Stressing on the need to encourage voluntary eye donation, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said the sublime ethos of helping a vision impaired person gain eyesight be inculcated among school children.
In his address at the 32nd Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery Convention in the national capital, the vice president said, eye doctors and surgeons will play a very important role in this, even as there was a need to devise multi-pronged strategy for strengthening preventive and curative eye care.
“We also need to encourage people to voluntarily pledge eye donation. I am happy that NPCB (National Programme for Control of Blindness) has set a modest target of 50,000 eyes donation in the year 2017-18 and against this, we have achieved 69,343 eyes donation,” Naidu said.
This was a very encouraging trend, Naidu said, and urged higher targets be set and achieved in this regard in the future.
“The sublime ethos of helping a vision impaired person to gain eyesight through voluntary eye donation must be inculcated among the young children in the schools,” Naidu said.
Ruing the changing lifestyles, the vice president said there was little physical activity in the modern days, and urged the people, especially youngsters, to focus on physical fitness.
“It is no secret that eye ailment is a major problem among the young children. We feel pity to see young school-going children wearing spectacles.”
“This has something to do with our food habits and also lifestyle. I always insist on one thing whenever I go to a medical conference—we have to educate the people about the need to go back to the original lifestyle,” the vice president said.
Naidu said due to a changing lifestyle, there is no physical activity at all, resulting in different ailments, particularly diabetes, and added “People say, health is wealth. If you have health, you can acquire wealth, but if you have wealth there is no guarantee that you will have good health”.
The vice president said excessive exposure of children to video games, mobiles, computers and televisions has been adversely impacting their eye health.
On the Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme, Naidu recalled the government having proposed a budgetary allocation of Rs 54,667 crore for the current year.
The scheme involves providing medical cover of up to Rs 5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
“I am told the Union Health Ministry has already drawn up the details of the scheme and this will be soon rolled out. No longer the poor people are going to suffer because of their financial constraints,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)