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Essilor Group to add 2,000 Eye Mitra opticians across India by 2022-end


Vision care provider Essilor Group has said it is looking to add 2,000 Eye Mitra opticians across India by the end of 2022, as this inclusive business programme seeks to address issues of providing vision correction, developing skills and creating jobs.

“Currently, more than 8,000 Eye Mitra opticians are successfully running their micro enterprises (optical stores) in India.

“And, by the end of 2022, we are aiming to add 2,000 more and have a total of 10,000 Eye Mitra opticians across the country,” EssilorLuxottica Vice-President (Inclusive Business and Philanthropy) for Asia-Pacific Saugata Banerjee told PTI.

The company will add the Eye Mitras in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, he added.

“The programme is fully managed and funded by the Essilor group.

“The implementation of the programme is done by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)-accredited skilling organisations and we work with multiple implementing partners in different geographies,” Banerjee said.

The implementing partner is responsible for mobilising and enrolling prospective candidates, training and handholding for shop set-up, he added.

“Essilor team provides programme management, technical expertise, monitoring and supervision, and certification of trained candidates post multiple level of assessments,” Banerjee said.

After the trained candidates open their shops, Essilor team provides shop set-up and branding support and ensures timely product supply to Eye Mitra outlets, he added.

When asked about how the group plans to raise the funds for the initiative, Banerjee said, “Investments for the Eye Mitra programme are from the Vision for Life (VFL) fund, which is a strategic giving programme that aims to accelerate initiatives targeting poor vision through awareness raising, capacity building and the creation of basic vision care infrastructure.”

Essilor has committed 30 million euros to VFL, making it the largest global strategic giving programme dedicated to eliminating Uncorrected Refractive Error (URE), he added.

“Apart from training, the company also facilitates access to credit by guiding the trained candidates on various government schemes and available finance options.

“The company also provides basic set of instruments required for vision check-up and making spectacles. Apart from this, marketing and branding support are provided to promote newly opened micro-business,” he added.

Eye Mitra is one of the programmes under the 2.5 NVG (new vision generation) initiative of the Essilor Group.

Other than Eye Mitra, “we also have many such programmes like mobile vans and reader access points, by which Essilor is trying to solve the accessibility issues in India and other parts of the world”, Banerjee said.

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