This year, Children’s Day had a special meaning for schoolchildren in the rural district of Doddaballapur. Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF), with volunteers from Essilor’s manufacturing facility in nearby Bangalore and supported by the Sankara Eye Hospital, screened over 1500 children from 15 schools. Comprehensive screening identified a number of children who were referred to the hospital for further specialist care and spectacles were dispensed to those in need of vision correction. Children’s Day is celebrated every 14 November in India to increase awareness on rights, care and education of children.
This screening project was one of two carried out in southern India during the month of November. The second saw EVF India partnering with Essilor Sankar and Company (ESCO), part of the Essilor Group since 2008, and the Aravind Eye Hospital to bring vision care to the remote village of Marathur, in the foothills of Tamil Nadu, south India. More than 400 children and 50 adults at six government schools benefited from preliminary screening.
The Aravind Eye Hospital mobile van, supported by local Rotary Clubs, then carried out comprehensive eye health checks in the village for a further 228 people equipping nearly a quarter with prescription glasses, and referring others to hospital for advanced vision checks or free cataract surgery. In addition to screenings, EVF India and ESCO also organised a vision awareness event at a local government-supported self-employment training centre for 40 women.
The Essilor Vision Foundation was launched in India in April 2014 to help accelerate the Group’s actions in favor of the 400 million people who live below the international poverty line in India.