Hyderabad: The second phase of Kanti Velugu, claimed to be the world’s largest eye screening programme, began across Telangana on Thursday.
Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other elected representatives inaugurated mass eye screening camps in all of the state’s 33 districts.
The camps will be conducted in all gram panchayats and municipal wards over the next 100 days to screen 1.5 crore people. Free medicines and spectacles will be distributed among the beneficiaries.
Health minister T. Harish Rao along with minister for animal husbandry T. Srinivas Yadav inaugurated a camp in the Ameerpet area in Hyderabad and distributed spectacles.
They interacted with some of the beneficiaries.
Speaking on the occasion, the health minister said that the aim of the programme is to ensure avoidable blindness-free Telangana. He said Kanti Velugu has become another role model for the rest of the country.
Harish Rao said it was a matter of great pride for Telangana that Chief Ministers of other states have come forward to replicate Kanti Velugu in their respective states.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao formally launched the second phase of the programme at the newly inaugurated Integrated District Collectorate Complex at Khammam on Wednesday along with his counterparts, Pinarayi Vijayan from Kerala, Arvind Kejriwal from Delhi and Bhagwant Singh Mann from Punjab.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, CPI national general secretary D Raja and other national leaders had also attended the programme.
Later, addressing the inaugural public meeting of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) at Khammam, the Chief Ministers of Kerala, Delhi and Punjab lauded the programme and declared that they will implement the same in their respective states.
The Kanti Velugu camps will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., five days a week for the next 100 days.
A total of 1,500 medical teams have been constituted to conduct the camps. Around 1.5 crore people will be screened and 55 lakh spectacles and medicines will be distributed.
Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari has asked the district collectors to break the record created by the state during the first round of Kanti Velugu in 2018 by conducting more eye screening tests during this round.