Inability to count fingers from a distance of 6 m is categorised as blindness in India, against WHO’s provision of 3 m.
The government is all set to change four-decade-old definition of blindness in order to bring it in line with WHO criteria and make the Indian data on blindness meet with the global estimates.
National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) says that a person unable to count fingers from 6-metres distance is categorized as “blind” in India, against the provision of WHO which is 3 metres.
“We will bring the definition of blindness at par with the WHO’s criteria. Because of the current definition, we project a higher figure of blind people from India at any international forum. Thus India gets presented in a poor light compared to other countries,” said Promila Gupta, NPCB Deputy Director-General.
Also, she said, the data “we generate under the programme cannot be compared with the global estimates as other countries are following the WHO criteria”.