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Assessment of OCI’s Unsung Heroes Initiative- Empowering Young Optometrists through Rural Entrepreneurial Opportunities”

Published: 10.06.2024
Spandhana Prajith Project Manager
Optometry Confederation of India
Paula Mukherjee COO
Optometry Confederation of India

OCI a self-regulatory body in India, took a unique initiative during the COVID-19 lockdown by tracing members who are offering services to the community far from the cities and often unknown to the rest of the optometry community. Every month, three optometrists were invited for a session to share their journeys and the eyecare services offered. A validated questionnaire was sent to these participants and responses were analyzed.

Till now 15 episodes of ‘Unsung Heroes’ have been conducted since it was started in 2021. Out of the 30 responses, 9 were females and 21 were males. 43.3 % responded that the challenges private practitioners face in tier 2-3 cities are lack of health care facilities, infrastructure, and less eye care awareness. 76.7% responded that the “unsung heroes” series motivated them to do more community work and 67% required support from OCI in upgrading their optometry knowledge and support in patient education material.

A few other details from the questionnaire:

With the ‘Unsung Heroes’ series OCI hopes to inspire the young optometrists in India to start independent optometry practices in rural areas and bring many such unsung heroes to the forefront.