World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It was originally started by SightFirst, an initiative of Lions Club International Foundation in 2000.SightFirst was established 30 years ago, aiming to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness by supporting desperately needed health care services. More than 1 billion people around the world have preventable vision impairment or one that has yet to be addressed. Reduced or absent eyesight can have major and long-lasting effects on all aspects of life, including daily personal activities, interacting with the community, school and work opportunities and the ability to access public services. Reduced eyesight can be caused by several factors, including diseases like diabetes and trachoma, trauma to the eyes, or conditions such as refractive error, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma.
In 1925, Helen Keller addressed the Lions international convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA. She challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." From this time, Lions clubs have been actively involved in service to the blind and visually impaired.Thursday 7th October 2021