Building peace in the minds of men and women

New pathways for the blind

How many blind people are there in the world? A report submitted to the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind in Rome, last year, estimated that there are about nine and a half million, or 3.58 in every thousand people, and that of these more than seven million live in rural areas. The report, presented by Dr van Schalkwijk, Chairman of the Rural Activities Committee, said that over 3,600,000 could be rehabilitated, more than two million being capable of agricultural work.

Statistics on blindness throughout the world are not strictly comparable because of the variation in national definitions. The proportion of blind people in the United States appears higher than in France because the American definition takes 1/10th vision as its standard while France takes 1/20th. After laws to improve the lot of the blind were passed in Britain, the number of registered blind people increased from 28,000 to 60,000. Furthermore, in some countries with high proportions of blind people Egypt and India, for example available figures are not absolutely reliable.

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June 1960