Small Steps for a Big Vision
SRGR’s initiatives to meet the International Literacy Day mandate
Image Captured at the National Health Fest organised by Special Olympics Bharat
The Indian (Unseen)ario
Blindness and vision impairment continue to be significant public health issues in India which are largely overlooked, ignored or are left untreated, as evident from the following facts:
Nearly 40 million people in India, including 1.6 million children, are blind or visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error.
Recent health screening survey shows that one in every two children in Indian needs eye glasses.
These figures are expected to be much higher for rural areas and marginalised communities, for which the burden of proper eye health is heavier due to lack of access to proper information and resources. Coupled with the low number of optometrists in lesser privileged areas, the need for screening and testing children belonging to marginalised communities is much higher.
Joining hands for a cause
Image captured at our first eye camp in Krishnagiri
To tackle the inequity in eye health in India, SRGR has involved itself in various philanthropic activities in collaboration with Essilor Vision Foundation. We combined the power behind our brand name and their experience as an NGO to maximise our reach to the lesser privileged sections of society with a goal to improve the quality of their lives through better eyesight. Some of the joint initiatives undertaken by us are:
As a team we donated 103 prescription eyeglasses to those affected or infected with HIV and their caregivers at Arcod NGO in Krishnagiri.
At Sajjan Rao Charitable School we provided complete eye screening for students from the ages of 6 years upwards and a preliminary eye screening for children from the age of 3 to 5 years. A total of 378 students were screened out of which 20 students required vision correction. After the completion of eye screening, the children were provided with free spectacles customised to match their prescription. Demonstrations were held for children to educate them on how to use the spectacles along with sensitisation programs for teachers to help them recognise the symptoms of a child struggling with visual problems.
We set up a free eye screening for differently-abled children in Cubbon Park in 2019 where we conducted eye screening for around 600 + children and donated 60 pairs of glasses.
We were honoured to be associated with the Special Olympics Bharat 2022; a Charitable Trust which leverages sports as a medium to bring transformative changes to the lives of children and adults with intellectual and physical impairments. As the Eye Care Partners for National Health Fest on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate the completion of 75 years of India, we conducted eye examinations for athletes and donated nearly 7500 pairs of sunglasses and several prescription eyeglasses.
The intricate link between vision and education
International Literacy Day and S.R.Gopal Rao Opticians
The importance of education in an individual’s daily life and in the betterment of society cannot be emphasised enough and has been acknowledged at both international & national level.
International Literacy Day has been celebrated since 1967 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies, as well as the necessity for increased efforts toward a more literate society. The Indian constitution has put in place the comprehensive Right to Education Act which deems education as a fundamental right.
Despite these reassurances, literacy issues persist, with about 773 million individuals globally lacking fundamental literacy abilities.
The ability to see properly is crucial for everyone, and it is especially true for children given that 80% of a child’s curriculum is taught visually. Children with poor vision are at major disadvantage at school. Studies in students in developing countries show the link between poor vision, vision impairment and poor academic performance. Research shows that uncorrected vision may present a significant barrier to educational mobility in poor communities in low- and middle-income countries.
Hence it is only logical to conclude that good vision is essential for a child’s academic success, socio-economic development, confidence building, and overall well-being.
Given the intricate link between education and vision, this International Literacy Day, we at SRGR and Essilor Vision Foundation are firm in our resolution to ensure that poor vision, eye-related issues and lack of proper eye care is not a hindrance to literacy for children belonging to underserved & marginalised communities.
We can and we will
SRGR recognises that access to eye care is essential for achieving an equitable and inclusive society and has a positive impact on school enrolment, educational attainment and learning amongst children. We strongly believe that providing access to eye health can boost productivity and bring down levels of illiteracy more than any other health intervention.
Recognising the role of good vision in a child’s educational journey & wholistic development, and the unparalleled gains to the Indian economy from quality eye health, we at S.R.Gopal Rao Opticians are wholeheartedly committed to this cause.