New Delhi: An illustrated book on visual impairment due to refractive error in children has been launched by an international NGO as part of efforts to spread awareness about preventing visual impairment among children.
The book titled ‘The Singing Tree’, published in six regional languages apart from English, will be distributed to 75,000 children free of cost across India.
The book talks about a little girl who cannot see birds due to her impaired vision and assumes that the beautiful songs she heard were sung by the tree under which
she spent her time.
The book, which was launched here and aims to spread awareness on visual impairment, also talks about the feeling of isolation and rejection that a child with an impaired
vision, or any disability, may experience.
The NGO, Orbis India, has adapted ‘The Singing Tree’ as part of its programme to reach over three million school children, screen and treat them for refractive error.
Speaking at the launch, the author, Ken Youngstein, who has spent forty years developing health education programmes for professionals and patients throughout the world, said, “The story highlights the problems of children with any kind of vision problem, their inability to interact or play at school and the resulting isolation.”
“I sincerely hope the book helps children, their parents, and their teachers to understand the need for testing children for eye problems and for providing appropriate care to them.”
Globally, uncorrected refractive errors account for over 80 per cent of visual impairment among school children. A problem that can be easily diagnosed and corrected with a
simple test and a pair of spectacles, Rahul Ali, Country Director-India, Orbis International, said.
“Still, uncorrected refractive error remains the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment among millions of people across the globe. In India, over 9 million children
are visually impaired,” he said.