Australian Foreign Affairs Minister distributes glasses
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms Julie Bishop, distributed free spectacles to students from three Chennai schools on April 15, 2015 at an event at the Australian Consulate in Chennai organized by India Vision Institute (IVI).Students from Dhanalakshmi Primary School (Tondiarpet), Advent Christian Primary School (Chinnaneelankarai) and Rural Service League Higher Secondary School, MCC (Tambaram) received spectacles from the Minister as part of the Australian Government Direct Aid Program (DAP) facilitated by the Australian Consulate in Chennai. Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling; Australian Consul General for South India, Mr Sean Kelly and CEO, India Vision Institute, Mr Vinod Daniel, were present at the event.
IVI, through its ‘Eye See & I Learn’ as well as ‘Eye See & I Work’ campaigns, has screened over ten thousand people and provided 1400 spectacles. During this calendar year, IVI plans to screen over fifty thousand people from economically disadvantaged communities, particularly school going children and provide spectacles to all those in need. Funding for part of this project was supported by the Australian Consulate-General, Chennai.
“No child should remain uneducated for want of a simple pair of spectacles. I am glad that we are able to help children with better learning prospects through provision of glasses. I am also thankful for the generous support from the Australian Consulate in Chennai for this project”, said Mr Vinod Daniel, CEO IVI. “We look forward to taking the benefit of our partnership to children across India”, he added.
The Minister Ms Julie Bishop acknowledged the impact this program has both in terms of a child’s ability to see as well as learn in school. She announced further funding to support this program in eleven more schools in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The IVI ‘Eye See & I Learn’ campaign is being held in eight cities across South India including Chennai, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Calicut and Cochin through Australian Government support.
Additionally, IVI has been working with a number of community groups including the Gypsy communities in Poonamalle, Leper colony in Padappai and the Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai. Through another DAP initiative along with the LV Prasad Eye Institute, IVI will provide free spectacles to the people affected by cyclone Hudhud in Visakhapatnam.
Established in October 2011, IVI acts as a catalyst to help India achieve socially responsible, high quality vision care and an industry that can support: excellent eye care available to all; state of the art Indian optometry; excellent eye care education;international leadership in cutting-edge vision care research and development; and viable Indian vision and optical industry, playing a substantial part in global eye care. IVI is an initiative of the L V Prasad Eye Institute of Hyderabad and the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney.