Maharashtra government to provide free spectacles to school kids

Maharashtra government to provide free spectacles to school kids
The state will spend Rs 20 crore one time and incur a recurring expenditure of around Rs 5 crore per annum to provide free spectacles to students aged between 6-18 years (Representational Image, Courtesy: cehjournal.org)

The Maharashtra government has decided to provide free spectacles to school students aged between 6-18 years.

The decision to provide free spectacles was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier this week. The project will cost Rs 20 crore plus a recurring expenditure of around Rs 5 crore per annum.

According to officials, all school students undergo a health checkup every year under the central government’s Rashtriya Bal Swasthaya Programme.

This year, 1,195 medical teams on the job found that the incidence of visual problems has increased significantly among the school students.

Around 8 percent of the 1.22 crore school students in the state suffer from visual problems and providing them with free eye-glasses would help improve their academics.

The government plans to provide spectacles, estimated to cost around Rs 200 each to affected students, of which 25 percent would need higher power glasses after a year.

The responsibility of delivering the spectacles will fall on the state Health Department, which will either hand over the glasses to students at their school or their homes.

Apart from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu provides free spectacles to school kids in the age group of 6-12 in certain districts.

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