Network18 launches Phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha Initiative – India Against Diabetes

Network18 launches Phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha Initiative – India Against Diabetes

Network18 has launched Phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha Initiative – India Against Diabetes. The 3-month long initiative is committed to protecting the eyes of the loved ones of India’s Defense Forces. The initiative was flagged off at the launch event held in Dharamshala BSF War Memorial, Kutch, Gujarat on 14th June 2022.

Hon’ble Smt. Dr. Nimaben Acharya, Speaker, Gujarat Assembly was the chief guest at the event. Besides, Mr. Sanjay Srivastav, DIG, BSF, Kachchh Sector, Mr. Sanjay Avinash – Commandant, 74 Battalion BSF, Mr. Yashvir Hooda – Officiating Commandant 3 Battalion BSF, Mr. Saurabh Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Bhuj, Ms. Vaishali Iyer, Country Head, Communications and CSR, Novartis India, Dr. Manisha Agarwal, Head of Vitreoretina & Clinical Research Services at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, Secretary of VRSI, and Mr. Rito Maitra, Co-founder of Radical Health graced the event amidst other dignitaries.

Joining the event virtually, Dr. Mahipal Sachdev, Chairman & Medical Director of Centre for Sight Group of Eye Hospitals, and Dr. Vijay Viswanathan, National Vice President, RSSDI shared insights on the Diabetic Retinopathy and urged people to go for early detection.

The event successfully flagged off the Netra Suraksha awareness camp. Mr. Sanjay Avinash – Commandant, 74 Battalion BSF inaugurated the testing facility at the location, and Mr. Yashvir Hooda – Officiating Commandant 3 Battalion BSF along with Mr. Saurabh Singh, IPS, Superintendent of Police, Bhuj were the first ones to get their eyes tested. The event also hosted panel discussions on raising awareness around Diabetes & Eye Health: Timely Prevention & Need for Cohesive Policy Change.

Hon’ble Smt. Dr. Nimaben Acharya, Speaker, Gujarat Assembly, said “I congratulate the team of Network18 to start this campaign from the border. Netra Suraksha is very important for BSF Jawans. Diabetes is a hidden enemy and people need to do regular check-ups to find out whether they have diabetes and need to be cautious of its adverse effect on the eyes.”

She further added, “Prevention is better than cure. Diabetes is not completely curable, it is a chronic disease, but timely treatment and preventive measures can surely help in avoiding the severe complications of diabetes, and Diabetic Retinopathy is the one among those.”

India is home to as many as 70 million diabetes patients and every one of them is at the risk of Diabetic Retinopathy impacting the vision and eventually leading to blindness. The discussion highlighted the fact that majority of the people are unaware of diabetes and its complications. However, it is a preventative disease and calls for early detection. If not treated timely, it could lead to blindness. The early stage of Diabetic Retinopathy is a-symptomatic. If the timely and early check-ups are done then one can avoid the severe loss of vision.

Mr. Sanjay Srivastav, DIG, BSF, Kachchh Sector said “This is an excellent initiative. Serving in the Kutch region is very difficult due to severe temperature, and scorching sunlight also impacts eye health. Diabetic Retinopathy leads to blindness and it is important to be aware of eye health and preventive measures. If our soldiers are aware of it then only, they can protect their eyes and can give the best service. Soldiers must get their eyes tested every 2 to 3 months. As our jawans are far away from their families, it’s every individual’s duty at home to ensure eye checkups for family members and go for prevention measures.”

Standing tall in various grueling locations and conditions, the Defense Forces are doing immense service in protecting the country. In an endeavor to serve the families of these brave hearts by protecting their eyes, the initiative is aimed at caring for the families of those who protect us. The initiative drives awareness of Diabetic Retinopathy and avoidable blindness and urges family members of the armed forces to get their eyes checked every six months to a year by a Retinologist.

Puneet Singhvi, CEO-Digital & President-Corporate Strategy, Network18 Group, said “Our soldiers put their heart, body, and soul into protecting the country and its citizens. We are extremely proud of our defense forces and equally of their families. Thus, phase 2 of the Netra Suraksha initiative is devoted to the families of defense personnel. It is a small gesture from our end to the families of soldiers serving our country day and night. Through them, we wish to encourage the masses to adopt regular eye check-ups and be aware of the eye disorders related to diabetes.”

Families of Indian soldiers take great pride in their army men for their fighting spirit in any odd case scenario, they are also advised to equally take care of themselves as they can lead by example and inspire people across the country to get themselves regularly tested to save their vision from Diabetic Retinopathy.

Ms. Vaishali Iyer, Country Head, Communications and CSR, Novartis India said – “At Novartis, it is our purpose to improve and extend people’s lives by reimagining medicines. This chapter of “Netra Suraksha” is of utmost importance as it is dedicated to our defense forces and their families. We are happy to have partnered with Network18 for this much-needed initiative, launched by them last year. A movement such as this needs the collective force of several stakeholder groups including the Government, Medical associations like VRSI and RSSDI, Media, Diagnostic and healthcare providers. And it is truly heartening to see that Netra Suraksha has garnered the support of each of these groups. With this shared purpose of raising awareness about Diabetic Retinopathy, I am confident that people living with Diabetes will get their eyes tested regularly.”

The 3-month-long initiative intends to spread awareness message across the country. The eye test screening would be conducted across the length and breadth of the country, especially for the Jawans and their families.

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