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Sightsavers celebrates World Sight Day in India

October 2018

World Sight day is celebrated globally to draw attention to blindness and visual impairment across the world. It is observed on the second Thursday of October every year. The theme of World Sight Day for 2018 was ‘Eye Care Everywhere’.

Sightsavers which works across 13 states in India did a multitude of events and celebrated World Sight Day with full zeal and enthusiasm in its 8 main core states.

Madhya Pradesh: Sightsavers in collaboration with Vision 2020 India and Sewa Sadan Eye Hospital organised a weeklong celebration comprising of various competitions- slogans, posters, photography, and wall painting on eye care and prevention messages.

In Bhopal, Sightsavers initiated World Sight Day with a vision walk from Bharat Bhawan, raising slogans on eye care and culminated at the statue of Raja Bhoj, Upper Lake. About 700 school and college students participated in the walk along with other dignitaries working in eye health.

The day witnessed a gathering of ophthalmologist, optometrists and eye care service agencies, International Eye Health organisations like Sightsavers, Mission for Vision (MFV), CBM, ORBIS and Vision 2020 India. Dr Sangeeta Abrol, Deputy Director General, National Programme for Control of Blindness – Ministry of Health flagged off the vision walk. Dr Hemant Sinha- SPO at State Pollution Control Board was present at the event.

Simultaneously, Sightsavers along with its partner AARAMBH organised a drawing competition for students with hearing impairment and intellectual disability in Bhopal. An eye screening camp was also organised for these students and as a result 142 of them came out with refractive error. They were provided with spectacles by Sightsavers.

Another eye screening camp was organised in New Bhopal Textile Mill for daily wage labourers. Around 14 workers were identified with cataract while 120 of them received spectacles.

Under the Urban Eye Health Programme, Sightsavers in association with Madhya Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (MPVHA) organised a Mega Eye Screening Camp in Barabhai slums of Indore. The camp focused on the elderly. Hundreds of patients were screened and dispensed with spectacles.

Jharkhand: Sightsavers in association with National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB), Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan- Government of Jharkhand conducted a state level sensitisation programme with the theme ‘Eye Care Everywhere’ in Ranchi. The programme was inaugurated by Sri Satish Chandra- State Disability Commissioner, Dr Rajendra Paswan- Director in Chief (Health Services), Dr Rajesh Kumar Verma- SPO at NPCB, Dr Nelam Choudhary- ACMO Ranchi, Shri Amrendra Kumar- District IE In Charge, Dr Sarfaz Ali- Eye Surgeon and many more dignitaries.

On this occasion, Sightsavers with the support of Oracle (CAF) distributed laptops, mobile phones, Tablets, Braille Kits and class appropriate Braille Books to children with visual impairment. A mega eye screening camp was also organised at the same venue and need based counselling and support were provided to the beneficiaries.

West Bengal: Eye screening camp was held by Sightsavers’ team in Sonagachi- India’s largest red light district in the city of Kolkata. The screening camp was organised under Sightsavers’ Urban Eye Health Programme. Around 412 sex workers were screened at the camp. Sightsavers also took the initiative to spread awareness on eye care by talking about eye health and distributing pamphlets across the state.

Uttar Pradesh: Sightsavers along with its partners did a multitude of events in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Eye screening camps were held across the state. There were drawing and slogan competition. Prizes were distributed to the health staff at Sightsavers’ partner hospital- Sitapur Eye Hospital. In association with Dr Shroff Eye Hospital, Sightsavers organised eye screening camps for the elderly where about 300 people got their eyes checked. School Rally on ‘Eye Care Everywhere’ was organised in association with Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital in Raebareli.

Chhattisgarh: As a part of World Sight Day, Odisha saw different programmes and activities held by Sightsavers in order to bring awareness on eye health.

Bihar: A new eye operation theatre was inaugurated in Gaya. Eye screening camps were held in the city of Patna. There was a street theatre based on the theme of ‘Eye Care Everywhere’.

Rajasthan: Eye screening camps were held under Sightsavers’ Urban Eye Health Programme in the Pink City- Jaipur.

A one-day training of ASHA workers was conducted in Chittorgarh. Around 44 ASHA workers were trained on primary eye care and screening.

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