New evidence shows how a simple pair of glasses can improve workers’ productivity and reduce poverty.


As the first global disability summit took place on Tuesday 24th July 2018, a recent study sponsored by The Clearly Campaign and published in the Lancet Global Health showed an increase of 21.7 percent in the productivity of Indian tea pickers.

James Chen, founder of The Clearly Campaign, said:

700 years after glasses were first invented we now have conclusive proof of the link between clear vision and productivity. Poor vision is the scandal the world forgot and affects a third of the world’s population. Solving this issue will accelerate progress against the UN’s goals on health, quality education, decent work, gender equality and poverty elimination.

The study is said to represent the largest ever recorded productivity increase from any health intervention and if replicated across India’s crop industry it could result to an extra $19 billion in growth from productivity gains alone.

Nicola Chevis, Chief Executive Officer of Vision Aid Overseas continued;

With more than 1.1 billion people worldwide living with near-vision impairment, a condition that can be corrected with a simple pair of glasses and no access to eye care services, the research demonstrates the crucial role of glasses in achieving the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals. Vision Aid Overseas along with other eye care organisations are working to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to vital eye care services and glasses that can help to improve people’s quality of life and reduce global inequalities and poverty.

A spokesperson from Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd, owners of the tea garden where the trial took place, said;

There is a clear and certain case for improving vision and providing sight tests for our business’ employees. It makes work more productive and more rewarding, and at the heart of this study there is a clear message for businesses like ours – good vision is vital to what we do. This is a turning point in awareness of the impact of clear vision on our tea garden’s wellbeing and productivity.

To read the full study, click here.