About 1 billion people around the globe across all age groups are either near-sighted, far-sighted or have serious vision impairments like blindness. India alone houses over 20 per cent of the world’s blind population. Celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October, World Sight Day (WSD) is an international event that creates awareness about blindness and visual impairment. This year, the event will take place on October 14. In this article, we take a look at this year’s theme for World Sight Day, its history and significance.
The theme for this year’s celebration of World Sight Day is “Love Your Eyes.” The theme stresses the need for awareness about our eye health and the need for taking care of our eyesight. For this purpose, we must get our eyes tested and encourage those we know to go for it, as well.
World Sight Day began as an initiative by the SightFirst campaign of the Lions Club International organisation in the year 2000. This initiative is part of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s (IAPB) VISION 2020: The Right to Sight (V2020) plan that was launched by both IAPB and the World Health organisation (WHO), in Geneva, on February 18, 1999.
The first celebration of World Sight Day took place in the year 2000, with Right to Sight being the theme of the sixth annual edition of the event, in 2005. The annual themes have focussed on vision problems in children, eye health as per gender, vision impairment in the elderly, among other issues. The theme for last year was “Hope In Sight.”
Our eyes help us navigate through our surroundings and perform every major task in our day-to-day lives. Vision thus has a direct impact on our survival and the quality of our lives. As IAPB notes on its website, they want the public to join hands together with organisations to urge other people, governments, various institutions and corporations, to push for universal access to eye health for everyone.