Standard Chartered and partners celebrate World Sight Day at SSR Disability Centre, Triolet
09 October 2013 – In celebration of World Sight Day, Standard Chartered Bank (Mauritius) will commemorate this special event, together with Ministry of Education and Human Resources and the Optical Association of Mauritius at SSR Disability Centre, a special needs school, in Triolet.
The Bank, together with its local partners, has launched a national program in 2012 to raise awareness around avoidable blindness in Mauritius. One of the objectives of this 4 year program is to assess eye health amongst children in the public schools at an early stage. The Standard Chartered Bank, as part of its engagement in this program, has committed to provide up to 100 man days, releasing its employees to visit the schools, perform vision screening and refer cases of eye sight problems to the members of the Optical Association of Mauritius. Free glasses are also donated to those children whose families cannot afford to buy them.
This initiative has brought very positive results since its launch a year ago.
- 15,030 children have been screened in 261 schools
- 1818 children have been referred with eye sight problems
- 250 needy children have received free glasses
Sridhar Nagarajan, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank says: "Through this unique long-term and sustainable project, our aim is to continuously screen children in the country to avoid them suffering the dire consequences of poor eye-sight which manifests as unruly behaviour in class, lower self-confidence, lagging behind peers amongst other problems that can hinder their access to the educational program. This year, to commit further to the cause, we have launched together with our partners, a national campaign to raise awareness amongst the public through press adverts and the display of banners, featuring our program. We believe that part of the reason for our initiative's success in the long run, is in the way we will capture the minds and hearts of staff, clients, partners, teachers, head masters and the children themselves."
This national program is aligned to a global initiative of Standard Chartered Bank, "Seeing is believing". Since 2003, Seeing is Believing has impacted 25 million people globally, helped fund 2.78 million sight-saving cataract operations and facilitated the distribution of medicine to treat Vitamin A deficiency and river blindness for 3.37 million people. This is a testament to the Bank's successful long-term partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. By 2020, the Bank will have raised US$100 million for Seeing is Believing globally.
In 2014, Standard Chartered Bank together with its local partners will sustain the national screening program in the primary schools of Mauritius and extend the initiative to the children of Rodrigues as well.