The government of Odisha has partnered with French ophthalmic optical equipment firm Essilor for the implementation of the Eye Mitra programme. Through this partnership over 300 young people will be trained to become primary vision care providers known as Eye Mitras who will provide affordable vision care for local communities across the state.
Under this partnership, Essilor’s inclusive business 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5 NVG) and the Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) will work together to help young people to set up village-based businesses to detect vision problems and dispense affordable eyeglasses. The partnership between 2.5 NVG and OSDA was signed by Milind Jadhav, Head of 2.5 NVG India and Rajesh Patil, Director & CEO OSDA, recently in Bhubaneswar.
“I feel honored to sign this agreement with Essilor’s 2.5 New Vision Generation in the presence of our honorable Chief Minister of Odisha,” said Rajesh Patil, Director & CEO of OSDA. “This partnership will not only give the citizens of Odisha access to the good vision which will ultimately improve their life quality, it will also provide young men and women with training opportunities and the capacity to build a sustainable income.”
Milind Jadhav, Head of 2.5 NVG India said: “We’re delighted to partner with the Government of Odisha to further our common goal of social and economic development in developing countries. Uncorrected poor vision affects 1 in 3 people in India impacting their ability to learn, work and be safe. In line with Essilor Group’s mission of improving lives by improving sight, 2.5 New Vision Generation is working to eradicate poor vision by raising awareness on the issue and creating access to vision care where it is needed most. We look forward to bringing the immediate benefits of eyeglasses to people in Odisha and at the same time creating work opportunities for young individuals.”
According to reports, uncorrected poor vision, the world’s most widespread unaddressed disability- affects 550 million Indians and $37 billion is wasted in lost productivity as a result of uncorrected poor vision in India. This impact is felt acutely in rural areas where awareness and access to vision care is often poor. By the end of 2018, Essilor’s 2.5 NVG will have created 6,000 Eye Mitras across India to best serve the vision care needs of rural communities, making it the largest rural optical network in the world. To date, the programme has provided more than 2.4 million pairs of affordable glasses to customers in rural India since its launch in 2013.