Monday, March 17, 2008

‘Save the Sight’ project to be launched today


Belgaum: The National Association for Blind (NAB)-India and “Ankur” a project of Mumbai-based Somaiya Trust, in association with the Belgaum-based KLES Prabhakar Kore Hospital will commission “Save the Sight” project here on Monday.

Announcing this here on Sunday, Cdr. (retd.) Kailash Girwalkar, Director, Blindness Prevention Project of Somaiya Trust, said the objective of the project was to propagate the programme on prevention and curing potential blindness among young children in association with the NAB, an international organisation working for the welfare of the blind all over the world.

The KLES Hospital has come forward to take up the project “Ankur” for implementation in Belgaum, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Dharwad and Gadag districts.

Various international, national and State-level non-governmental organisations, self-help groups, particularly women SHGs, will be involved for effective implementation of the project. That apart, several other hospitals, corporate house and industrial establishments, including sugar factories will be involved in the project.

Under the project, the NAB will provide technical assistance, guidance and support, even as voluntary services from all social and philanthropic institutions, individuals will be taken.
Financial support from sugar factories will be availed of as every sugar unit have set up Community Social Responsibility fund for welfare measures in their jurisdiction. The factories would be urged to adopt at least 10 villages for implementation of the project in their jurisdiction, he said.

Cdr. Girwalkar said the need for taking up the project was felt considering the alarming level of blindness in the country.

Of the 37 million people with visual impairment in the world, 15 million are found in India, of which rural India accounts for 80 per cent.

In India, a child goes blind every four minutes, even as more than 3.20 lakh children suffer from avoidable blindness, he said.

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