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The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government on Tuesday, January 5, launched 'Chokher Alo' scheme with an aim to provide free eye treatment to the people including cataract operations for senior citizens over the next five years.
Sightsavers in association with the Government of West Bengal launched Universal Eye Health- Chokher Alo in the state yesterday. The inauguration of the programme was done by West Bengal's Honourable Chief Minister, Ms Mamta Banerjee at Nabanna. pic.twitter.com/dVinD5MjOV— Sightsavers India (@SightsaversIN) January 5, 2021
"We are launching a new initiative — Chokher Alo — from tomorrow (Tuesday) for a period of five years. During this period, we will conduct 20 lakh cataract surgeries and distribute 8.25 lakh spectacles free of cost. This will help us eradicate vision impairment in the state," the Chief Minister had said, reported The Telegraph.
She further explained that the initiative has been rolled out on the lines of 'eyes-for-all by 2025'. Under the scheme, the state will also conduct eye tests for as many as 10 lakh students. Four lakh of whom would be given free spectacles. Additionally, the Anganwadi workers would also get an opportunity to get their eyes tested.
Reports have pointed out that more than 300 doctors and 400 optometry technicians will be working to achieve the scheme-targets.
The first phase under Chokher Alo would cover 1,200-gram panchayats and 120 primary health centres while the remaining areas would be taken up in the next phase. Data has revealed that around 11 per cent people are blind and over 4 per cent have low vision among 18 lakh specially-abled persons in the state.
It is expected that the scheme would help the people belonging to the marginalised group specifically from the remote areas.
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