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Kolkata Optometry Summit

Proceedings Report of Kolkata Optometry Summit 2024

Kolkata Optometry Summit’24, held on 24th & 25th February 2024, at the Science City Auditorium, was a celebration of completion of 25 glorious years of Vidyasagar College of Optometry and Vision Science (VCOVS) in the field of Optometry Education.

The conference brought together leading researchers, eye care practitioners, and industry experts to discuss the latest advancements and future of optometry profession. KOS’24 provided a huge networking platform for about 500 delegates across India comprising of students and faculties from different optometry institutes and renowned ophthalmologists (many of whom have been managing eye institutes of great repute). The summit was also graced by the presence of many prominent educators and celebrated research scientists, practicing optometrists as well as the top executives from the optical trade industry. It also created opportunities for VCOVS to develop potential collaborations with Vidyasagar University and Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal.

The conference was a luminous gathering of stalwarts and esteemed personalities in ophthalmology and optometry like

1. Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya
Ex-President All India Ophthalmological Society, Chairman & MD of Disha Eye Hospitals

2. Dr. Debashis Das
Honorary Secretary, Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal

3. Dr. Umang Mathur
CEO, Dr. Shroff’s Charitable Eye Hospital, New Delhi

4. Prof. Dr. Susanta Kumar Chakraborty
Vice Chancellor, Vidyasagar University

5. Prof. Dr Dilip Kumar Nandi
renowned scientist and educationist

6. Prof. Aditya Goyal
Ophthalmic sciences representative nominated by the Government of India on National Commission of Allied and Healthcare Professionals and President on the board of ASCO, India

7. Ms. Lakshmi Shinde
CEO, Optometry Council of India and Executive Manager of Global Education for IACLE

8. Dr N. Anuradha, Principal
Elite School of Optometry, Chennai

9. Mr. Vinod Daniel
CEO, India Vision Institute

10. Prof. Dr Debasish Dutta

11. Dr Sabyasachi Sengupta
Distinguished Vitreo Retinal Surgeon, Ex-Associate Editor of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology and Founder of Sengupta Research Academy

12. Optom. Amod Gogate
Associate Director, Training and Strategic Planning, H.V.Desai Eye Hospital, Pune

13. Dr. Deepak Kumar Bagga
Consultant Optometrist at Meera and L.B.Deshpande Centre for Sight Enhancement, LVPEI

14. Dr Saurav Sinha
Renowned Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon, Netralayam Eye Hospitals, Kolkata

15. Optom. Jayanta Bhattacharya
Convenor, KOS’24

16. Optom. Bholanath Sarkar
Gen Secy, West Bengal Association of Optometrists

17. Optom. S.P.Raut
Vice President, Vidyasagar College of Optometry and Vision Science

Image of inauguration ceremony

The inauguration ceremony of KOS’24 started with the welcome address by Dr. Kushal Kumar Choudhuri, President, VCOVS and Dr. Debasish Kar, Chairman, KOS’24.

Dr Kushal Choudhuri gave a brief outline of the journey of VCOVS as a pioneering institute in Eastern India, which focussed exclusively on the development and training of optometrists. He also emphasised the huge role of optometrists in the eye care delivery in India. The future challenges and opportunities in view of the technological, societal and economic changes were highlighted. The laudable role of the Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal in promoting a closer interaction between the ophthalmological and optometric fraternities was specially mentioned. He stressed on the development of a research-oriented mindset as the need of the hour and enumerated the wide range of employment opportunities opening up in India and abroad.

Dr Debasish Kar welcomed all the delegates and dignitaries. He recalled the significant milestones of the college and the numerous exceptional people behind such achievements. He thanked all national and international organizations, universities and individuals who propelled VCOVS on a path of academic excellence. Various eye hospitals, universities and corporates who had provided learning and employment opportunities to our alumni were specially mentioned. He was deeply appreciative of the OSWB office bearers for their constant support and guidance. Dr Kar was extremely thankful to all the corporates who provided significant monetary help in organizing this commemorative conference.

Dr Debasish Bhattacharya while addressing the delegates lauded the role of VCOVS in tirelessly working towards optometric education and training. He also reiterated the support of Disha Eye Hospitals in this regard. He followed this up by highlighting the potential impact of artificial intelligence in eye health delivery in the near future and exhorted the optometrists to be abreast of the technological transformations so that they may take advantage of the changes.

Prof. Dr. Susanta Kumar Chakraborty in his wonderful speech traced the long association of VCOVS and Vidyasagar University and encouraged VCOVS to pay more attention towards research activities including starting Ph.D. programs so that the institute may contribute towards vision care in many ways beyond the traditional modalities.

Dr Debashis Das, Gen Secretary of Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal emphasised on the need for optometrists and ophthalmologists to work in a synergistic style to be able to combat blindness in a more effective manner. He praised the aim and direction of VCOVS in developing optometrists in the right way and promised all help in its future efforts.

Optom. Bholanath Sarkar, Gen Secretary of West Bengal Association of Optometry, in his brief but significant speech focussed on the importance of a unified approach for the optometrists in order to realize their long standing legal and regulatory goals like All India Council and Registration issues.

Optom. S.P.Raut highlighted the significant work being done by VCOVS in remote areas of West Bengal by its community optometry wing and its impact on the quality of life of the villagers. He also thanked the Vidyasagar University faculty for encouraging our activities in a consistent and vigorous manner.

Optom. Jayanta Bhattacharjee in his succinct speech dwelled upon the need to focus on the current issues attracting global attention like myopia control.

Following this, all the dignitaries led by Dr Debasish Bhattacharya assembled to light the auspicious inaugural lamp.

Prof. Dr Susanta Kumar Chakraborty (VC, Vidyasagar University) released the conference Souvenir to great applause from the audience.

After the souvenir release, Senior Optometrist Sri D.K.Bibra was felicitated and honoured for his lifetime service towards the profession of optometry. Dr Debasish Kar presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Optom. Bibra shared with the audience his vast experiences and insights and wished the young generation and VCOVS a very bright future ahead.

The Scientific session followed suit.

The audience were at first provided a virtual tour of VCOVS and were exposed to the multidimensional activities of the institute.

The first Speaker was Dr Umang Mathur, CEO of Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital. He explained the strategies needed to ensure the eye health initiatives reach the real needy and the enormous role optometrists have to play in order for such strategies to succeed. His talk was highly inspirational and left a great imprint on the young minds.

Dr Debashis Das, Gen Secretary of OSWB introduced the audience to the novel topic of the role of immunomodulator drugs in the comprehensive management of uveitis.

Dr. Maitreyee Das, a renowned glaucoma specialist, explained in a simple manner how to approach a patient with glaucoma.

Mr. Vinod Daniel elucidated in his unpretentious way how IVI (India Vision Institute) had chosen VCOVS as a reliable partner to implement at ground level its programs with a global outlook and how this relationship is likely to grow in the future.

Dr. Anuradha Narayanan, Principal, Elite School of Optometry explained with wonderful examples how the perspectives of patients have to be kept in mind to achieve effective healthcare interventions in this new age. She also presented very significant insights on the quality of life of patients with different optical interventions. For many in the audience, this was a revelation and much-needed guidance.

Optom. Lakshmi Shinde spoke with affection and pride on the special bond shared by VCOVS with OCI and IACLE over the last 25 years and took us down memory lane with a huge number of photos and anecdotes. It was a lovely way to recollect and re-experience the moments and milestones that made VCOVS.

Dr Nagraju Konda shared with the audience his work on tear film changes in contact lens practice. It revealed the current methodology and directions in this important field.

Optometry students from various colleges had put up posters and displayed their innovative models for the attendees to enjoy and learn, and these drew a lot of visitors who were highly appreciative of the displays.

The post-lunch session started with a wide-ranging panel discussion on the way forward for the Optometry profession. Luminaries like Prof. Aditya Goyal, Optom. Amod Gogate, Optom. Lakshmi Shinde and Dr Nagraju Konda participated and a lot of very important points like the proposed change over to a 5 year B.Optom course came out of the discussion, which was chaired by Optom. Jayanta Bhattacharya.

Image of Panel discussion

Optom. Amode Gogate spoke on the way to plan the career for the young optometrists on a long-term basis by understanding the transformative changes and responding accordingly. Optom. Jayanta Bhattacharya in his talk dwelt upon the similar topic and added his valuable inputs.

Optom. Ajay Mishra, VP Sales for GKB Optics explained how to understand the patient/customer’s visual requirements and use this knowledge to provide a customized solution while dispensing glasses.

Optom. Debapriya Mukhopadhyay from Lenskart shared his very interesting study regarding the adequacy and lacunae in knowledge after Optometry Internships. This provided a lot of food for thought and discussion points for the optometry program planners.

After this, Mr. Ranabir Ghosh, Professional Sales Manager of Essilor and Ms. Evangeline Rajathi and Mr. Ritwik Gangopadhyay, Professional Sales Managers of Zeiss highlighted their product ranges and presented at length the exclusive products suitable for the discerning patients with high expectation levels. Mr. Arijit Saha, Professional Sales Manager from Vision Rx Labs showcased the products marketed by his company.

On the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Deepak Kumar Bagga from LVPEI, in association with Soham eye clinic from Kolkata ran a superb workshop on Low Vision Aids which cleared many doubts from the participants’ minds and clarified lots of practical matters.

This marked the end of the proceedings for Day 1.

Day 2

Day 2 started with the videos sent by VCOVS alumni working abroad reminiscing about the college and acknowledging the very important role the college had played in inculcating the right values and discipline in addition to the solid educational foundations established through the comprehensive learning programs. They recalled the teachers and other staff fondly and admitted their contributions. The warm and emotional talks were really wonderful and sent the teachers back to those days when these students were going through their courses at VCOVS.

The scientific session started with the excellent talk by Dr. Deepak Kumar Bagga from LVPEI on the importance of optometrists in Low Vision Management. Since Low Vision Aids are primarily optical devices, the importance of refraction as a vital examination in this subspeciality field was emphasized.

At the same time, a workshop was being organized in a separate hall by Mr. Gagan Sahni and his team on “Visual Rehabilitation with Specialty Contact Lenses in Different Eye Conditions”, which attracted a sizeable number of delegates, eager to know about this special topic.

Dr. Sabyasachi Sengupta drew upon his extensive experience as an Associate Editor of Indian Journal of Ophthalmology (and a celebrated trainer on research methodology and allied subjects) to deliver a lovely inspirational talk on how to focus on research and publishing to boost a professional career.

Optom. Apurbayan delivered the next talk on innovations in optometry and Dr. Aditya Goyal discussed the differences between orthoptics and vision therapy in his talk titled “Why, what and how of optometric voodoo”. Both the talks were well received by the audience.

After a break, the next session featured many senior optometrists as well as VCOVS alumni pursuing higher studies and indulging in research work of a very high order. They presented their ongoing work and it was an eye opener for many of the attendees.

Optom. Arnab Banerjee (NSHM Knowledge Campus) presented his experiences with Photobiomodulation in brain injury. Optom. Dipanwita Ghosh (Swami Vivekananda University) shared with us her excellent work on Biosensors to detect various ocular conditions at a very early stage.

Optom. Manali Sikdar (LVPEI) spoke on Acute Acquired Comitant Esotropia, whereas Optom. Sachidananda Singh (Chitkara University) explained his approach towards management of ADHD children. Optom. Tithi Bhakta (LVPEI) enlightened us about the role of Infrared imaging in Anterior Segment Pathology.

Prof. Dr. Debidas Ghosh, a renowned scientist of national repute from Vidyasagar University, delivered his brilliant lecture on the vital but often ignored topic of Nutrition and the Eye, and the optometrists’ responsibility in recognizing and rectifying the nutritional deficiencies in the patients.

Dr Saurabh Sinha with his marvelous and colourful slides introduced the audience to the common macular problems and their OCT appearances. Devoid of much theory, his talk commanded a lot of attention by the seniors and beginners alike.

This was followed by three excellent talks. Optom. Uma Paul explained the importance of Binocular Vision Assessment and Vision Therapy. Optom. Priya Dutta (Sankara Nethralaya) and Optom. Hardeep Kaur (Bharti Vidyapeeth University) both enlightened the audience on various aspects of refraction in children of various age groups.

After a most entertaining and engaging Quiz competition supported by Visionopolis, it was time for some more scientific talks. Optom. Sujit Shah informed the gathering about the newer trends in myopia management. Optom. Roshni Sengupta dwelt upon the new role of photobiomodulation in myopia control. These were followed by the fantastic talk by Mr. Gagan Sahni on speciality contact lenses. Optom. Pooja Singh delivered her talk on the topic of Orthokeratology.

A most wonderful and nostalgic session with VCOVS Alumni (many of them from the very first batches) followed where the alumni, well placed professionally and personally, shared their experiences and pearls of advice for the younger optometrists. A sweet little quiz on VCOVS moderated by Optom. Runa Mazumder, (Assistant Professor, VCOVS) was the highlight of this session.

The Prize Distribution Ceremony saw great participation and the prize winners of various competitions were loudly cheered by the audience.

The Trade Exhibition was well represented by various renowned companies like Ophthalmic equipment manufacturers, Optical Trade and Industry, Contact Lens Manufacturers, Pharma companies, Optometry Institutes as well as Individual Practitioners.

Optometry Students from various other Optometry Schools participated in great numbers with full enthusiasm. Professionals from all over India chose to be apart of this conference to show their appreciation and support for all that VCOVS has stood for.

This was followed by the vote of thanks by the VCOVS Organising committee. KOS’24 wouldn’t have been a successful event without the support of various companies and organizations like Zeiss, Essilor, GKB Vision RX, and Hoya, Topcon, Appasamy Associates, WBAO to name a few. Thus, KOS’24 that marked the silver jubilee of VCOVS proved to be a gateway for a promising future lying ahead of the institute.

Image of Vote of Thanks

KOS 2024 Award Ceremony