Hundreds marched today at Victoria Memorial,
Kolkata’s iconic monument, to raise awareness about, and prevent avoidable
The march, ‘Walk in the Dark’, was led by
Australia’s High Commissioner Harinder Sidhu, Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH)
Secretary and Curator Dr Jayanta Sengupta, Srenik Sett, and India Vision
Institute (IVI) CEO Vinod Daniel, among several other prominent citizens
Barua, Gurbux Singh, Victor Banerjee, Shanu Nag and Cecil Antony.
Ms Sidhu flagged off the march. Participants
marched alongside the Victoria Memorial.
The march was hosted by Victoria Memorial Hall and
organised by IVI and Essilor India’s ‘Think About Eyes Campaign’ with the
support of NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata.
“We are proud to be associated in the walk to highlight the cause of
combating blindness in India, most of which is preventable,” said Dr Sengupta.
“Such campaigns are important to raise awareness about visual impairment, a
serious problem in India,” he said.
“In India, there are around 50 million with moderate and severe visual impairment. The Indian economy loses potential
productivity of over Rs.126,500 crores due to uncorrected refractive errors,” said
Mr Vinod Daniel, CEO, India Vision Institute.
“There is a direct correlation between learning and vision. Our campaign
and activities therefore also targets children.
The underprivileged communities in India need access to vision screening
and spectacles if initiatives and public health interventions are to make a
“India Vision Institute has worked with
Optometry institutions in Kolkata to capacity build Optomtery educators through
several skill building workshops and has been associated with NSHM knowledge
campus for a holistic optometry school development program over the last two
years. IVI is now planning to vision screen 5000 children, in partnership
with NSHM, in the greater Kolkata area,” Mr Daniel added.
“I cannot thank Victoria Memorial enough for participating in this
event today. The event, I hope, will go a long way to sensitise the
participants, the political leadership, government and the broader public to
the difficulties faced by the visually challenged, and the way in which they
work around their disability,” said Mr Daniel.
People from all walks of life, including several local dignitaries,
students from Optometry and other schools and colleges and staff participated
in the march.
Carrying placards and banners with eye care messages, the blindfolded
participants were led by visually impaired students from the Blind Boys’
Academy of Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur.
"Think about your eyes is Essilor’s national public awareness
campaign designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and
promote the importance of getting their eye tested, " said Ramachandran P,
COO of Essilor India Pvt Ltd. “Our campaigns, including participation in the
‘Walk in the Dark’ march with IVI, aims to spread awareness about the need for
eye care and regular testing,” he added.
The Walk has come to Kolkata after six cities since
2014, which include Chennai (November 2014), Hyderabad (April 2015), Delhi
(October 2015), Mumbai (March 2016), Bengaluru (October 2016) and Panjim, Goa
About India Vision Institute
Vision Institute (IVI) is an independent, not-for-profit registered trust
established in 2012. 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. (www.indiavisioninstitute.org)
additional queries, contact Shekhar Nambiar, +919810154167