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Blind Walk at USTM

USTM students taking Pledge to donate eyes on World Sight Day-2019 on 10 Oct 2019

9th Mile, Ri-Bhoi, October 10, 2019: In a bid to create social responsibility among students on the occasion of World Sight Day today, about 4000 students of the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya have pledged to donate their eyes and help the cause of the visually challenged people across the world. Led by the visually challenged children studying in Jyoti Niketan school of Narengi, Guwahati, students of USTM along with university staff and authorities participated in the Blind Walk at the university campus today which was a part of the larger programme called ‘World Blind Walk’ being held at the same time today in 200 locations across 5 countries including India, Sri Lanka, China, Philippines and Canada. The walk-a-thon was organised by NavJanan NGO run by the Claretian Missionaries in the North East in association with USTM. The blind children also enthralled all present with their singing performance at the end of the walk-a-thon.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahbubul Hoque, Chancellor of USTM said, “We want to make our students socially responsible and become ambassadors for social awareness. The purpose is to express our solidarity with the visually challenged people and to motivate for eye donation.” World Blind Walk is bringing together over 500 organizations across the globe from social, developmental, medical, academic and religious backgrounds on a single platform to push for a global movement on Eye Donation.

Fr. (Dr.) Joseph Mappilaparambil, Director, NavJan said, “We would like to draw your attention to the issues related to blindness that is affecting a large section of our countrymen. According to WHO, an estimated 39 million people are blind worldwide. One in every three blind people lives in India – 15 million. As much as this fact arouses sympathy, it equally calls for a response from every socially conscious person and organization to reach out to them. We can join our hands to bring them light”.

Sister Jomsy, Principal of Jyoti Niketan said that the Project Vision was started by Fr. George Kannanthanam, a Claretian missionary, as a response to meet the demands of the visually impaired. “The goal is to fill gap between the supply and the demand for corneas in India, which is about 100,000 at present”, she added.

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment, and is held on the second Thursday in October each year. This year’s theme is ‘Vision First’ as fixed by International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The diseases which receive attention on World Sight Day are Trachoma, Low vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, Refractive error and Diabetic Retinopathy.

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