3rd Vision and Road safety conference held at IIT reasearch park in Tharamani on Friday.
3rd Vision and Road safety conference held at IIT reasearch park in Tharamani on Friday. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath)

Road safety mission in sight

The gathering brought together professionals and experts from various sectors, including government, eye care, public health, technology, transportation, and safety.

CHENNAI: India Vision Institute (IVI), a non-profit organisation dedicated to eye screening and providing free spectacles to the underprivileged, collaborated with three prominent NGOs — Vision Spring, Mission for Vision Institute, and Sight Savers to conduct a conference centered around Vision and Road Safety at  IIT Madras Research Park in Chennai on Friday. The primary focus of the conference was to underscore the importance of maintaining good eyesight as a preventive measure against accidents. The gathering brought together professionals and experts from various sectors, including government, eye care, public health, technology, transportation, and safety.

Kamran Khan from the Australian Trade Commission was the chief guest. He lit the ceremonial lamp to kick start the conference in the presence of co-organisers, RN Mohanty, CEO of Sightsavers India, Elizabeth Kurian, CEO of Mission for Vision Institute, Narayan Kumar Das from the Vision Spring, and Vinod Daniel, CEO of India Vision Institute.

Vinod, who has conducted screenings and furnished free spectacles for more than 2,00,000 drivers across the country, contributing to enhanced road safety talked about the conference, and said, “We started ‘Vision and Road Safety’ as a small concept three years ago. It’s growing in a way that we share all our ideas and information, and are getting other partners to come and join in this effort because we realise the importance.” He went on to add that National Road Safety Month is observed every year from January 15 to February 14 and they were happy to conduct this conference during this time.

Elizabeth shared, “Vision and health of a person are very important in the reduction of accidents, but still we are not giving enough attention to it. In a 2016 research, it shows that 80 percent of accidents on the road are due to poor vision.”

Reckless driving and speeding are also the major reasons for accidents. But besides these, vision also plays a major role. Acknowledging this,  Kamran, who was attending a conference on road safety for the first time, said,  “In the past decade, everybody has been talking about road safety but this is the first time I am attending a conference which is associated with vision, one of the important factors of road safety. I have known about the 4E’s of road safety — education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency — but from now on we can add eyes which is very important. I hope in the next decade, everyone will be checked for their vision for driving to avoid risk in road safety.”

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