Sightsavers’ celebrity ambassador, British actress Sunetra Sarker, visited an innovative eye programme run by Sightsavers and spoke to long-distance truckers to understand how poor eyesight might be affecting their lives and work.
India has one of the highest rates of road fatalities in the world with over 300,000 people dying on the roads each year, according to World Health Organization figures. Many of these accidents are due to the poor eyesight of drivers.
For many drivers in India, getting to an eye screening or buying pair of glasses can be unaffordable or difficult to access.
To overcome these issues, Sightsavers has set up pop-up eye testing stations at truck stops across the country where drivers can get screened free of charge and given a pair of glasses fitting their prescription if needed.
Sunetra visited India in February to see how this innovative, life-saving solution is working out in the eye camps of Bengaluru and find out why there are millions of drivers on the roads around the world who aren’t able to see properly.
Mateen, one of the bus drivers she spoke to, had been doing his job over 22 years. When she asked him if this was his first eye check, he admitted it was: “I never saw the point,” he said.