SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, on World Sight Day, reiterated its commitment to the health and wellness of the society and communities it operates in.
As part of this commitment, SABIC has partnered with Rotary, Mission for Vision and United Way of Baroda, to support the large-scale comprehensive eye-care initiative ‘They See, They Learn’. The program is specifically aimed at students of government and government aided schools.
‘They see, they learn’ aims at ensuring that poor eyesight is not a reason for dropping out of school. Under the program, more than 300,000 students have been screened across 900+ Government schools in Delhi NCR, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Vadodara, with a frequency of two camps for each academic year.
Over 20,000 children have been provided free spectacles while many have been referred to hospitals when in need of additional attention. SABIC aims to screen 5 Lakh students in the next two years.
Janardhanan Ramanujalu, Vice President, South Asia & ANZ for SABIC said on the program, “We want to continue to focus on health and wellness of the society, and ensure this has positive impact on people’s lives. The program has come a long way since its inception and we will continue to expand on it as much as possible. We inherently believe that things like lack of spectacles should not come in the way of a quality education.”
The impact of the program has been far-reaching.
Currently, poor vision is considered one of the world’s largest unaddressed disabilities. Data from the WHO says that globally, approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment. Of this, around 80% is avoidable.
Further, impaired vision among children translates to poorer learning outcomes as the inability to see what is written on the board, or in a book, results in motivation loss and consequently, higher drop-out numbers.
In fact, similar research on primary school children in China, from last year, showed that correcting vision enables an additional average 3-6 months of schooling.
In India, this is a bigger issue as school drop-out numbers are extremely alarming, especially among girls.
SABIC partners with organizations like Rotary, Mission for Vision and United Way of Baroda to conduct eye tests in collaboration with doctors/hospitals. Each program is comprehensively documented and the analysis of the data has thrown some interesting results regarding demographics among other insight. We would be keen share the detailed reports with you, should you like to peruse on the same.
SABIC has been present in India for the last 25 years and has been working to address critical local issues and challenges with a specific focus on driving quality education. As part of this program, since 2014, SABIC has adopted 10 Government schools across Gujarat and Karnataka and upgraded/renovated them, directly impacting 8,000 students.
SABIC’s various CSR activities include the restoration of Lake and sponsorship of a community hall in Hosahalli village near Bengaluru, Blood donation drive, tree plantation and education drives etc