To raise awareness about the need to eradicate ‘preventable’ blindness, noted actress and social activist, Ms Nandita Das, led the Walk in the Dark as chief guest at Worli Sea Face, Mumbai on 20 March 2016. An initiative of the India Vision Institute (IVI) to create awareness about the importance of eye care, the Walk was organized in partnership with the Australian Consulate in Mumbai.
Walking ‘blindfolded’ and led by visually impaired students, Ms Das was joined by Australian Consul General Mark Pierce, IVI CEO Mr Vinod Daniel and Lawrence and Mayo Director Mr Vivek Mendonsa. Over 700 students, opinion makers and people from all walks of life also enthusiastically participated in Walk to spread the message of eye care far and wide.
“Walk in the Dark draws attention towards uncorrected refractive error and how a pair of spectacles can improve vision enabling adults to get back to work and children to learn and perform better” said IVI CEO Mr Vinod Daniel. It is estimated that over 80% of global visual impairment is preventable or treatable with uncorrected refractive error being one of the major causes of blindness worldwide he added.
“The over-whelming response to the Walk from various stake-holders and civil society will certainly help in spreading the message of eradicating ‘avoidable’ blindness through timely vision correction” observed Australian Consul General for Western India Mr Mark Pierce. “Children in particular mostly learn through visual interpretation of information, and therefore it is important that children have good eyesight’’, he added.
Ms Nandita Das said she was delighted to lead the walk especially since it highlights the issue of preventable blindness which she is passionate about.
Among those walking blindfolded were students from the National Association for the Blind, Smt Kamla Mehta School for The Blind, Nayan Foundation, Salvation Army Working Blind Men’s Hostel, SNDT Womens University, ITM Mumbai, Krishna Eye Centre, Lotus college of Optometry, Hari Jyot College of Optometry as well as several local optometry practitioners, opticians and representatives of the eye care industry.
India Vision Institute (IVI) is an independent, not-for-profit registered trust established in 2011, an initiative of the L V Prasad Eye Institute of Hyderabad and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney. It is focused on supporting and promoting awareness, research, education and technological development in Indian optometry to advance capacity in vision correction and prevention of eye disease and blindness.