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Dhaka Tribune

MSS Survey: 73.29% drivers reported as visually challenged

The non-governmental organization unveiled their survey at a discussion held at the SEL Centre in Dhaka’s Green Road on Saturday

Update : 24 Feb 2019, 01:59 AM

Manabik Shahajya Sangstha (MSS) in a study found that 73.29% of public transport drivers are reported to be visually challenged. 

The non-governmental organization unveiled their survey at a discussion held at the SEL Centre in Dhaka’s Green Road on Saturday. 

Addressing the discussion, MSS President Feroz M Hasan, said: “The purpose of this survey was to assess the eye health of public transport drivers and to determine their willingness to take eye care services at concessional rates.”

“As many as 500 public transport drivers from eight bus and truck terminals in the capital were interviewed from January 1 to 20. 

“Several drivers were initially reluctant to speak to our surveyors about their eye condition, suspecting that they might be reported to the licensing authority,” he added. 

MSS Advisor Tarikul Gani said the organization is set to implement a pilot initiative as part of its Eye Care Project. 

“Under the initiative, MSS will offer basic eye screening and treatment with modern equipment at concessional rates [screening for Tk50, medication for Tk40-170, and spectacles for Tk100-350]. The service will be provided at Tejgaon truck terminal from February 24 to 25 between 10 am and 3 pm, and Sayedabad bus terminal in the capital from March 2 to 3,” he added. 

Tarikul Gani further said: “Of the 500 drivers, 436 showed willingness to undergo examination and treatment at these concessional rates, and 64 declined. 

“Of the total, 75.6% reported to have trouble using mobile phones and reading newspapers and 30.97% reported to face challenges reading road signs and shop banners. Besides, 33.24% reported to never having seen an optometrist.” 

MSS Assistant Director (Advocacy and Media) Akhtari Asaf, said: “After completing the pilot initiative, we will get authentic statistics about the drivers’ eye health. It is encouraging to see that a high proportion of drivers are willing to undergo screening and treatment.” 

Akhtari Asaf also requested cooperation from the media, urging them to play an active role during the implementation of the pilot initiative.

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