Deluged with hundreds of calls, Chandigarh opticians set sight on permission to open
Some states have made concessions for opticians, as even doctors need to get their glasses repaired, say opticians in the cityUpdated: Apr 20, 2020, 21:53 IST
What if suddenly, you cannot see clearly, and you have to study, or cook, or look after children and the elderly, all without a pair of spectacles. Such is the plight of many people in the UT, who after breaking their glasses were in for a rude shock when they found that opticians were closed during curfew despite other medical faciliites being open.
With their services not considered ‘essential’ by UT administration, opticians have not been allowed to open shop since the curfew was declared on March 24. However, with hundreds of distraught customers, the optician association has written to the UT administrator to permit them to open shop. Their services, they say, are fundamental for those who suffer weak eyesight, as blurred vision is not a simple difficulty, but a handicap.
Amarjeet Singh’s 23-year-old daughter, who is studying to be a chartered accountant is short-sighted with a vision of –8D and –9D in both eyes. Unfortunately, her glasses broke a few days ago. “My daughter has no option but to continue. Squinting and reading without glasses gives her a severe headache. A few opticians must be allowed to open as it is causing great inconvenience,” he said.
A retired judge from Punjab and Haryana high court, RS Madan, too, has been carrying on without his spectacles for a while. His son Raghujeet Madan said a tiny screw from the frame has fallen out, and would have taken an optician only a few seconds to fix it. “Most people did not plan for such contingencies during a curfew. The administration could look into starting a delivery service of spectacles directly to those in need,” he said.
Samrat Arora, general secretary of Chandigarh optical association, said he has been receiving at least three calls a day from distraught customers asking him to help them but he can do nothing about it. “Some states such as Rajasthan and Kerala have made concessions for opticians. Even doctors need to get their glasses repaired,” Arora said.
The association had reached out to the UT administration in an email on Saturday, but are still awaiting a response.
Proprietor of Weldon Opticians in Sector 17, Harjit Singh, said he has been receiving calls from more than 50 customers everyday, most of whom required repairs. “We really want to help. The administration must allow a few opticians to open their shops while maintaining social distancing. This is in fact an essential service for those who wear glasses,” he said.