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WB launches 'Chokher Alo’scheme:  Free Eye Care for Farmers and Everyone in the State

The initiative will provide everyone with free eye care, including cataract surgery, spectacles and eye monitoring. CM herself has settled on the name and logo.

Prity Barman
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is launching many popular schemes in the state just ahead of the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Elections. One such initiative is the 'Chokher Alo' programme that, over the next five years, will guarantee cataract operations for senior citizens and eye care for everyone (including farming community) for free. The scheme was launched on Tuesday. 

The scheme will provide everyone with free eye care, including cataract surgery, spectacles and eye monitoring. The project's name and emblem were determined by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself. 

“From January 5, we are launching a project in which at least 2 million vulnerable and elderly individuals will undergo free cataract surgery. We will also provide about 8 lakh 25,000 people with free spectacles”,  the Chief Minister said while speaking to the state secretariat's media people. 

10 lakh students in government schools across the state would be granted free eye check-up and about four lakh students would be issued with free glasses. Children attending anganwadi centers will also get free eye check-up, so that early stage eye issues can be identified. 

About 300 eye surgeons and nearly 400 optometrists are working on this initiative. 

'Camps will be conducted in about 1,200 villages and about 120 primary health centers in cities and towns in the state in the first phase beginning on Tuesday. All villages, cities and towns will later be placed under the project,' she said. 

1,200-gram panchayats and 120 urban primary health centers will be covered by the first phase from Tuesday. The rest will be covered by the next two phases. 

An advanced trauma treatment center fitted with modern equipment and amenities was also inaugurated at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital by Mamata Banerjee. There will be 20 beds, two procedure theatres and a 10-bed treatment room in the Rs 10-crore facility. 

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