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Vision Correction: Much-Needed, Yet Oft Ignored in India

Essilor Launches Major City-Wide Campaign to Educate Lucknow Residents about Need for Better Eye Care & Timely Vision Correction

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• Essilor’s 40 - day ’Think about your eyes’ campaign to educate people about the benefits of regular eye check-ups and need for timely vision correction
• Virender Sehwag to flag off the major campaign on July 23 with participation in a walk for vision and an eye screening 
• Did you know today 4 out of 10 children’s performance in school suffers due to poor vision

Lucknow, July 2015: With as many as 550 million Indians living with uncorrected vision, the country suffers major health and economic consequences of this seemingly minor concern.Lack of awareness and absence of easy access to corrective measures remain crucial factors responsible for this gap, Essilor, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, is launching a majorawareness campaign across Lucknow to educate people about the need for timely vision correction. 

The estimated economic impact of uncorrected vision stands at a staggering Rs 200000 Crores in lost productivity annually in the Indian sub-continent alone, as per the Vision Impact Institute*.In a study** conducted among working men and women -wearing spectacles - increased productivity by 34% and 20% increase in income. With a population of 4.5 million people, Lucknow is one such Indian city that needs to put emphasis on vision correction where unfortunately it is not a priority.

In its effort to create awareness about the consequences of not giving importance to your eyes, Essilor is kicking off a 40-day campaign in Lucknow. The “Apne Ankhon ki sochiye” campaign is aimed at educating masses about the benefits of visual health. It focuses on the simple step of getting your eyes tested and wearing spectacles if needed, to correct vision. Another focus of the campaign is to inculcate the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam, which helps in early detection of eye related issues like Glaucoma, Cataract and AMD (age related macular degeneration)

“Nearly half of India’s population needs vision correction.Despite high rates of literacy, eye care awareness in the city of Lucknow is limited. Based on findings, 70% of the reasons for uncorrected refractive errors are non-financial such as lack of awareness, avoidance and lack of priority. We want to bring focus to eye care and how vision correction can lead to change in every person life” said Mr. Shiv Kumar J, CEO, Essilor India.

Essilor will kickstart the campaign on 23 July, with a walk for vision flagged off by flamboyant Indian batsman, Virender Sehwag who will not only participate in the walk but will also be the first to get his eyes screened. The “Apne Ankhon ki sochiye” campaign is strongly supported and endorsed by Vision Impact InstituteVision 2020IVI (India Vision Institute) and OCI (Optometry council of India)

Essilor has tied up with more than 100 leading eye care professionals in Lucknow to provide free eye screenings to people, and educate them about eye care. They will be facilitating eye screenings at various schools, colleges, residential societies and other populated areas across the city, 

“Most of the time, vision correction is as simple as wearing a pair of corrective spectacles. Yet, 2.5 billion people across the world are living with uncorrected vision. This lack of vision correction has several repercussions from making people accident prone to reducing their productivity. As a world leader, Essilor considers it a responsibility to take vision correction to the last man, and we are working  towards it on multiple fronts – through mobile screening vans in rural India to one on eye screenings supported by opticians in the urban towns.” said Mr. Ramachandran P Group COO Essilor India.

The campaign is strongly supported and endorsed by Vision Impact InstituteVision 2020IVI (India Vision Institute) and OCI (Optometry council of India). “Apne Ankhon ki sochiye” is an initiative to highlight the dangers and consequences of poor eyesight. Globally, 60% of road accidents happen because of poor vision of drivers. Under the campaign, leading opticians will hold free screenings at prominent locations like optical stores, schools, colleges, corporate parks, malls, airports etc to identify people who need vision correction.

As per studies, the risk of failing a grade is 3 times more for children who have visual acuity below 20/20 versus children with good visual acuity. Today 4 out of 10 children’s performance in school suffers due to poor vision.

In India not many people consider it important to get their eyes tested. This campaign also wants to emphasize the importance of regular eye check-ups, much like the regular body health check-ups. Regular eye check-ups can detect eye problems such as cataract or glaucoma early on, and offer solutions.

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