Mangaluru: The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) today announced a partnership with Shell India and VisionSpring for an eye screening and eyeglasses distribution program to help the thousands of commercial drivers and allied transportation workers transiting through the port to see clearly and drive safer. As per industry estimates, India has over 90 lakh truckers and allied transport workers. In 2018 4.61 lakh traffic accidents and 1.49 lakh fatalities were reported as per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India (MORTH). Trucks, buses and light commercial vehicles accounted for almost 28% of all road accidents.
The all-weather New Mangalore Port is the seventh-largest port in India and is a major export-import hub of commodities. The port exports commodities like iron ore pellets, granite stones, coffee, cashew, and major imports include crude and petroleum products, LPG, wood pulp, finished fertilizers, liquid chemicals, and containerized cargo. Every day, over one thousand long haul commercial trucks reach the port as a part of the export-import cargo supply chain.
Shell India and VisionSpring had earlier committed to the #DriveSafelndia initiative which aims to help 3.65 lakh commercial drivers and allied transportation workers to see clearly and drive safer by the end of 2020. Drivers, mechanics, and other allied transport workers across four states Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka will receive free vision screening, low-cost eye-glasses, and referrals for other eye conditions as a part of this initiative. In the program assessment survey, conducted among 385 drivers, VisionSpring found that 25% of the drivers could not see road signs at 20-30 meters, and therefore failed to meet the standard required for a driver's license.
As the program is aligned to NMPT's mission to surpass social and safety standards, the New Mangalore Port Trust extended logistics support and its facilities to conduct vision screening camps. The Chairman Shri A V Ramana shared, "The Importance of vision correction and eyeglasses in a driver's overall performance and safety of all road users is well known to all. We are delighted to extend our support to this program; the thousands of transport workers who reach the port daily to facilitate movement of cargo will benefit hugely. The vision screening program will be conducted at the Part premises until December 2019.
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Nitin Prasad, Country Chairman of Shell Companies in India, said, "Indian roads witness one death every four minutes, with almost 80% attributed to driver error. The problem of uncorrected vision, which endangers the lives of drivers, passengers, and all road users, needs urgent intervention. The #DriveSafelndia program is a part of Shell India's effort to create safer roads across the country, and these eye camps are an important step in the right direction. We thank the New Mangalore Port Trust for joining us on this journey to make India's roads safer.
"The current situation is dangerous. As per a recent study conducted by us, 68% drivers In India reported that they never had a vision test which is compulsorily required for a driving license or license renewal shared Anshu Taneja, Country Director, India, for VisionSpring, the pioneering social enterprise that is making eyeglasses accessible across 43 countries. Eyeglasses are a critical road safety Intervention as about 70% of the drivers require them. Imagine how many lives could be saved, with a simple pair of glasses. Together with Shell India ad the New Mangalore Port Trus, we are enabling safety for all road users. We invite the Government, corporates, and other allies across the spectrum to join hands to bring vision correction to bring clear vision to India's Drivers".
Results from the #DriveSafelndia assessment make a strong case for bridging the gap between driver's license policies and the reality of drivers wearing glasses. After getting glasses for the first time in their lives, 76% of the drivers surveyed in the study articulated that driving safely and optimal job performance would be the most important results of their new clear vision. The assessment underscores the need for proactive interventions that effectively increase eyeglasses utilization among drivers in need of vision correction.
About New Mangalore Port Trust
New Mangalore Port Trust, the Gateway to Karnataka is located strategically along the East-West trading route in the Port Town of Mangaluru in the West Coast of India, situated between Cochin Port & Mormugao Port. A traditionally favored Port of call to traders from the Arabian Gulf, NMPT is today a modern destination for multifarious cargo and cruise passengers alike. The Port has 16 fully operational berths with adequate cargo handling equipment to handle all forms of liquid cargo, containers, bulk cargo, and cruise vessels. Besides, the Port offer adequate warehousing facility, container yards, tank farms a mechanized cargo handling facilities to its customers, A modern cruise terminal stays ready to welcome the tourist to the splendor and warmth of the Tulunadu culture.
The Port strives to provide a draft varying between 7 to 14 meters in its various berths. A Single Point Mooring located nearly 8.9 Nautical miles from the breakwater enables the handling of cargo from VLCCS up to 3 lakh DWT. The New Mangalore Port Trust is an ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015 and ISPS compliant Port with well-established plans and procedures to comply with any challenges to prevent environmental pollution.
VisionSpring is a pioneering, international social enterprise accelerating the uptake of affordable eyewear among people who earn less than $4 per day in emerging and frontier markets. Founded in 2001, VisionSpring uncovers latent demand for vision correction; conducts community, workplace and school vision screenings; trains others to do the same; and supplies radically affordable, durable eye-glasses. VisionSpring has delivered more than 5.5 million pairs of eyeglasses, providing vision correction in 43 countries with over 385 NGO, corporate, government and health partners. VisionSpring has been recognized for its innovative work, receiving multiple awards Including the Skoll Award; social entrepreneur fellowships from Draper Richards Kaplan, the Aspen Institute, and the Schwab Foundation; and honors from World Bank, Duke University, Fast Company, and Tribeca Film Festival, among others.
Reported by: Shobha Ramani - Shobha.Ramani@visionspring.org
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