help them in school and in their other daily activities.”
According to Essilor’s recently published report, “Eliminating Poor Vision in a Generation”, a roadmap on what it will take to eliminate uncorrected refractive errors (URE) by 2050, uncorrected poor vision is the world’s largest unaddressed disability. It affects 1 in 3 or 2.7 billion people, 90% of whom live in developing economies. India has the largest population of people – 0.6 billion – suffering from URE in the world today.