Ministry will review the progress of the NPCB with a view to toning up its implementation, he said.

Speaking at an event at Bangalore yesterday to mark World Sight Day, Vardhan said the government will be working with NGOs to promote concept of eye donation.

"There are many lapses on the part of both the donors' families and the eye banks in implementing the wishes of a donor. Often the bereaved family members forget to call the eye banks. At other times, the collectors fail to turn up on time," he noted.

NPCB was launched in 1976 as a 100 percent centrally- funded scheme with a goal to reduce prevalence of blindness. However, the rate has not shown much appreciable difference even after 28 years, the Minister noted.

The rapid survey on avoidable blindness conducted during 2006-07 showed a reduction in the prevalence of avoidable blindness from 1.1 percent in 2000 to 1 percent in 2006.

NPCB now aims to bring down the prevalence of blindness to 0.3 percent by 2020 from the present level of 1 percent.

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