World Sight Day 2021: From theme to history, everything you should know
The day is celebrated to spread awareness about vision impairment including blindness.Author : A. Gayatri
World Sight Day is observed on the second Thursday of October annually and this year it is being celebrated on 14 October. The day is observed to spread awareness about vision impairment including blindness.
About 1 billion people on the earth have preventable vision defects but most of them go unexamined. People over the age of 50 majorly suffer from vision impairment and these defects can result as an obstacle in a person’s daily activities. From everyday chores to social interactions and work opportunities, all these activities bear the repercussions of blindness and impairment.
India has around 20% of the world’s blind population.
Illness such as diabetes, cataract, glaucoma, and conditions such as a refractive error in the eyes can cause an eyesight reduction.
Through this article, we bring you the history, significance and theme of World Sight Day.
This year’s theme for the World Sight Day celebration is “Love Your Eyes.” The theme emphasized eye health and the need to take care of our eyesight. The theme also encourages us to get our eyes tested and also others who don’t know about it.
The first World Sight Day was celebrated on 8 October 1998, with the initiative by the SightFirstCampaign of Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). This action is part of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s (IAPB) VISION 2020: The Right to Sight (V2020), a design that was launched by IAPB and the World Health organisation (WHO), in Geneva, on February 18, 1999.
The first celebration of World Sight Day happened in the year 2000, which had the theme of Right to Sight for the sixth annual edition of the event, in 2005.
Since the day of its launch, the themes of World Sight Day have revolved around focusing on vision problems in children, eye health as per gender, vision impairment in the elderly, amongst other issues.
Globally several programs related to sight, eye care, risk of suffering from eye diseases, and sight-restoring surgeries have been organised.
Last year’s theme was “Hope In Sight.”
The World Sight Day events and programs are curated and directed by the World Health Organisation, it also participates actively in the events. Every year the Lions Club International works towards promoting the day and a theme is decided for celebrating World Sight Day.
Communities and non-government organisations connect with WHO and IAPB to raise awareness on vision impairment and blindness. At the annual meeting by the top organisations, targets are chosen that play a crucial role in increasing eye care around the world and which also helps nations to deliver quality services.
Our eyes are the most precious organ for humans as it helps to navigate the surroundings and carry on with our major day to day tasks. Therefore, the vision has a direct impact on our survival and also the quality of our lives.
The IAPB website says that they want the public to come together with organisations to encourage other people, governments, various institutions and corporations and make a hard push for the world to provide good access to eye health so that everyone could live with a good vision.