Noor Film Launches To Raise Awareness Of Impact Of Vision Impairment
Over 4 million children in Pakistan are estimated to have uncorrected refractive errors (URE), which include short- and long-sightedness and can lead to children missing school.
“Noor,” a film starring Sarwat Gillani and Umair Rana, was released by international development organisation Sightsavers during a ceremony in Islamabad to raise awareness of the impact of vision impairment caused by uncorrected refractive errors (URE) in children.
Over 4 million children in Pakistan are estimated to have uncorrected refractive errors (URE), which include short- and long-sightedness and can lead to children missing school. with over 2 million children already unable to attend school due to the recent devastating floods.
If we do not act now, the impact of poor eye health will only increase this number. The film, directed by Umer Adil and produced in collaboration with SeePrime and WhiteRice, reflects these issues and revolves around a schoolgirl struggling with poor eye health and the problems associated with it.
It also emphasises the importance of challenging societal stigmas associated with wearing glasses.
Ms. Zeb Jaffar, Honorable Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Professional Training, was the chief guest and praised Sightsavers for focusing on this important issue of eye health and linking it to educational outcomes, saying that governments must contribute and do their best for our nation’s future generations.
She pledged to work with the health ministry to address the issues of URE, early detection of eye problems, and treatment at the school level.
“Social drama films do more than raise awareness, they draw you into the story and lives of the characters,” said Munazza Gillani, Country Director Pakistan at Sightsavers. They can soften and dissolve barriers and prejudices, creating space for change to take place in the real-world.”
“Good eye health equals opportunity and has a ripple effect on children, improving education, wellbeing, economics, and health outcomes.” “We hope that this film will encourage the government, parents, and educators to recognise the importance of eye health and to play a role in managing and correcting uncorrected refractive errors.”
In her video message, Sarwat Gillani, lead actor and ambassador of Special Olympics Pakistan, expressed her hope that the project will help build a better and brighter future and that coming together for this cause will help address the stigma that many people face when they wear glasses.
Another cast member, Umair Rana, stated that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that children have good eye health, whether they are parents, teachers, or older members of society.
Many people are unaware of the broader impact of vision impairment, but projects like this one play an important role in reaching out to as many people as possible and raising awareness about eye health so that no one is left behind.
Development, education, and health sector practitioners; diplomats; public sector officials; school principals; and the film cast all attended and appreciated the premiere event.
It has also been made available digitally through the SeePrime and Sightsavers social media channels. The audience enjoyed the film and thought that using film and emotions to raise awareness was a great step in the right direction.
“Noor” is a Sightsavers’ school health screening project initiative that trains teachers in basic eye health screening and offers services such as eye examinations, prescriptions, glasses, and surgery. It complements Sightsavers’ “Eye Health Equals” campaign, which encourages governments, organisations, donors, and communities to prioritise eye health.