Boosting vision screening in India to improve young people’s potential - Essilor See Change

In a country where half the population is under 25 years of age, preparing the future generation of young Indian workers through good education is critical. Essilor Vision Foundation is supporting a new initiative in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, to remove one key barrier to learning – poor sight.

Impaired vision affects an estimated 550 million people in India and the cost in lost productivity is estimated at $37 billion a year. Despite this, there is only one qualified optometrist for every 25,000 people and a drastic shortage of eye care professionals in rural areas. Poor vision may well be holding back a significant proportion of the 28% of 18-25 year olds who are currently unemployed from realising their potential.

Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) has joined forces with Global Dreams, an organisation working to improve literacy in India, to increase awareness on eye health and boost vision screening among children and young students earlier in their education. In January some 10,000 eyesight check-up charts in Hindi were distributed to primary, junior and secondary level government aided schools in Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh with a population of over 2 million people.

The aim is to give school teams on the ground a quick and effective way to identify students with poor vision and get them the treatment and correction they need. EVF will be supporting efforts to correct individual visual needs to enable students to follow lessons and learn effectively.

Over the past year EVF has supported a number of education projects to improve screening and bring vision correction to children in states including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. On a global scale, it’s estimated that one in four children experience learning difficulties due to uncorrected vision.