Fate of blindness control programme for school kids hangs pendant in Uttar Pradesh with poor requisition from the districts.
The UP-SIC – that was assigned the task of making the spectacles – was paid Rs 2.84 crore central grant for the year 2009-10 but the agency has received the order for making spectacles only for Rs 40 lakh.
The grant is given under the National Programme for Control of Blindness. The fund is used for blindness control for adults as well as school kids. The kids are screened for eyesight and those requiring specs are provided with the same.
“Our role was to manage and allocate fund while district blindness control society were supposed to send requisition for specs. But against a fund of Rs 2.84 crore given to UP-SIC, requisition came only for Rs 40 lakh from the districts,” said the director (family welfare), Dr CV Prasad.
When asked about the defaulter districts Dr VK Mishra, Joint director (NPCB) said he did not have the list ready of districts who have not sent the requisition for specs.
“This slackness can not be tolerated. I will initiate an inquiry and if any of our officials have shown laxity he or she will face action,” said Dr Prasad.
According to sources, supply is pending with the agency. In all 80,000 glasses were to be supplied including 815 specs for Lucknow. But hundreds of school kids are still waiting for specs.
“The problem is that if kids are not given specs within a few weeks the eyesight further gets weak and the power of lens gets changed. Thus the old power of lens is of no use for them,” said a senior eye surgeon in Lucknow.
The screening of school kids for eyesight in 2010 will begin only when the schools reopen after summer holidays but will they get specs depends upon the district authorities.