New Delhi: According to the World Health Organisation, there are around 180 million visually disabled people worldwide. Of these, between 40 and 45 million people are blind and India is the home to 15 million of them. Sadly, 75% of these people suffer avoidable blindness, thanks to the country’s acute shortage of donated eyes, optometrists, and low healthcare knowledge.
Considering the vast and widespread reach of Kumbh Mela, many organizations have made it the launch pad for their initiatives. One such noteworthy initiative undertaken at Divya Kumbh 2019 is Netra Kumbh which provided free eye check-up and spectacles to the masses.
The initiative also attempted Limca book of records for maximum number of people screened in a day during Prayagraj Netra Kumbh. As many as 6,660 people were screened which is three times more than the last record which was 2,067. Overall, 2, 02,020 people were screened of which 1, 56,020 patients were given free spectacles. In a bid to commemorate and honor the initiative, a ceremony was organized recently at Manekshaw Centre, Dhaula Kuan. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, graced the occasion.
Speaking about the initiative, at the event, Dr Vardhan said, “Vision problems are very common across the country and there is also a lack of understanding and knowledge about eye health among the population of India. Netrakumbh is indeed the need of the hour and is a major step towards decreasing the burden of vision problems. I would extend my warmest congratulations to everyone for this magnificent initiative.”
Dr Harsh Vardhan also facilitated the award to HEAL Foundation for ”Exemplary contribution to the Grand success of Netrakumbh at Kumbh 2019 at Prayaagraj’. HEAL Foundation, a not for profit organisation, aims to nudge masses towards healthier practices by spreading awareness around relevant health issues.