Volume 3 Issue 20 - October 15, 2005

Government announces major initiative for N.G.O.s on World Sight Day

D.N.I.S. News Network – In a development that is expected to go a long way in preventing cases of vision impairment in rural and semi-urban areas, the Union Government has announced a go ahead to State Governments to extend grants to organisations working in the field.

Union Health Minister Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss on the occasion of the World Sight Day made the announcement, “The power to provide grants to NGOs working in the field of ophthalmology has been passed on to the States, under the National Programme for Control of Blindness,” he said.

“Since States are closer to the voluntary organisations working in the field, they can spot the genuine and dedicated NGOs to join hands and achieve the goals of the National Blindness Control Programme,” he added.

Dr. Ramadoss said, "Necessary funds needed by the States will be released by the Centre for further assistance to the selected NGOs, as per the revised plans of financial support." "Government and the NGOs have jointly prepared a blue print on Vision 2020 for India, which envisages community-based projects in every nook and corner of the country," he added.

In Hyderabad, Dr. Ramadoss later said, "The National Programme for Control of Blindness was making rapid progress and hoped that by 2020, the prevalence of blindness would be reduced to 0.3 per cent as compared to 1.1 per cent at present."

He appealed to all the State Governments to lay special emphasis on the prevention and treatment of child blindness.

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