Special eye camps, a scientific session, a cultural evening and a city tour were held as part of the program
February 2015 was the 9th successful Indo-French exchange program between ICO, Visionsolidev, France and Lotus College of Optometry, India. The program is a result of a MoU signed between the schools of optometry for exchange of knowledge and culture.
A 16-member delegation, comprising of 13 students and 3 faculty members, was in India from February 15-27, 2015. The French group had a warm reception at Lotus College on February 16th by the college faculty and students, where they were also briefed about the activities planned for the next two weeks.
During the subsequent days, special eye camps under the ongoing project of Mumbai Eye Care Campaign were organised and students of Lotus and ICO, under faculty supervision, worked to examine patients, prescribe spectacles, conduct screenings for ocular diseases and refer patients to the hospital for further evaluation. Besides eye camps, the French students also got to work in rotation in the OPD of Lotus Eye Hospital. During this period 1,438 patients were examined at camps and 454 pairs of bifocals and reading glasses were dispensed. 550 patients were referred to Lotus Eye Hospital, predominantly for cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy evaluation.
On the occasion of Founder’s Day, a scientific session called ‘Shree Naval P. Baliwalla Scientific Session’ was organised on February 21st. Students from both schools participated with 7 oral, 15 poster and some case presentations. Dr Viswanathan, from Lotus, was the keynote speaker for the event where he elaborated on the recent advances in Accommodation and its clinical applications.
The day was concluded with a cultural evening, with students from both schools putting up excellent dance shows. A city tour was organised for the group of French students on February 22nd, where they got a glimpse of the rich culture and history of Mumbai city.
The event was concluded with a closing ceremony on February 27th, with presentations by representatives of both schools capturing the learning of the past two weeks.
Lotus College thanked the various local organisations with whom the eye camps were conducted and Hoya, Singapore, for supporting the local transport of the group to camp sites. They also thanked Ronak Optics for sponsoring all the frames dispensed at the eye camps, and Tata Trust for their continued support, especially for patients referred to Lotus Eye Hospital.