India Vision Institute, Sightsavers India, VisionSpring hosted VARS 2022 conference focusing on vision and policy for safer roads opens


New Delhi: Hosted by India Vision Institute (IVI), Sightsavers India and VisionSpring, VARS 2022 will focus on the correlation between vision and road safety and on the imperative need for inclusion of vision in the national road safety policy.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Dr Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, Department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization (WHO), RN Mohanty, CEO, Sightsavers India, Vinod Daniel, CEO, India Vision Institute, Ella Rain Gudwin, CEO, VisionSpring, Global, Prof. Praveen Vashisht, Office-in Charge, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and David Navarro Olivencia, Vice-President, Vision on the Road Group Plan, EssilorLuxottica, among others.

IVI’s CEO Vinod Daniel said, “The vision and road safety conference has brought together all key stakeholders to discuss the important issue of vision, road safety and prevention of serious and fatal road accidents. It is great to partner with Sightsavers India and VisionSpring, and encouraging to see the participation of so many other vision care partners who all have the same focus to make our roads safer.”

“Over two days, the online conference will have senior international and national experts participate as keynote speakers and in panel discussions,” he added.

Discussions will focus on overcoming barriers in vision and road safety, strengthening policies, and strategies for road safety and vision care.

Ella Rain Gudwin, CEO, VisionSpring, Global, said “To date, road safety interventions have focused on seat belts, speed, alcohol, road design, and overloading. Today, we are going to talk about an additional solution that is hiding in plain sight – eyeglasses. They are a simple, powerful, scalable tool to help drivers avoid hazards on the road and save lives.”

Sightsavers India CEO, RN Mohanty said, “Sightsavers realises the importance of eye health in ensuring road safety. Eye health is not accessible to many who don’t have the means and awareness. Our National Truckers Eye Health Programme—RAAHI seeks to make eye health accessible to overworked truck drivers. Research over the past few decades has addressed the role of vision in driver safety (motor vehicle collision involvement) and in driver performance. It is wonderful to collaborate with India Vision Institute and VisionSpring to deliberate in finding solutions towards making our roads safer and making eye health accessible.

India Vision Institute is an independent not-for-profit NGO with the vision to provide access to primary eye care for underprivileged Indians and a pair of corrective glasses to those in need. IVI’s initiatives have helped transform over 430,000 lives, including 300,000 children. In 1,550 vision screening programs across India, we have provided 100,000 free corrective glasses to

people with uncorrected refractive errors. Our beneficiaries have included women, the transgender and weaving communities, stone cutters/sculptors, and fishermen, among others. Vision and Road Safety is an important priority for us, and we work with corporates and organizations on screenings and provision of free spectacles for commercial vehicle drivers.


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