India Vision Institute, Sightsavers India, VisionSpring hosted VARS 2022 conference focusing on vision and policy for safer roads opens

A two-day Vision and Road Safety conference VARS 2022 opened on 10th Feb 2022.

Hosted by India Vision Institute (IVI), Sightsavers India and VisionSpring, VARS 2022 focussed on the correlation between vision and road safety and on the imperative need for inclusion of vision in the national road safety policy.

Keynote speakers at the conference include Dr Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, Department of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization (WHO), RN Mohanty, CEO, Sightsavers India, Vinod Daniel, CEO, India Vision Institute, Ella Rain Gudwin, CEO, VisionSpring, Global, Prof. Praveen Vashisht, Office-in Charge, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and David Navarro Olivencia, Vice-President, Vision on the Road Group Plan, EssilorLuxottica, among others.

IVI's CEO Vinod Daniel said, "The vision and road safety conference has brought together all key stakeholders to discuss the important issue of vision, road safety and prevention of serious and fatal road accidents. It is great to partner with Sightsavers India and VisionSpring, and encouraging to see the participation of so many other vision care partners who all have the same focus to make our roads safer."

 

“Over two days, the online conference will have senior international and national experts participate as keynote speakers and in panel discussions,” he added.

Discussions focussed on overcoming barriers in vision and road safety, strengthening policies, and strategies for road safety and vision care.

Ella Rain Gudwin, CEO, VisionSpring, Global, said “To date, road safety interventions have focused on seat belts, speed, alcohol, road design, and overloading. Today, we are going to talk about an additional solution that is hiding in plain sight – eyeglasses. They are a simple, powerful, scalable tool to help drivers avoid hazards on the road and save lives.”

Sightsavers India CEO, RN Mohanty said, “Sightsavers realises the importance of eye health in ensuring road safety. Eye health is not accessible to many who don’t have the means and awareness. Our National Truckers Eye Health Programme—RAAHI seeks to make eye health accessible to the overworked truck drivers. Research over the past few decades has addressed the role of vision in driver safety (motor vehicle collision involvement) and in driver performance. It is wonderful to collaborate with India Vision Institute and VisionSpring to deliberate in finding solutions towards making our roads safer and making eye health accessible.

India Vision Institute is an independent not-for-profit NGO with the vision to provide access to primary eye care for underprivileged Indians and a pair of corrective glasses to those in need. IVI’s initiatives have helped transform over 430,000 lives, including 300,000 children. In 1,550 vision screening programs across India, we have provided 100,000 free corrective glasses to people with uncorrected refractive errors. Our beneficiaries have included women, the transgender and weaving communities, stone cutters / sculptors, and fishermen, among others. Vision and Road Safety is an important priority for us, and we work with corporates and organizations on screenings and provision of free spectacles for commercial vehicle drivers. Our ongoing programs in this area are benefiting over 75,000 drivers of trucks, buses and autos.

Sightsavers India is a development organisation working to eliminate avoidable blindness and promotes equality of opportunity for people with disability. Sightsavers’ work in India, which started in 1966, has supported the treatment of millions of people with eye disorders and brought eye services to some of the least served areas of the country. In the last five decades, Sightsavers has supported treatment for over 36.5 million patients having potential eye problems and performed more than 5 million sight restoration operations. In little over the last decade, more than 25,000 visually impaired and blind primary school children have been supported under Sightsavers’ Inclusive Education programme, and over 15,000 people with disabilities have received livelihood or vocational training.

VisionSpring is a pioneering social organization creating access to eyeglasses for lowincome adults and children. Annually in India, VisionSpring supports vision screening for more than 27 lakh (2.7 million) people and corrects the vision of more than 10 lakh (1 million) people with eyeglasses. On average, 73% of its beneficiaries acquire their first-ever pair of eyeglasses through VisionSpring’s See to Earn, See to Learn and See to be Safe programs. To date, VisionSpring has distributed more than 50 lakh (5 million) pairs of corrective eyeglasses in India, creating more than Rs. 8,100 Crore ($1.08 billion) in economic impact for low-income households. VisionSpring also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with personal protective equipment, oxygen concentrators and vaccination access and awareness.

IVI's CEO Vinod Daniel said, "The vision and road safety conference has brought together all key stakeholders to discuss the important issue of vision, road safety and prevention of serious and fatal road accidents. It is great to partner with Sightsavers India and VisionSpring, and encouraging to see the participation of so many other vision care partners who all have the same focus to make our roads safer."

  • Posted on -
  • Feb 11, 2022
  • 08:50 AM