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Students from BITS centers from across the country get a fresh perspective of their subjects

Students from BITS

The BITS Practice School-I Programme was conducted by the Vidyasagar Institute of Bio-Medical Science between 23rd May and 17th July 2014 at the Sankara Nethralaya main campus. A total of 10 students from different BITS campuses comprising 3 from BITS Pilani, 6 from BITS Hyderabad and 1 from BITS Goa participated in the same. The participants were split into 5 groups and assigned to five departments as follows 3 students at R.S Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 3 students at L & T Microbiology Research Centre, 2 students at SN ONGC Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology and 1 student each at the Nano Biotechnology and Information Technology & Systems Departments.

The students were given a good exposure to both the theoretical and practical aspects in their assigned areas and topics and gave a good feedback of their learning experience and interactions with faculty at the end of the training programme. Dr.K.Lily Therese, Programme Coordinator (VIBS) and Dr.P.R.Deepa, PS-I Instructor & BITS Programme Coordinator, Chennai distributed the successful completion certificates to the 10 participants.  Dr.H.N.Madhavan, Director of VIBS and faculty from all the departments appreciated the deep enthusiasm and interest with which the participants learnt the various techniques.

The world’s leading marathon against cancer is round the corner, mark your calendars and make a mark in the fight against the killer disease

Get into your Keds, Spikes or a pair of sandals, be in your track/jog suits or just a pair of denims and t-Shirt but make sure to be there at the IIT-Madras for the ‘Terry Fox Run’ Chennai’s ‘Marathon of hope’ to outrun cancer, between 8:00am – 11:00am on Sunday 24th August 2014. Walk, jog, skate or cycle the 6 kilometers into the lush green woods of IIT-Madras, Chennai’s largest oxygen factory with fellow Chennaites with passion and a large heart, to support the cause of children affected by cancer of the eye (Retinoblastoma).

The event is being organized in memory of Terry Fox the legendary Canadian who embarked on a 8,530 kilometer marathon to raise funds for cancer research and to spread awareness on the killer disease, he ran in icy cold weather, on roads frozen with ice and snow, he ran with an artificial leg as his leg had been amputated due to Osteogenic sarcoma a rare bone cancer, he ran in-between painful chemotherapy sessions and often with blood oozing out of the stub of his artificial leg, he had to give up after completing 5,374 kilometers in 143 days when a relapse of cancer spread to his lungs.

The Terry Fox Foundation conducts similar runs the world over to create awareness on cancer and has collected more than $5 million for cancer relief. The foundation has chosen Sankara Nethralaya a forerunner in the research and treatment of retinoblastoma or cancer of the eye, which occurs mainly in children, as its partner in fighting cancer and the beneficiary of its charity run in India.

Be there with your family and friends and show that you care!

SN Alumni celebrate their Silver Jubilee meet by the sea side

SN Alumni celebrate their Silver Jubilee

It was a day of salutation to their Guru, their Alma mater on the auspicious occasion of Gurupoornima, on 12th and 13th of July, 2014, for all 83 alumni who gathered at the GRT Temple Bay, Mammallapuram that synchronized with the Silver Jubilee Celebrations.

The overjoyed group of alumni that arrived at the venue for the momentous occasion were welcomed with a colourful cultural program of dance music and variety entertainment presented by the Avigna group.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr.Natarajan, Chairman and Managing Director, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai paid glorious tributes to his guru and mentor Dr.SS Badrinath.  Speaking on the occasion Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya took the audience on an interesting walk through nostalgic moments spanning over 37 years at Sankara Nethralaya, when he joined for a meagre sum of Rs.750/- as salary. He showered praise on Dr.Manju Kulkarni, an alumnus of Sankara Nethralaya for the record number of surgeries that she performed spanning 30 hours without a break. He added that Sankara Nethralaya had grown big, for Dr.SS Badrinath, dreamt big and made it remarkable.  Dr TS Surendran, went on to compliment that the only award pending for Dr.SS Badrinath was the Bharat Ratna.

Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus in his address observed that he was overwhelmed by the growth of the alumni members who had carved a niche for themselves. He expressed that he was highly impressed at their achievements that brought pride to Sankara Nethralaya and their strong bonding to their Alma Mater. Highlighting the noble services of illustrious alumni members Dr Mehul Shah and Dr Shreya Shah, Drashti Netralaya, Dahod, Gujarat and Dr.Muralidhar Srimat Tirumala at Bhuvaneshwar, Dr.SS Badrinath remarked that he felt deeply happy that his core aim of alleviating blindness among the downtrodden gathered momentum with them. Dr.Badrinath elaborated on the Mobile Surgical Eye Unit, an operation theatre on wheels that had delivered over 1000 cataract surgeries absolutely cost free and with nil infection rates. He appealed to the assembled alumni to reach out to the next level by imparting training.  Dr. Badrinath observed that collaborative research in ophthalmology along with LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad and Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai was in the anvil. Another interesting note that he added was the Obama- Singh initiative grant that Dr.Prema Padmanabhan, Director, Cornea Services, had signed with Indiana University for Corneal studies particularly with respect to Lasik.

Releasing the book, “Recollections from A Golden Era”, Dr.Krishnan, former Anasthetist at Sankara Nethralaya, paid rich accolades to the author Dr. Ian Sundararaj, Chief Advisor- Anaesthesiology for his yeoman services and innovations that he brought about in ophthalmic anaesthesia. The occasion also witnessed awarding of the “Outstanding Teacher Award”, to Prof. N. Sundaram, father of Dr.S.Natarajan.

Delivering the SN Alumni oration, Dr. Deepak Edward, Jonas S. Friedenwald Professor of Ophthalmology and a Professor of pathology at the Wilmer Eye Institute and the Director of Research at King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented a fascinating talk on “Millennial Generation: Challenges and Opportunities”, subtly covering the whole gamut of characteristics and values of generations and the implications of medicine. He affirmed that both Gen Y and Gen Z hold vital potential for globalization through massive internet based collaboration. Dr. Deepak concluded his lecture that the millennial generation had to channelize their abilities to create a better world for patients through evidence based research.

The occasion saw numerable brain storming sessions on Vitreo Retina, Cornea, Uvea, Neuro, Orbital and Pediatric Ophthalmology that served as an effective knowledge exchange platform on the latest advancements. Dr.Pukhraj Rishi, Consultant, VR Department won the Dr.Nataraja Pillai Free paper award for his presentation on “Sclero Uvulectomy for leiomyoma”.

The silver jubilee celebrations concluded with all the attendees exchanging pleasantries while immensely thanking their “Guru”, for he had shown them “Never to pause, but work like a clock”, to be great achievers.

A veteran of Sankara Nethralaya looks back with passion and pride!

Recollections from A Golden Era

An institution it is said is as good or as bad as its people, an institution divinely ordained Sankara Nethralaya was blessed with great people along its journey, people who contributed towards the fulfillment of the dreams and lofty ideals of its founder, men and women who were passionate to their profession, the institution and above all to service. One such person who made a significant impact on the functioning and growth of the institution is Dr Ian Sundararaj a man who quit government service to join the institution he held in high esteem more than 3 decades ago, to explore new horizons in the field of anaesthiology. He served his department and the institution with single minded dedication, distinction and added great quality to the art and science of anaesthesiology, he continues to serve at the CU Shah Sankara Nethralaya as Senior Advisor anaesthesiology much after his formal retirement, grooming young anesthetists to perfection.

Dr. Sundararaj realized that he had lived through the most momentous times in terms of the challenges faced by the institution, its growth and achievements and the stellar role of its founder and architect Dr SS.Badrinath in leading it from the front and decided to freeze his indelible memories for the benefit of the present and future generations. His book “Recollections from A Golden Era” captures these great moments in a light and lucid narrative style with humorous anecdotes, the book is a must read for all age groups both from a medical and non-medical background. The interesting memoir was launched at Sankara Nethralaya’s grand Silver Jubilee Alumni meet held on the 13th of July 2014 at the GRT Temple Bay Hotel, Mahaballipuram by Dr. M.Krishnan former Anaesthetist, Sankara Nethralaya.

Sankara Nethralaya showcased in two major US events


As part of its ongoing efforts towards spreading the good word about Sankara Nethralaya by gaining a larger mind space and foothold among the Indian milieu in the USA, the SN OM Trust the fund raising arm of Sankara Nethralaya participated in two immensely popular events among its target audience, the annual conference of the Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (FeTNA) and the “India Abroad” “Person of the year” ceremony. Participation at the FeTNA 2014 held at the Chaifety Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri State on 20th June 2014 helped in reaching out the Sankara Nethralaya newsletter to 5000+ members of the association across the USA and the one page appeal made in the souvenir released on the occasion to 1,400 members who attended the conference. In-depth presentation of Sankara Nethralaya’s history, growth, philosophy, goals, achievements in various areas and a fervent appeal to donate were made by Dr.Ramani Aiyer, Executive Director, SN OM Trust, Mr. Nahush and Mr. Vikram good friends and well wishers of the institution and Dr Robert Churchill from the University of Missouri, Sankara Nethralaya’s partner in collaborative research. SN OM Trust member Singer Prabhu’s mellifluous voice and crisp appeal won many hearts from the 1,400 strong audience and assurances to organize charity shows for Sankara Nethralaya’s cause from more than 10 Sangam presidents present at the venue.

Participation in the high profile ‘Person of the Year’ award ceremony conducted by and “India Abroad’ helped in showcasing Sankara Nethralaya to a large gathering of high profile and high net worth Indians gathered at the “The Pierre- A Taj Hotel’ at New York for the high power event. While the screening of the appeal made by Shri Amitabh Bachchan’ at the venue took Sankara Nethralaya’s story to the large gathering at the venue, the interview of Dr SS.Badrinath published in the special issue of ‘India Abroad’ reached out to its large reader base. The  SN OM trust would also get 6 pages of advertisement space in the ‘India Abroad’ paper for year 2014 under the agreement of participation in the event.

Career pathways for allied health professionals

Career pathways

Sri A P Irungovel, Manager – Patient Education & counselling addressing the session

A career counselling session was organized by the Sankara Nethralaya Academy at its Vanagaram campus, Chennai on 13th July 2014 to facilitate students completing their schooling to discover new and exciting academic options, young people had an opportunity to discover a whole range of courses in the healthcare sector that could help them build a great career.

Prof S. Ramani, Principal of the Academy welcomed the students and parents attending the session.

Speaking on the occasion Shri A. Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar,TSNA gave a detailed account about the Institution and its facilities. He highlighted that the healthcare service sector is booming and that there are abundant career opportunities here, which he explained has made many institutions like the Sankara Nethralaya Academy to offer specialized courses in this sector to prepare students aspiring to be a part of this high growth industry.

Sri A. P Irungovel, Manager – Patients Education & Counselling dept, Sankara Nethralaya gave a presentation on Goal – Towards healthcare services. Mrs. C. G Sreedevi, Prof Hannah Priya, Dr. Coral, Ms. Ashwini and Mr Senthil the Program Coordinators of the session briefed the attendees on their respective course in detail.

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA),a unit of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai) is a forerunner and leader in the area of imparting healthcare and health management technology and draws its strength from its parent organizations, Sankara Nethralaya, the Medical Research Foundation and Vision Research Foundation, a State of the Art Research Facility.

The objective of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy is to create highly knowledgeable and skilled professionals / Allied Healthcare Professionals conversant with every area of healthcare and hospital management, to meet the increasing demand for competent professionals in this segment. “Allied Health Professionals’ are a distinct group of health professionals who apply their expertise to prevent disease transmission, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate people of all ages and all specialities. Together with a range of technical and support staff they may deliver direct patient care, rehabilitation, treatment, diagnostics and health improvement interventions to restore and maintain optimal physical, sensory, psychological, cognitive and social functions.”Allied health professionals are vital for the delivery of holistic healthcare.

TSNA offers various Allied Health Science Programs in affiliation with the esteemed Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University, Guindy, Chennai such as:

TSNA’s Diploma & Degree Courses for +2 Completed Candidates:

Diploma in Ophthalmic Nursing Asst – 2years.
Diploma in Operation Theatre and Anaesthesia Technology – 2 years.
Diploma in Refraction & Dispensing – 2 years (diploma from TSNA, MRF).
Degree in BSc Medical Lab Technology – 3 years
Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing and FBDO Course( 3 years)
Degree in B.Sc – Hospital Management (3 years)

At the end of the counselling session, the Students and their parents discussed and clarified their queries on their preferred courses in detail and also collected the applications for these courses.

For more details on our courses, visit:

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA) Conducted a Session on Role of Human Resource Management in Healthcare on 05.07.2014

Human Resource Management in Healthcare

Course Faculty Ms Sudha Mohan Presenting the delegates

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy the teaching and training arm of Sankara Nethralaya conducted a niche session on Role of Human Resource Management in Healthcare for Health care executives on the 5th July 2014 by Ms Sudha Mohan. She is Senior Manager – HR with Sankara Nethralaya. She has about 14 years of rich experience as a HR Generalist.

Starting off with the scenario of the health care sector in India, the module covered the key functions of HR viz Talent Acquisition, Training, Performance Management system, Career & Succession Planning & Employee Health, Safety & Welfare.

The other aspects like Employee Retention, Job Rotation, and Employee Satisfaction & Grievance Handling also formed part of the program.

In the concluding part of the session, the participants were divided into small groups wherein each group had to come up with a challenge faced by HR in the health care sector or at their workplace and also explain on how they would overcome the said challenge with suitable solutions and processes that would be followed.

The participants put forth a lot of questions and were enthusiastic throughout the session.

The session started with a warm welcome note and the need for for this unique session on HR for healthcare managers by Shri A. Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar of the institution, he also announced that the next session by Shri Muthiah Ramanathan, Director, Mind Dynamics Center, would conduct a powerful session on ‘Communication Skills’ for the Healthcare Managers on 12.07.2014 and the session ended with vote of thanks. The feedback given by the participants was excellent.

TSNA successfully completes the second batch of its popular Hospital Financial Management Course

Hospital Financial Management Course

Course faculty Shri PR. Ravindran, ACA, CWA with the Participants

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya which has carved a niche for itself among Health care and Hospital Management professionals with its trailblazing courses in these subjects like PG Courses in Hospital Management, Certificate Course in Hospital Management and launched the ‘Certificate Course in Hospital Financial Management (CCHFM)’ a highly specialized course to enable finance personnel, administrators and planners of healthcare institutions to better analyze financial data and understand the implications of financial performance of their institutions, the nuances of financial management, ranging from Accounting and Finance to planning and budget reviews and reporting financial outcomes.

Hospital Financial Management assumes vital importance in the field of healthcare as it decides the cost of Medicare to the patients and the bottom line to the hospital which delivers it.

The 2nd Batch of this program conducted on a weekend pattern on Saturdays between 3:00pm to 6:00pm for duration of 12 weeks was well received with senior management personnel like Senior Directors and Senior Managers from reputed healthcare institutions in the city enrolling in it.

The session was handled by Shri PR. Ravindran, ACA, CWA, Management Consultant and former Chief General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya, a highly experienced and seasoned financial professional with long years of experience in diverse areas of financial management in the manufacturing, service and health care sectors.

Participants at the course were highly appreciative of the modules of financial management that were carefully chosen and presented with ease of understanding.

The unique program spanning over 12 sessions successfully ended on 05th July 2014 with the awarding of certificates to the participants by Sri. P.R.Ravindran, former Chief General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya,medical Research Foundation.

The following feedback shared by a Senior Healthcare management member & financial controller from the reputed YRG Medical, Educational and Research Centre, Chennai sums up the sentiments of the participants

This weekend Hospital Financial Management program – is quite useful as Sri. P.R.Ravindran, a reservoir of knowledge, conducted the course with a lot of dedication. He shared his knowledge and experience with the participants in simple languages and made them understand the accounting concepts and principles without using the accounting jargons. He had paid a lot of attention to prepare the PPT and had made the templates in such a manner that it was very easy for the participants to use. His way of involving the participants in taking active part in the course was unique.

The Program ended with a Vote of Thanks by Shri A Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar, the Sankara Nethralaya Academy to the esteemed faculty member for his continued support to the academy and the participants from various healthcare institutions for their trust and confidence on TSNA. Prof S Ramani, Principal, the SN Academy was also present at the certification event. The 3rd Batch of this unique Hospital Financial Management course will be commencing from first week of October 2014.

‘Helen Keller Remembrance Day’ and ‘Dr. G. Sitalakshmi gift of sight awards’ observed at Sankara Nethralaya

Helen Keller Remembrance Day

The Lions Club of Central Madras and Sankara Nethralaya, comrades in arms in the battle against blindness celebrated the memory of Helen Keller, who had over the years become a mascot for the battle against blindness and the memory of Sankara Nethralaya’s own embodiment of service and sacrifice Dr.G.Sitalakshmi, who had captured the spirit of the institution like very few and brought the light and smile back into the lives of thousands, on the 27th of June 2014 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya main campus. Delivering the Chief Guest’s address Dr Shantharam, Vice-Chancellor of the Dr.MGR Medical University observed that he considered it a privilege to be participating in such an August function celebrating the spirit of service and sacrifice, he expressed that it was most alarming that 90% of the world’s 3.4 million visually impaired belong to the developing world. He highlighted the diverse measures taken by the Tamil Nadu government in blindness prevention and lauded the contribution of institutions like Sankara Nethralaya in complementing the same and closed his address with a few simple eye care tips like protecting the eyes from UV rays with dark glasses, refraining from smoking and consuming veggies rich in vitamin A.

Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya gave a highly touching and interesting note of Dr. Sitalakshmi, he recalled her pioneering role in the field of Keratoconus and how she was instrumental in Dr. Giancarlo Falcinelli the father of Modified Osteo-Odonto Keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) treatment, visiting Sankara Nethralaya three times and training its consultants, leading to the institution becoming a major center for the same. He completed his talk with the observation that Dr G.Sitalakshmi was a shining example of passion towards one’s work, service and sacrifice and young PG Fellows should emulate her noble example. Speaking on the occasion Dr T.S. Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya had a high word of praise for the doctors and support staff being honoured for their yeoman service to the underprivileged and the Lions Club for its steadfast commitment to eradicating blindness and support to Sankara Nethralaya and for most enthusiastically organizing the Helen Keller remembrance day and Dr.G. Sitalakshmi ‘Gift of Sight Day’ year after year

Senior Lions Club office bearers recalled the role of Helen Keller in making the members of the Lions Clubs  all over the world to become ‘Knights of the Blind,’ many of them recalled their memorable association with Dr.G.Sitalakshmi both as a warm individual and a great doctor. The occasion witnessed the awarding of the I (EYE) care awards, ‘Knight of the blind’ and ‘Dr.G.Sitalakshmi  Gift of Sight awards’ to Eye Hospitals,  Ophthalmologists and Paramedics who had demonstrated exemplary skill, passion to their profession and sacrifice resulting in   restoration of  Vision to a large number of people especially in the backward regions of the country. The earnest and ceaseless efforts of Lion Harinarayanan towards eradicating blindness and facilitating a close relationship with Sankara Nethralaya came for special mention by senior Lions office bearers.

We take pleasure in sharing the details of the awards below

1.Recipients of the  I (EYE)  Care Awards
Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj, Maharashtra
Dr K.V. Reddy Memorial Lions Eye Hospital, Bodham, Nizamabad, Telengana

2. Recipients of the ‘Knight of the blind award’
Dr. Nerudu Krishna, Senior Ophthalmologist, Dr K.V. Reddy Memorial Lions Eye Hospital
Mrs. Dhanashri Prasad Arsang, Ophthalmic Assistant, Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj

3. Recipient Dr. G. Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight Award
Dr. Archana K. Biradar, Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy gives participants a feel of real time Managerial skills

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy the teaching and training arm of Sankara Nethralaya conducted a niche, one day training program on “Supervisory Skills for Managers” on the 28th of June 2014. The session started with a warm welcome note and the need for supervisory skills in professional managers by Shri A. Mahalingam, Assistant Registrar of the institution, he thanked the participants for the overwhelming response and confidence in the institution and wished them a wonderful and successful session. Shri Mahalingam also used the opportunity to make a quick announcement about the forthcoming session by the TSNA on the topic ‘The Art and Science of Human Resource Management’ scheduled for 13th September 2014 to be held at the TS.Santhanam Hall, V.D.Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya Main campus, College Road, Chennai-6.


Learning & Development Consultant and Leadership Coach at Success Strategists, Col Sanath Gopinath took the participants through a most in-depth and absorbing session touching on the key leadership qualities that make a ‘Real’ manager. He highlighted that Managers should begin the management process by leading themselves, as the best way to lead and inspire is ‘Leading by example’, he underlined that human beings are not inanimate resources and have to be effectively led and not simply managed. The management Guru closed his session with the key observation that managers in order to be successful should be people centric and not process centric, since the employees and his team are more concerned about how much their manager cares and not on how much he knows.