Lanjigarh: Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh launched a School Eye-Health Programme ‘BalJyoti’ in partnership with Sight Savers India and District Administration, Kalahandi today. The project will cover two blocks of Kalahandi district – Lanjigarh and Junagarh, in the first phase. In the inaugural ceremony organized today at Bandhapari Project Upper Primary School, Mr. Anjan Kumar Manik, Collector and District Magistrate, Kalahandi, Dr. Nibedita Sahu, DPM DBCS, Mr. Hari Singh, Additional Regional Director, Lepra India, Dr. Debendra Sahu, Medical Officer-Lepra, Dr. Ashok Das, ADMO PH, Kalahandi, Mr. Abani Mohapatra, NHM-DPM, Mr. Akbar Mehfuz Alam, State Program Manager, SightSavers India, From Vedanta Lanjigarh Mrs. Harmeet Sehra – Chief Community Development Officer, Mr. Mahendra Raut – Head HR, Mr. Manoj Satpathy – Head Legal and Mr. Shivanand Mohanty – Head PR & Corporate Communications among other dignitaries were present.
In his address, Mr. Manik appreciated the efforts of Vedanta for coming forward to support the initiative. “It will benefit a large number of children in the district having avoidable blindness issues and subsequently help them in pursuing their dreams without inhibitions”, he added. Mrs. Harmeet Sehra opined that the initiative will go a long way in furthering children’s education in cases which discourages them to pursue education due to financial or eye-health implications.
As a part of this endeavor, Vedanta will support Sightsavers India in conducting eye screening for over 40,000 children in more than 440 Govt. schools in Lanjigarh and Junagarh block of Kalahandi district. This is a first-of-its-kind School Eye-health Programme organized in Western Odisha which will cover all the Govt. schools in the region. Through this programme, each school would be provided a scientific primary eye screening kit and one teacher from each school will be trained on primary eye screening. Master Trainers will be developed at the district level for overall programme management. Besides, the programme will dispense free quality spectacles for a few students having refractive error issues and develop thirty ‘Model best eye health practising schools’ in two blocks for the awareness and preventive aspects of blindness among the children.
Around 87 students have received spectacles who were identified from the eye-screening camp organized earlier. In line with this, a Master Trainer’s training program was conducted at district Head quarter, Bhawanipatna wherein 84 health workers and officials of Sarba Sikshya Abhiyan attended the session. This programme will not only help individual children having vision related issues but also in the overall achievement of the school fulfilling the mandates of Universal Eye Health initiative launched by the State Govt.
The program was attended by students, teachers, parents and key opinion makers of the village along with the officials of Vedanta. The community appreciated the efforts of the company to take steps for the children and support their health and education.