Optometric Association in conjunction with the World Council of Optometry
had organized a conference starting from March 27th to April 1, 2003.
The prime agenda of the conference was to uplift optometry and legislate
it as a regulated profession in the country. Preceding this conference
Dr.Satya Verma had visited India in November 2002, as a Presidential envoy
of the WCO. He had several meetings with groups of educators and practicing
optometrists, in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta etc.
The Educators meeting in Mumbai was organized and hosted by the H.H.K.College
of Optometry. Educators representing several schools in the region like
Pune, Nashik apart from Mumbai attended the meeting. Dr. Verma suggested
that if we need to "legislate we have to first educate". Dr. Verma further
suggested the formation of an " Indian Association of Schools and
Colleges of Optometry"(IASCO). This will act as a National educative body.
This set the ball rolling for the "Impact Day" on March 27, 2003 in Delhi.
The "Impact Day" in Delhi was well attended by senior Optometrists and
educators representing various schools of optometry. Senior ophthalmologists
like Dr. Bacchi advisor to the ministry of health, Dr. Madan from the
WHO and Dr.G. N. Rao from the L.V. PRASAD EYE INSTITUTE also graced the
All of them during their respective presentations highlighted the need
for optometry in our country. The WHO has identified refractive errors as the second largest cause for preventable blindness. Therefore
Optometrists can play a very vital role in the WHO's Vision 2002 - "Right
to Sight" program. On 28th as per the guidelines received from the WCO,
The IASCO was formed and Dr. Damien Smith, President, WCO invited Mr. N. P. Baliwalla, Chairman H.H.K.College of Optometry to sign the MOU, following which
14 other institutions came forward to sign the MOU. This will represent
the National Body for education. Further for legislative purpose, a National
body was constituted, involving all the regional associations of optometry.
During the later half of 28th the delegation broke up to form three working
committees to address issues on legislation, education and public health.
The delegation then went to the Historical and Monumental City of Agra
to attend the IOA's annual conference. The meet was declared open by Dr.
Damien Smith president WCO on March 30, 2003. Following the presidential
address, our Chairman Mr. N. P. Baliwalla and Dr.H.O. Rastogi were presented "Life Time Achievement Award".
Naval Baliwalla-Chairman H.H.K college recevies the prestigious
Life Time Achivement Award for his contribution to optometry
The opening ceremony
was followed by informative scientific sessions. Students of various
schools of optometry and practicing optometrists actively participated
by reading papers on various aspects of optometry.
shah recevies on award of appreciation for his paper presentation.
Dias third year student reading a paper
Vora third year student reading a paper
of Optometry (Mumbai) made fine presentations. These papers were very
well received and the contents of the paper and the presentation skills
were very well appreciated by all. The poster and model exhibition in
which our second year students participated, were awarded with medals
year students displaying their Award winning Visual Pathway model
The Bausch & Lomb
India conducted an Optometry Quiz, in which 11 schools of optometry from
the various parts of country participated. Our college was awarded the
second prize for the quiz. The Elite school of optometry stood first.
year students participating in the Bausch & Lomb optometry quiz
After the hard day's
work the students enjoyed themselves in a dance party and trips to various
historical sites. The get together gave our students an opportunity to
meet and interact with students (350) of various schools who came to Agra
to participate in the conference.