From April 1 to April 7, the Government of India organises ‘Prevention of Blindness Week’, a week-long campaign that aims to spread awareness about blindness and the blind. It is celebrated in India with various events and activities, along with a factual education on the lives and rights of the blind, and about preventing blindness. The Government of India brings attention to the inclusivity of the blind, and their disability, by working on several institutional aspects such as improving their employment opportunities, building more health institutions for their care; and covering various health-related topics throughout the week.
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History of Prevention of Blindness Week
The foundation and establishment of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness in 1960, by Jawaharlal Nehru and Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, it was first started, under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Since then, the organisation has actively participated and collaborated with Rotary International, and Sight Savers to spread awareness about blindness and work on disability. As recently as in 2020, World Health Organisation (WHO)’s “The Right to Sight” campaign was launched, in which the Indian government has joined their presence and participated in spreading awareness on the prevention of blindness.
Importance of Prevention of Blindness Week
Prevention of Blindness Week plays an important role to spread awareness of blindness as a disability.
- On this day, a reminder to offer better opportunities to blind people is set in action.
- Education related to eye care is provided to general people throughout the week.
- NGOs, various departments and publication houses are prompted to work together to make the campaign successful.
- With better awareness of blindness, better preventive measures can be taken.
- Risk factors leading to eye impairment on this occasion.
- With India being the country with the largest number of blind people, awareness of the major causes such as trachoma, vitamin A deficiency, cataract, and malnutrition are provided to the general public.
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Celebrating Prevention of Blindness Week: Facts and Figures
Celebrating Prevention of Blindness Week 2023: Events and Activities
During this week-long campaign on the prevention of blindness, the government of India organises various events and activities, such as those mentioned below.
- Free educational material and free eye checkups, including cataract detection, are provided at community health centres.
- Further knowledge of eye ailments, and eye care, are shared with people.
- Free eye camps, with rubella and measles vaccination, are organised to provide preventive measures for congenital eye diseases.
- Further, eye camps for awareness of eye and cornea donation for transplantation are also organised.
- Prevention of Blindness is brought to awareness in schools as well, with varieties of leaflets and pamphlets and posters displayed on school premises.
Suggestions to Take Care of Your Eye Health
Now that a majority is covered related to Prevention of Blindness Week (1st – 7th April), let’s talk about some of the tips and suggestions to take care of your eye health.
- Say No to Smoking
Age-related eye problems are an increased risk of smoking and consuming ‘tobacco’. Prevention of the same can lead to the prevention of blindness.
- Intake of Vitamins
Taking care of your eyes also means regularly taking food that is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Some examples are nuts and citrus fruits like oranges.
- Measures to Avoid UV radiation
Wear sunglasses or hats in extreme summer and avoid your eyes coming in contact with harmful sun UV radiations.
- Regular Eye-Check-Up
Make sure to regularly schedule eye checkups to be updated with the health of your eye, taking necessary preventive measures if and when needed.
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Ans. Prevention of Blindness Week 2023 is organised from April 1 to April 7.
Ans. World Sight Day is celebrated on the second Thursday of October.
Ans. There are about 9.3 million visually impaired people in India.
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