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As with all such eminent groups, members of the West Bengal Association for Optometrists (WBAO) work together towards the goal of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. In line with this, the WBAO organised the 3rd Kolkata Optometry Conference, KOC ’20, hosted at the Science City on 18 and 19 January 2020.
The event was very well attended with between 500 and 600 delegates from all over India and neighbouring countries like Bangladesh gathered to hear stalwarts in the field of optometry and vision science share their knowledge and experiences. KOC ’20 brought together eminent eye care professionals including scientists, research scholars, faculty members from different institutes, practicing optometrists and ophthalmologists, as well as representatives from the optical trade and industry, and optometry students.
The programme was inaugurated by Swami Biswatmanandaji Maharaj of Bharat Sevashram Sangha Kolkata. Delegates also got to enjoy a beautifully choreographed performance by the Nakshatrya Dance Group as part of the opening ceremony. A souvenir was released on the occasion followed by the official opening of a trade fair.
An important highlight of the meet was the awards ceremony. The WBAO had introduced three awards in recognition of individual contributions to the field of optometry. The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Dr Babulal Agarwal and Dr Sanat Kumar Roy jointly. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was conferred on Shubhasish Chowdhuri while the Community Award was given to Shiba Prasad Raut and Debabrata Das jointly.
The two-day scientific programme was quite packed with a variety of discussions on topics such as Myopia Control by eminent speakers noted for their rich experience on specialty contact lens fitting: Dr Chandrashekher Chawan, Yeshwant Saoji, Nilesh Thite, Lakshmi Shinde, Prasad Sawant, Rupam Sinha, Bikash Chaturvedi and other experts. The session on Binocular Vision was conducted by Dr Jameel Rizwana Hussaindeen and Arnab Banerjee.
Dr Srinivas Marmamula presented an overview of the scope of optometrists in community eye care. The other noted speakers included Dr Rituparna Ghoshal, Priya Dutta and Dipanwita Ghosh, among many others.
A workshop on Diabetic Retinopathy conducted by Zeiss, the Optometry Council of India (OCI) and faculty from the LV Prasad Eye Institute, Dr Padmaja Kumari Rani was much appreciated. An open quiz conducted by Ajay Mishra from GKB Opticals saw enthusiastic participation, and the distribution of small prizes to the correct respondents added to the fun.
Both the students and professionals found the optical trade fair very informative and useful as it showcased a good range of the latest eye care products from some noted brands and multinational companies.
The general consensus was that the conference was a huge success. This was made possible thanks to the fact that it was well organised and enjoyed the active participation of professionals and students alike. Credit also goes to the huge support of the sponsors like GKB Vision Rx, Zeiss, SOHAM Eye Clinic & Prosthesis Centre, Bausch & Lomb, and Alcon, among other companies. The organisers also expressed their appreciation for the support they and the event had from the Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science and the Optometry Council of India.
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