CHENNAI: There are plenty of Indians who end up with eye problems because of working for hours in the sun and this is a problem that needs to be addressed by every ophthalmologist, said Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.
Inaugurating RETICON 2015, a congress of over 500 eye surgeons and specialists from across the country, the Minister spoke about her experiences while serving as a member of the National Commission for Women (NCW). “I, for very many reasons, went to Kutchch where salt is very famous. What is the connection between salt and this meet? Many of the salt pan workers, being constantly in the glare of the sun, have the earliest signs of blindness. And at that time, as NCW member, I went to look at the working conditions of women there, but the job as an occupational hazard was not on the list then,” she said.
Addressing some of the top eye surgeons in the country including the organiser Dr Amar Agarwal, Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals, she explained, “But since then, a lot of work has been done in that regard and they have some equipment to help. Many professions that involve outdoor exposure to the sun, will have eye problems linked to it. Please train your doctors to go speak to these people to save their eyes and also guard against lifestyle issues so that their eyes will be saved.”
After Dr Agarwal explained the kinds of technological advancement that they had achieved in the field of retinal surgery over the last few years, the Minister was quite appreciative and added, “Any scientific work done here to help a person restore his or her vision, is immeasurable and deserves high mention. I can only say on behalf of the Government of India, thank you. The kind of work you are doing is a blend of skill, knowledge and technology. With this, if you can bring India to the forefront of advancement, then that is commendable.”
Earlier, Dr Amar Agarwal had explained how RETICON had grown over the years and had a strong focus on showing live surgeries to young doctors, so that they can ask questions, learn and replicate wherever they practice. “We have eye doctors here from every corner of the country. Indian ophthalmology is at its forefront, but today, we don’t have to go abroad anymore. As the Prime Minister said, people from abroad come here to learn the latest technology. This is why we’re stressing on learning and making people learn through events like this,” he said. Eminent eye surgeons Dr Lalit Verma and Dr P N Nagpal were also present during the programme, along with BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan.