Blindness Prevention Week in India is observed from April 1 to 7. It is perceived to spread awareness, alert and awaken people to a variety of factors that cause blindness. The week-long initiative also educates people about various eye impairments, injuries, prevention, cures, and treatments. Several free vision control camps are organized and set up in various regions of the country by way of visits or in hospitals or medical institutions.
Prevention of Blindness Week in India is an initiative of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness (NSPB). Many states and local branches have spread the tide to allow people to understand the root cause.
The secretary-general of the NSPB said that worldwide, about 1.2 crore children become blind due to a lack of necessary nutrients. The number of cases is growing exponentially every year.
Statistics show that out of 10,000 children born 7 of them have eye problems, which occur due to poor nutrition or nutritional deficiencies. Even though a generous percentage of these impairments or illnesses can be treated, and mostly it has been found in the people belonging to the weaker economic sections are not able to afford timely and proper medical aid.
Goals to Achieve
- To spread awareness about the risk factors, causes, preventions, and cures of visual impairment.
- To let people learn the need and educate the public on the necessity for regular eye checkups, to prevent avoidable eye impairment.
- To organize free eye check-up camps and work with eye specialists to facilitate good services to the weaker sections.
- To offer health workers, educators, and other volunteers the information to be distributed for effective eye hygiene to maintain.
Blindness Impairment In India: Evident Facts and FIgures
- More than 15 million people in India out of a total population of 37 million were recorded as blind in 2007.
- Facts and figures show that India is home to the largest number of blind people in the whole globe.
- 1 out of every 3 people are blind in India.
- The major factors affecting people are malnutrition, trachoma & cataract, and so on. Other causes include a lack of optometrists and donated eyes.
- Another major cause in kids is deficiency of Vitamin A leading to childhood blindness.
- The ubiquity of blindness is extremely high in the states namely Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- More than ⅔ of blind persons are in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
Past of Prevention of Blindness Week
NSPB (National Society for the Prevention of Blindness) was founded in 1960 and came into force under the Society Registration Act of 1860. The founding patrons of the week were Jawaharlal Nehru and Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur. It is entirely voluntary, receiving funds through contributions, donations, and people.
The organization actively collaborates with Rotary International, Sight Savers, and other major companies. The Indian government joined the global Vision 2020 initiative last year.
The Right To Sight was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and other non-governmental organizations. The main goal is to eliminate avoidable blindness within the next few years. Last year, India was also one such company seeking soft debt from the World Bank’s International Development Agency for Blindness Control.