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CEAT Ltd. spent over 4 Cr. in 2018-19, addressing the issue of preventable blindness

By Gaver Chatterjee On 10 August 2019
CEAT Ltd. spent over 4 Cr. in 2018-19, addressing the issue of preventable blindness

In 2014, Ceat Ltd., with the intention of developing a sustainable policy for corporate social responsibility,engaged the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to identify social needs and gaps in and around the areas where the company operates. With a vison of holistic empowerment and based on the findings and recommendations given by TISS, the company finalized on four key focus areas for its corporate social responsibility initiatives, viz. eye health care, education, women empowerment and community development.


Ceat’s flagship programme Netranjali is about eye health care. Launched in 2014-15, its purpose is to develop eye health care awareness amongst communities and stakeholders and reduce incidence of avoidable blindness in India. There’s solid reasoning behind adopting this purpose. India has the largest blind population in the world, (with 25% of the world’s blind people living in the country.) The country is often called the ‘blind capital of the world’ as it is home to a staggering 12 million people who suffer from low vision or blindness.But what is shocking is that nearly 80% of the cases would have been preventable with suitable and timely interventions. Netranjali works with a definitive focus on addressing this situation.It focuses on eye care awareness and screening to significantly reduce the incidence of preventable blindness in the Indian population.  Considering that its product is tyres, Ceat in particular tries to reach out to truck and bus drivers as part of its CSR initiatives, especially because good eye care is key to personal safety with this target group. Ceat believes that truckers are amongst the most vulnerable populations that need to be reached out to on this particular issue, via its Netranjalicamps. A research study carried out during the camps revealed that over 55% of truckers across age groups, had refractive errors and for those over the age of 40 years, the figure rose to a shocking 74%. 


Tying up with the NGOs Sightsavers and SHARP, both of which have in-depth experience in the field of eye care,Ceat, through its RPG Foundation, started by organizing eye check-up camps in schools, slum communities and the Ceat truckers’ fleet locations in and around its plants in 2014. What started as an intervention in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Nagpur andHalol, has spread to more than 50 locations in different parts of India including Jaipur, Nashik, Nagpur, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.Netranjali  eye camps includespecialized camps in school premises that help identify and tap early stage problems. Teachers are also given awareness and training sessions on the topic so that they can help in early intervention measures with parents.


Comprehensive check-ups are conducted at each camp and necessary follow-up eye care is provided to the patients who require it. This includes promotive, preventive, rehabilitative and curative eye care. Through Netranjali,Ceat provides free spectacles to those in need of them and gives hospital referrals to patients for interventions like surgery or medication


During this year, the project screened 1,67,328 people (including 1,17,182 truck drivers, 14,568 bus drivers and 35,578 beneficiaries from community and schools), through 1,895 eye camps and 244 days at itsvision centres. Under the project, 86,097 spectacles were distributed and 12,857 referrals were provided for severe cases. 


Since its inception, Netranjali has screened over 5,50,000 individuals across India and distributed more than 200000 free spectacles. Truly a project with a vision towards far-reaching sustainability.

More about CEAT Ltd's CSR Portfolio

Tag : Healthcare CSR CSR Partnerships CSR Impacts CSR in India

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