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Citizens Flock to Form a Human Spectacle at Dr. Agarwals and IVI’s World Sight Day Event in Chennai

Chennai, October 8, 2023: Over five hundred people, including foreign diplomats, eye doctors, students, people with visual impairment, children, and the general public, formed a visually-stunning human image of a pair of eyeglasses at an event organised here today by Dr. Agarwals Institute of Optometry of Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, in association with India Vision Institute (IVI), an eye care NGO, to commemorate the World Sight Day 2023. This first-of-its-kind human formation representing a spectacle, held at Elliots Beach, is one of the largest created anywhere in the world.

Mr. Samay Singh Meena IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police – Traffic Chennai East, took part as the chief guest of the event, which also featured a walk with blindfolded eyes by hundreds of citizens. The blindfold walk was led by dozens of individuals and children with visual impairment. The initiative was supported by Lawrence and Mayo. World Sight Day, endorsed by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, is observed on the second Thursday of October. This year’s theme focuses on ‘Love your eyes at work’, emphasising the need to take care of vision health at workplaces.

In her comments, Dr. D. Karpagam, Dean, Dr. Agarwals Institute of Optometry, said, “An estimated 2.2 billion people worldwide are living with vision impairment or blindness. The two main causes are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts, accounting for over 40% and 30% of vision impairment cases respectively. But over 80% of vision impairment conditions are preventable or treatable with timely intervention. Vision health is a fundamental human right. It mostly depends on how well people take care of their eyes when they are at the workplace. We organised these activities to raise awareness about the magnitude of the issue and encourage individuals, organisations, and governments to take concrete steps toward improving vision health at work.”

In his comments, Mr. Vinod Daniel, CEO, IVI, said, “It is well established that clear vision helps people to be more productive at work, secure their livelihoods, become more confident, reduce accidents and falls, in addition to help boost the nation’s economy. Living with poor vision leads to the disadvantaged becoming poorer and going below the poverty line. The spectacle formation on the sand by the participants at the event will serve to remind everyone of the importance of getting eyes checked for refractive error correction. A pair of glasses is all that is required for many to have a clear vision. I thank Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital for joining forces with IVI. I am also grateful to Lawrence and Mayo for supporting us in the initiative.”

Dr. Ramya Sampath, Cornea and Refractive Surgeon, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, pointed out that the usage of digital screen-based devices, be it mobiles, computers or laptops, have led to a high number of eyesight complaints among the employees. “The 20-20-20 rule – to take a break every 20 minutes; look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, can reduce the eye strains to a very large extent. One should also blink 12 to 14 times a minute to avoid dry eyes. Spending some time outdoors and wearing sunglasses on sunny days are important. Regular exercise, healthy diets and quitting smoking will promote overall health, including vision health.”

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