On October 2, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways launched a free eye check-up and spectacles camp for truck drivers. Chand turned up at the Kherki Daula toll plaza in Gurgaon — one of 50 camps in the country. At least 25 per cent of the drivers that turned up at the camp had vision problems.
Since when have you been driving?
It’s been almost 27 years now. For the last few months, I have been transporting goods along the Jhajjar-Hapur route, driving for close to eight hours every day.
How did you hear of this camp?
Some of my driver friends told me. Some of them are now wearing spectacles.
Have you ever had problems while driving?
Not really. My eyes do feel strained over long distances, but I always thought it was merely exhaustion.
Have you ever got your eyes checked before?
Never. I have always been able to see well. Once or twice, I did consider getting my eyes checked, but never did. After all, spectacles cost money. Also, consulting a doctor means going to a hospital and standing in lines, for which I have no time.
What did the doctor say?
They told me I need glasses. They made me read alphabets on a board, and asked me to identify numbers, after which they told me I had a problem seeing things at short distances. I was quite surprised because I have always been quite proud of my vision. Now that they have given these specs for free, I don’t have to worry about spending money. My only worry now is keeping the spectacles safe and remembering to wear them! It will take a while to get used to this.