A Walk in the Dark organized in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl today drew an enthusiastic response from over 300 blind and visually impaired children, as well as school-going children and prominent citizens.
Mizoram Government’s Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Dr Lalnunthara, flagged off the march at Aizawl’s Vanapa Hall. Indian professional footballers Jeje Lalpekhlua, and Zohmingliana Ralte, India Vision Institute (IVI) CEO Vinod Daniel, Essilor India’s Consumer Activation Manager Ridhima Pandey, Essilor Vision Foundation India Head Dharmaprasad and ZEP’s Secretary & Director, Rev. Fr. S Lawrence Kennedy joined the walk along with the children and citizens. The Walk was co-hosted by Essilor India’s ‘think about your eyes’ campaign with the support of Zoram Entu Pawl (ZEP), a not-for-profit charity working in the social development sector.
The walk is India Vision Institute’s (IVI) ongoing campaigns in different parts of the country to raise awareness about vision impairment and vision screening, especially among children and adults from underprivileged communities.
The Walk has come to Aizawl after seven cities since 2014, which include Chennai (November 2014), Hyderabad (April 2015), Delhi (October 2015), Mumbai (March 2016), Bengaluru (October 2016), Goa (November 2017) and Kolkata (April 2018)
The Walk also marks the launch of a vision-screening project for 10,000 children from remote districts of Mizoram - Serchhip and Lunglei by IVI with support from Essilor Vision Foundation.
IVI CEO Vinod Daniel said, “as part of our Eye See & I Learn program, 1800 free spectacles will be provided to children in Mizoram following vision screenings in these places.” I thank Think About Your Eyes, Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF), our partners in the program, for their continued support”, he added.
“Essilor’s group mission is ‘Improving lives by improving sight’. In line with the mission, ‘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. We are very pleased to be associated with the walk. This is the second Walk we are associating ourselves with, the earlier being the Kolkata ‘Walk in the Dark’ in April this year,” said Ramachandran P, Group COO, Essilor India Pvt. Ltd. “The need for awareness creation for vision screening is very critical for us. We hope to continue supporting such causes in future,” he added.
ZEP’s Secretary & Director, Rev. Fr. S Lawrence Kennedy, said, “the initiative has come to Mizoram where it’s most needed. The state’s vision care health infrastructure is woefully inadequate and it is hoped that such campaigns bring much needed relief to our people.”
“Our earlier association with IVI in vision screening program in serchhip and chhingchhip has benefited children and so I am optimistic about this campaign’s success,” the Reverend added.
The Serchhip and Lunglei districts are about 200 km from Aizawl, with limited transport and access to eye care services. In a recent study conducted in Mizoram, the percentage prevalence of refractive error among children was estimated at 18%.
During the event 18 free spectacles were distributed to children who have been screened for refractive errors from Govt Comprehensive Model School, Aizawl – Mizoram
About India Vision Institute (IVI)
India 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 )
For additional queries, contact Shekhar Nambiar, +919810154167