CHENNAI:Doctors and NGOs urge the Centre and the State to ban lime or chuna in plastic sachets used in betel chewing and also acids used as cleaning agents in home.The appeal in writing was submitted to Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu at the valedictory function of the occular surface and keratoprosthesis (OSKON-2018) conference organised by Sankara Nethralaya held here on Sunday.
Accepting the appeal, Venkaiah Naidu said “I will pass it on to Parliament, and advise the political parties and policy-makers to focus on this important issue.”Venkaiah Naidu further said that he was pained to know that chuna used in pan was causing eye injury among school children. The government should conduct campaigns to raise awareness of this and make sure it is not packed in thin polythene covers.
The Vice-President also said the government and the private sector should take responsibility for blindness control activities. Private partnership must be encouraged in a big way to achieve this.
“In the last eight-nine years, we have seen 450-500 cases of children who injured eyes with chuna, alkaline powder at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. It is one of the major causes for accidental eye injury among children. This chuna is packaged in thin plastic. It should be banned or should be packed in some thick covers or containers,” said Dr S Shweta Agarwal, one of the OSKON -2018 conference organising members. The appeal was made jointly by the doctors, Acid Survivors Foundation of India and Meer Foundation.
Event at MSSRF
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu was in the city to inaugurate the National Consultation on Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)
Solution for the problem
The MSSRF, which promotes the farming system for nutrition in rural India, hosted the consultation in a bid to throw light on the grave level of malnutrition in the country and its solutions