Conference stresses need for optometrists
A two-day conference on optometry, “Optometric Intelligence-OPTINT 2018” was inaugurated by Chief Guest Shri Ma Foi K Pandiarajan, Honourable Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture and Archaeology , Govt of Tamilnadu on 18th August 2018. Guest of Honour Dr T S Surendran. FRCS.,Vice Chairman & Director – Dept of Peadiatric Ophthalmology,Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital, Chennai and Dr R Krishnakumar. Ph D.,Principal, Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya & Chair – Scientific Committee – OATN were participated.
This decade has seen a tremendous change and exponential growth in the field of Optometry in India. One side, there has been significant contributions by optometric educators to regulate and regularize the profession of Optometry in this country. On the other side, Optometry profession has expended its wings by significant contributions in the arena of academia, research, clinical area, innovations and development and to the community at large. This prestige primary eye care profession has recognized its need to stay upgraded and updated in the profession by conducting and participating in significant forums at large and also to discuss the need to address the demand for optometrists. The following are the salient points highlighted by Minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan.
“In a vast country like India, amidst the various stream of work the total workforce is grossly estimated around 26 crores, but ironically among this group only 8% belong to the organized sector. While we look at the western countries the statistics is staggering and almost more than 44% of the total workforce in their countries belong to the organized sector. In the past while we look at the choice of professions predominantly people would opt for Doctor or Engineer only.But the scenario has changed drastically today and people are looking at many choices suh as Teacher, Pilot, Nurse and even Driver as a apt and full time profession. The importance and significance of skill set has become more important and prominent compared to the educational qualification alone.
The same point of view was very well echoed and articulated by our Former President Honourable Late Shri APJ Abdul Kalam too.As a matter of fact in the year 2003, the Government of India had allocated 12,000 crores of rupees only for skill development alone . In this context it’s noteworthy to mention that it’s very essential to differentiate between the terms Craft and Profession.
For any particular or specific craft to be identified or recognized as a Profession, 6 fundamental and basic foundation principles have to be met with, enlisted and enumerated with. The following are the 6 basic fundamental pre-requisites criterion for any Craft to be recognized and accepted and identified as a Profession.
1) The education material, syllabus and the various aspects of the knowledge imparted through that profession should be standardised and the pattern of education and methods of teaching and training should be standardised, regulated and same, uniform and comparable across the world in an international level.
2) It’s absolutely essential to have a distinct identity, that is separate and unique from the other existing professions across the world.
3) It’s very essential to have Council that governs the services rendered via that profession.
4) It’s mandatory to have the education imparted and delivered through university accreditation.
5) Regular periodic conferences, academic meets, continuing education programmes and training should be organized and conducted without hindrance and fail.
6) Last but not the least, there should be a self-regulatory governing body that ensures the ethics, morals, basic fundamental principles on which the profession is built upon is not diluted and violated.
Optometry as a science would get it’s due recognition and regard and would be accepted and identified as an independent profession if the above 6 criterion are met with and it’s with absolute optimism and confidence that I confess that the role of optometrists in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the eyes of our society and fellow countrymen is very significant and praiseworthy.”
Dr T S Surendran. FRCS.,Vice Chairman & Director – Dept of Peadiatric Ophthalmology,Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital, Chennai ,distributed distributing the Best Outgoing Optometrist awards for various institutions. Dr R Krishnakumar. Ph D.,Principal, Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya & Chair – Scientific Committee – OATN were also spoke. Over 1,000 optometry professionals, teachers and students are taking part in the conference and an exhibition of advancements in optometric technology and equipment was presented.