Home Header News World Sight Day 2023: Top Companies Doing CSR for the Visually Impaired

World Sight Day 2023: Top Companies Doing CSR for the Visually Impaired

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India houses 20% of the world’s visually impaired population, and the largest number of blind children in any country. Experts from Orbis India and Sightsavers say that most of the blindness is preventable, especially in children and teenagers. On
World Sight Day 2023, opening up the conversation around CSR for the visually impaired and overall eye health care becomes all the more relevant.
It has the potential to increase healthcare access for the rural and urban poor, thus decreasing the cases of preventable blindness. A handful of organisations are already running successful programmes to stop preventable blindness while others are making visually challenged persons more employable so they can live with dignity and independence and CSR funding is also being given to free cataract surgeries.
Here are some of the top companies doing CSR for eye health in general and also the visually impaired that have made an impact in India.

Standard Chartered Bank – Seeing is Believing

This World Sight Day, Standard Chartered Bank is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its ‘Seeing is Believing’ programme, an initiative dedicated to eradicating avoidable blindness. Since its launch in 2003 in India, the programme has reached over 15 million people with a further commitment to take it to 18 million over next 3 years through strategic collaborations and initiatives, reads an announcement made by the Bank on this occasion.
Over the last two decades, Seeing is Believing supported projects have undertaken over 3.5 million cataract procedures, distributed more than 600,000 spectacles, and conducted 11,327 teleconsultations through these supported projects, the Bank announced. The Bank has also supported three academies in India (Delhi, Hyderabad and Madurai) which have trained over 100,000 individuals to promote primary eye care.
In India, ‘Seeing is Believing’ has established over 450 vision centres across 22 states, 50% of which are being operated by women. The Bank plans to extend this network by adding another 31 vision centres in October; one on each day of the month — across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Orissa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. The Bank has also invested in the future of primary eye care by supporting futuristic vision centres to reach the last mile via telemedicine and providing best available care to those in need of treatments.

LG Electronics India’s KAREIN ROSHNI: Light for Every Sight

Ahead of World Sight Day, LG Electronics India announced that the company is embarking on the next phase of its Corporate Social Responsibility endeavour, “KAREIN ROSHNI: Light for Every Sight,” aimed at transforming lives through comprehensive eye care and surgical interventions. This year, LG India is collaborating with six esteemed hospitals across the country to support 14,500 cataract surgeries across India to amplify its impact, the company announced.
These include Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, Icare Eye Hospital, Noida (unit of Ishwar Charitable Trust), Sankara Eye Foundation (A unit of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Trust, H.V. Desai Eye Hospital (The Poona Blind Men’s Association), Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya Guwahati (a unit of Sri Kanchi Sankara Health and Educational Foundation), Sri Akhand Jyoti (Yugrishi Shriam Sharma Acharya Charitable Trust). Through these partnerships, a projected total of 14,500 surgeries are anticipated to be performed during the fiscal year 2023-24 across India.
Furthermore, the initiative encompasses a comprehensive awareness campaign about eye care to educate and empower individuals to take charge of their visual health.
Karein Roshni has been LG India’s one of the flagship CSR project. Under the aegis of this initiative, this year LG India has pledged to support 14,500 cataract Eye surgeries across India through 6 charitable Hospitals.

CSR of Tata Capital

Tata Capital, the financial services arm of the Tata Group, has launched Project Aarogyatara- an initiative to eradicate curable blindness through inclusive primary eye care facilities. The purpose is to improve eye health of low-income group families, help diagnose eye disorders, provide timely treatment and increase awareness about regular eye check-ups. The project has been successfully implemented in the states of Maharashtra, Bihar, UP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Tata Capital, under Project Aarogyatara has partnered with six NGOs in five years and has facilitated more than 23,000 cataract surgeries. The project provides support to diagnose and treat refractive errors through community mobilisers and healthcare workers.
‘OnBoard’, helping the visually impaired to board buses
Technology company Continental, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, and non-profit technology start-up Raised Lines Foundation (RLF) have come together for the deployment of ‘OnBoard’, a technology solution for assisting visually impaired people to board public transport buses. RLF was incubated at IIT Delhi, supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and OnBoard development was sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt of India.
With the introduction of OnBoard, visually impaired individuals will have the advantage of easy access to public buses, making their mobility to a larger geographical area easier. The OnBoard solution helps a visually impaired person independently board a public bus by solving two challenges they face— identifying the route number of the bus, and identifying the location of the door of the bus using an audio cue generated by a speaker on the bus.
The device consists of three separate units – A bus unit that contains a controller and speaker and is connected to the electrical system in the bus; a user device that allows users to query all bus numbers in the vicinity and select the desired bus for audio response; a programming and diagnostic unit at the bus depot that helps program a set of numbers in a bus device from which the driver can select the specific route number the bus is operating on.
Incubated at IIT Delhi, the solution also has completed preliminary testing. The first set of testing was successfully done first in Delhi (5 DIMTS coordinated cluster buses) and in Mumbai (25 BEST buses) and again in Delhi (23 DIMTS coordinated cluster buses). Though these pilot trials have established the effectiveness of the device, a larger-scale deployment is necessary for the launch of this solution, which will benefit thousands of people. The next phase of the project will focus on wider-level testing, according to an announcement.

CSR of Bajaj Finserv

Bajaj Finserv Limited, the holding company of the financial services businesses of the Bajaj Group joined hands with Sightsavers India to launch the Social Inclusion and Inclusive Education Programmes in Raisen, Khagariya, Kasganj, and Pratapgarh districts of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, respectively in 2022.
Through this association, Bajaj Finserv Limited and Sightsavers will support children who are blind or visually impaired to receive extensive education support while ensuring their inclusion in mainstream education. Children in the age group of 5 to 18 years will be supported under this Inclusive Education Programme. Also, 400 children with visual impairment from the four districts will get support and inclusion in mainstream education as part of this programme, as per an announcement.
With support from Bajaj Finserv, Sightsavers will also help people with disabilities over the age of 18 gain access to social security benefits and employment opportunities. The aim behind the initiative is social inclusion for persons with disabilities while making sure they receive equal rights and are not subjected to discrimination, particularly in the areas of education, healthcare, and income.

CSR of Mjunction

Kolkata-based B2B e-commerce company Mjunction services limited launched the second phase of its ‘Project Jyoti’ CSR initiative for visually challenged students in West Bengal in July, 2022. This is a one of its kind collaborative initiative by mjunction with Paschim Banga Samagra Shiksha Mission, enabling digital education to the visually defied students from across Bengal.
Under this initiative, training sessions are held for visually impaired students empowering them in e-literacy. The main goal of Project Jyoti is to provide solutions and simplify the education platform for these students. The aim is to provide education through digital means through a process, where a visually challenged student can not only learn the subject well, but also get used to technology.
This project aims to solve the learning difficulty faced by visually challenged students while using Braille technique, which is time consuming and monotonous. The program is designed to let the students use a ‘talk-back’ technology developed by the company using android devices. Each student is given a phone with pre-installed apps which helps them to read the textbooks.
Project Jyoti is a CSR initiative by Mjunction services limited to support visually challenged students. In 2018, the initiative was first launched in Chhattisgarh as a pilot project and soon after the successful implication it launched in West Bengal. The project helps in creating accessible books for visually impaired students.

CSR of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton Limited

In observance of World Sight Day, Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company and Sundaram-Clayton Limited, will be honouring hospitals engaged in the extensive eye care initiative. Over the past three years, SST has collaborated with eye hospitals and organised eye camps across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, reaching out to more than 60,000 individuals and SST’s collaborative efforts with various hospitals have resulted in more than 2,000 free cataract surgeries, as per an announcement.

CSR of Amway India

Over the past two decades, Amway has touched the lives of more than 2.50 lakh visually impaired Indians through its sustained efforts. Under its National Project for the visually impaired, the company has undertaken several initiatives to educate & empower the visually impaired people, thereby helping them lead an economically independent life. The CSR initiative has provided visually impaired individuals with Braille textbooks, digitized educational material, launched 33 Braille-cum-audio libraries across India, fully functional computer centres and music and dance academies among other initiatives.
Amway India recently launched Saksham, a new app for the visually impaired individuals in association with its NGO partner Saksham on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in December 2020. The app will work as a one-stop solution for the visually impaired individuals as it provides them with all relevant information using talk back and voiceover facilities available on the mobile phone.

CSR of TCS (Tata Consultancy Services)

Tata Consultancy Services is empowering visually impaired individuals, by providing an Advanced Computer Training programme to enhance their employment opportunities. This CSR programme conducts two batches in a year, one at National Association for the Blind, Mumbai and the other at Mitra Jyothi, Bengaluru.
This training is a 45-day residential course where the participants get trained on various subjects like accessibility testing, website designing, software testing, networking, CCM tools, route cause analysis, structured problem solving, big data, etc. This CSR initiative, while improving the prospects of India’s visually impaired workforce, aims to redefine the perspectives of employers regarding their potential and versatility.

CSR of Fullerton India

Eye diseases are one of the prime reasons for many rural household to be unemployed or unskilled and depriving them of their daily livelihood. Proper eye care check-up facility is not available in rural India and people have to travel a long way to nearby towns that offer the facilities. Fullerton India Jyoti-Save the Eye CSR initiative not only provides access to quality eye care at community’s doorstep, but also enhances awareness and addresses the incidences of ‘avoidable blindness’.
Fullerton India has partnered with various NGOs to establish 15 Vision Care Centers (VCC), which is a static setup for screening of patients for addressing the preliminary eye-related issues and to provide comprehensive primary eye care services to the patients in urban and rural areas. Most of the VCCs are equipped with tele-ophthalmology facilities which provide consultations with ophthalmologist based at the nearby base hospital. Each VCC also conducts specialty screening camps every week in adjoining villages wherein patients with cataract and other serious eye ailments are taken to base hospital for further treatment.
For example, Fullerton India funds and runs a permanent VCC in the town of Ravulapalem in Andhra Pradesh. Run in partnership with the Parmahansa Vision Hospital of Rajamundhry, the Vision Care Centre is manned by two eye care specialists and caters to the catchment of 600 sq. km around the town. The employees of the organisation’s local Gramshakti branch facilitate the running of the centre by creating awareness about eye care among the local population and helping people avail of the Centre’s facilities.

CSR of Galalite

‘Be the Lite’ is a CSR initiative by the manufacturer of cinema projection screens, Galalite. From eye care camps to engaging the visually impaired in art workshops to raising awareness and training communities, Galalite has been conducting various activities and contributing largely to saving the eyesight of the impaired under Be the Lite.
The manufacturing business partnered with NGO Sightsavers to not only provide treatment to the visually impaired, but also to spread awareness on preventive blindness. Sightsavers is an international non-governmental organisation that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness, and promote equality for people with visual impairments. The CSR campaign aimed at organising medical camps in rural districts in India to help assess and treat blindness.

CSR of Tech Mahindra

Since 2006, Tech Mahindra CSR has been relentlessly working with diverse groups to cater to the needs of the visually impaired students through ARISE+ and SMART+ programmes. On the International Day of Education 2020, Tech Mahindra Foundation in association with Thinkerbell Labs installed Annie – the world’s first Braille literacy device across different locations in India. Annie is a revolutionary solution to the traditional teaching methods of Braille and the lack of special educators. It is a digital device that helps the visually impaired learn to read, write, and type in Braille, on their own through interactive audio-guided content.

CSR of Hindustan Zinc

Hindustan Zinc has been successfully conducting CSR programme Jeevan Tarang focusing on more than 800 children with special needs who have hearing/visual impairment or have special intellectual need. The objective is to make the children self-reliant through improved education opportunities including technology-based learning.