Annually, the second Thursday in October is a significant date on the global calendar, dedicated to World Sight Day. Its mission is to raise awareness about vision impairment and blindness. This year, on October 12th, World Sight Day emphasizes the importance of safeguarding eye health in the workplace and calls upon business leaders to make eye health a priority for their employees.
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), operating under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the Government of India, serves as the focal department responsible for the development and welfare of Persons with Disabilities in the country. In a bid to create greater awareness about visual impairment, the department is marking World Sight Day on October 12, 2023, by organizing a series of events across the nation through its affiliated institutions.
Under the theme ‘Love Your Eyes at Work,’ World Sight Day 2023 addresses the contemporary challenges of our fast-paced, digitally oriented world, where extended screen time and demanding work schedules can strain our eyes. It underscores the significance of nurturing our eye health as we navigate the demands of the modern workplace.
The roots of World Sight Day can be traced back to October 8, 1984, when the Lions Club Foundation initiated this awareness day. It has since evolved into a collaborative effort, with leadership from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IABP), involving NGOs, eye care organizations, and hospitals worldwide. The shared goal is to promote awareness about the importance of eye care and the prevention of blindness.
In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), World Sight Day carries substantial importance. It contributes significantly to goals related to education, employment, quality of life, and poverty reduction. The day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role vision plays in the overall well-being of individuals and communities. Numerous organizations actively participate, advocating for improved access to eye care services on a global scale.
Promoting eye health is essential. This can be achieved by maintaining a balanced diet rich in vital vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, C, and E. It is equally important to manage your weight to reduce the risk of eye-related conditions, like diabetes, which can impact your vision. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine supports overall well-being, including the health of your eyes. When exposed to the sun, wearing sunglasses with effective UV protection shields your eyes from potential sun-induced damage. Following the 20-20-20 rule can alleviate eye strain during extended screen use—every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something approximately 20 feet away. Smoking should be avoided, as it is associated with various eye disorders, including macular degeneration and cataracts. If you wear contact lenses, adhering to recommended hygiene practices is crucial for preventing infections and maintaining eye health.
World Health Organization (WHO) is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, established on April 7, 1948, with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus serving as the Director-General. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness was founded in 1975 and is led by Chief Executive Peter Holland, with headquarters in London.