Mumbai Eye Care Campaign launched to prevent blindness

February 24, 2009

Sightsavers International has launched the Mumbai Eye Care Campaign to prevent avoidable blindness and to offer eye care to millions of Mumbai's citizens in underserved areas of the city, such as Dharavi, the setting of the award-winning film, 'Slumdog Millionaire.'

Mumbai, India-Sightsavers International has launched the Mumbai Eye Care Campaign to prevent avoidable blindness and to offer eye care to millions of Mumbai’s citizens in underserved areas of the city, such as Dharavi, the setting of the award-winning film, “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Standard Chartered Bank has committed $1 million to the campaign as part of its community investment program, Seeing is Believing. Funds raised from this campaign will go to improving the vision of the most vulnerable groups, such as women and children as well as people with low socio-economic status.

"With so much of our business in the developing world, avoidable blindness is a major problem in many of our markets,” said Joanna Conlon, program manager, Seeing is Believing. “And it is not just a health issue: it is also an economic issue, depriving those affected of education and a job, and often rendering them economically dependent.”

The campaign will try to solve the growing problem of refractive error, which is the second leading cause of blindness in India. About 1.4 million people in India are effectively blind and in need of glasses.

"The global success of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ has brought the reality of daily life in the urban areas, such as Dharavi, to the world's attention,” said Elizabeth Kurian, regional director, Sightsavers India. “The Mumbai Eye Care Campaign will bring fast and long-lasting benefits and services to as many as 1 million of Mumbai's less-well-off individuals.”

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