Videos showcasing Sankara Nethralaya’s medico engineering marvel and impact of its community services steal the show at high level meet.

World Tamil Chamber of Commerce

Larsen & Toubro Technology Services (LTTS) is the engineering services subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro, the multinational conglomerate. The Vadodra headquartered champion of digital transformation held its Annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners meet at Bangalore on the 1st and 2nd of August 2019. The idea was to give an opportunity for its diverse CSR deployment partners to assemble, interact and demonstrate their social service initiatives and impact, both to the CSR Principal and among themselves. The L&T group has a long history of support to Sankara Nethralaya, both monetary and through their professional services, construction of the massive 8 storied research block at the main campus, the CU Shah Sankara Nethralaya and the Elite School of Optometry at St. Thomas Mount on a ‘at cost basis’, overseeing the civil and structural work of the large exclusive community hospital coming up at St.Thomas Mount, donating towards setting up the L& T Microbiology Centre at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology are a few glorious chapters in this long association. LTTS has been extending support towards conducting Sankara Nethralaya’s cost free outdoor surgical camps with the help of the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit (MESU) in remote regions of the country since year 2016 and has also presented a 51 seat bus towards transporting its patients as part of its CSR initiative and was an invitee to the meet.

World Tamil Chamber of Commerce

Sankara Nethralaya was represented at the meet by Mr. T.S Parthasarathy, Head of its CSR department and Mr. S.Alagiri, DGM Fund Raising. The senior members of the institution’s awareness creation and resource mobilization wings leveraged the opportunity to showcase its cost free services by screening a highly absorbing video on the MESU, the ‘One of its kind in Asia’ operation theatre on wheels, a medico-engineering marvel developed jointly with the IIT-M, the institution’s flagship initiative against ‘Cataract’ the largest cause of blindness in the country. A utility which travels to the most remote and inaccessible areas and performs the most advanced vision reviving Cataract removal surgeries right at the doorsteps of the most socially and economically backward patients. A poignant short movie titled ‘Vidiyal’ meaning ‘The Dawn’ or ‘New Hope’ capturing the impact of the institution’s cost free community services was also screened at the event

The two audio-visual presentations on Sankara Nethralaya’s community services were extremely well received by LTTS the CSR Principal and drew a round of applause from the large gathering of senior officials representing the other CSR partners, at the high level meet. LTTS acknowledged its appreciation of its CSR partner Sankara Nethralaya’s vital role in fighting rural blindness through ‘Mobile Eye Care’ dispensed by MESU, by presenting a memento which was received on behalf of the institution by Mr. T.S. Parthasarathy.

Sankara Nethralaya’s veteran Vitroretina surgeon and head of its VR department wins high honours for Himalayan lifetime achievement in his field

6th Retina Live 2019

The Upgraded Department of Ophthalmology at the SMS Medical College, Jaipur conducted the ‘6th Retina Live 2019’, the 6th Retinal Congress and 6th VR Surgical meet, under the Aegis of the ‘Jaipur Ophthalmological Society’ (JOS) on the 16th and 17th of June 2019 at Hotel Marriot Jaipur. This most exciting, informative and interactive event witnessed talks on key topics, debates, panel discussions, differing approaches, technology etc by senior Vitroretina specialists from across the country.

It was a moment of great honour and pride to Sankara Nethralaya when Dr Pramod Bhende, Medical Director and Director– Bhagwan Mahaveer Vitroretina services was awarded the highly prestigious ‘Dr BC Sharma Memorial Oration in Vitroretinal Sciences on ‘Pediatric Retinal Detachments

The citation of the award acknowledging his exemplary role and contributions to every sphere of activity that Sankara Nethralaya stands for comes as a great tribute to one of the senior most consultants of the institution and his endearing commitment to each one of them.

The Sankara Nethralaya family salutes its veteran Doctor and wishes him many more accolades in his professional journey.

Congratulations Sir!

A premier, world renowned trade and commerce body acknowledges and honours a great medical professional

World Tamil Chamber of Commerce

The World Tamil Chamber of Commerce (WTCC) is a premium professional body in the forefront of exploring, promoting and developing the trade and commerce of the Tamil community all over the world. It also acknowledges and honours eminent professionals for their service to society. The WTCC held the 3rd edition of its ‘Healthcare Excellence Awards’ on the 11th of may 2019 at the ‘Le Royal Meridian’ Chennai in a grand scale, former Chief Justice and Governor of Kerala Honourable Shri P.Sathasivam graced the occasion as the chief guest and delivered a spirited address to the large gathering from the medical fraternity gathered on the occasion appealing them to serve in the rural parts of the country and to take care of their own health too, as they needed to be healthy to dispense good healthcare to the nation. The event witnessed the honouring of senior medical professionals for their contribution to their given field of specialization.

We take great pleasure and pride in sharing that Dr Pramod Bhende, Medical Director and Director-Bhagwan Mahaveer Vitroretinal services, Sankara Nethralaya was awarded the ‘Medical Excellence Award for Ophthalmology’ at this prestigious meet

Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty greetings and best wishes to Dr Pramod Bhende on this great honour by a renowned body.

Activities for children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities

visual impairment and multiple disabilities

Like flowers, every child is special and unique. They bring a magical bliss and happiness like how a variety of flowers make a heavenly garden. This has been well proven through the group activities program for the children with visual impairment and multiple disabilities (VIMD) at the “Vision Enhancement Clinic (VEC)” located at the Shenoy Nagar campus of SankaraNethralaya, Chennai. The clinic which works for the empowerment of patients with visual impairment strives to provide all possible services beyond the regular rehabilitation routines, as the patients received here are not seen as individuals with impairment but as a part of their families who struggle to shoulder the loss.

And particularly for the children with VIMD, the clinic offers a wide range of individualized therapy programs such as visual developmental therapy, sensory integration therapy, special education, behavior modification and fine motor stimulation therapy to enhance their functional level as much as possible. But the VEC team wanted to push the line beyond that therefore initiated the group activities sessions for the children with VIMD to experience socialization, group learning, creative art, sharing, taking turns, listening to instructions, winning and losing, music and movements, a bunch of socio-emotional elements to which they are not exposed because of their developmental disorders. On the other end, the parents of such children have been provided with a supportive platform to learn, share their experiences, and strengthen themselves to manage the condition of their children.

The session comprises meet and greet for social skills; creative art therapy for multi-sensory stimulation and sharing; visual skills and eye-hand coordination activities; circle time game for turn taking, listening skills, behavior correction, concept of ‘win & lose’; music & movement for auditory, vestibular, proprioceptive coordination, spatial awareness and recreation. The VEC team has conducted 2 such group activities sessions successfully in the month of July, 2019 and going to conduct the sessions on weekly basis with the overwhelming and encouraging responses from the parents and the children.

visual impairment and multiple disabilities

visual impairment and multiple disabilities

Adults’ supportivegroup

Empowerment of persons with visual impairment defines the complete functional independency and self-reliance in all aspects of their life. The whole process doesn’t come to end without enabling them to compete in the society and to become successful contributors of the nation. In this way, the “Vision Enhancement Clinic” of Sankara Nethralaya is conducting weekly adults’ supportive group meet for the young adult patients with visual impairment. The motto behind this initiation is to promote accessible technology, communication skills, personality development, knowledge sharing, resource exchange, confidence level, leadership qualities, volunteering and awareness on Government concessions. The young adults with visual impairment are getting the opportunity to overcome their depression by interacting each other and able to explore themselves into carrier building options. The participants expressed their pleasure in means of laughter, applauses during the meetings and by volunteering to motivate the new patients who comes with depression.

The meeting is conducted as three sessions as follows:

  • Update on accessible technology – to share and learn about computer and mobile assistive software,
  • Knowledge sharing – to share and discuss about the options for higher studies, job fairs, talking books, educational devices, and learning materials for competitive exams,
  • Quiz and debate – to keep them updated on global events, current affairs, constitutional policies, scientific facts, general knowledge and to develop group communication skills which are essential for professional competency.

Sankara Nethralaya’s largest annual topical meet takes a multidimensional view of eye care to a delicate target group

Retina Summit 2019

The curtains went up to a packed house of most distinguished international and national dignitaries on the 12th of July 2019, at the grand Clive Hall, The Taj Coromandel, Chennai. The venue of the ‘Pediatric Retina’ (Retina Summit-2019) the 4th Summit on the retina, presented by the Bhagwan Mahaveer Vitroretina Services, Sankara Nethralaya. The proceeding got off to an auspicious start with a melodious invocation by Dr Meenakshi Swaminathan, Senior Consultant, Pediatric Ophthalmology department and Director- academics and Dr Mihir Trivedi, Senior Vitroretina Fellow, Sankara Nethralaya, followed by the lighting of the traditional lamp by Shri V.Vaidyanathan, President Medical Research Foundation, Mrs Seetha Vaidyanathan, and senior national and international dignitaries and a quick felicitation of the artists of IndoSoul the popular live group led by Karthik Iyer entertaining the participants, by Shri V.Vaidyanathan. It was little wonder that the event was of a massive proportion since it was being held on a most predominant part of the eye, by one of the largest vitro retina departments in the country, it was also most appropriate that an institution in the forefront of Pediatric ophthalmology was conducting the summit on the theme ‘Pediatric Retina’.

Delivering the inaugural address and welcome note Dr Girish Shiva Rao, Medical Director, Sankara Nethralaya observed that the day marked the culmination of a dream, a goal set long ago and is the fruit of meticulous planning and execution, he added that hosting the event was a good learning by itself. Dr Girish Rao highlighted that the host institution had embarked on a massive study of Diabetic retinopathy much before it became a buzzword and had dwelt in depth on retinal detachment and ocular trauma in the previous meets. He recalled Dr SS.Badrinath’s role in creating a robust model of teaching and training at Sankara Nethralaya which helped in mentoring, stimulating, engaging and hailed him as a tough task master who inculcated knowledge and discipline on an army of ophthalmologists serving the world over.

The preconference of the high power meet focussed on the latest screening/diagnosis technologies and a demonstration of the latest equipment relevant to Paediatric ophthalmology. The two day conference that followed was a most enlightening session touching upon every challenge and aspect of diagnosis and treatment in paediatric ophthalmology, challenges ranging from simple Retinopathy of Prematurity to a host of Paediatric infections like retinitis, endophthalmitis in the paediatric age group, complex VEGF driven, inherited and acquired retinal vascular diseases and paediatric retinal detachment to name a few. The conference witnessed lively debates on differing approaches and perceptions to specific paediatric issues and exchange of real time experience leading to a lot of learning and exposure to latest treatment modalities involving stem cell therapy and prenatal screening.

Retina Summit 2019

Dr Muna Bhende, Deputy Director, Shri Bhagwan Mahavir Department of Retinal Services,, Sankara Nethralaya and Organizing Secretary ‘Pediatric Retina Summit’ expressed her most sincere thanks to her co-organizers Dr Pramod Bhende, Dr Parveen Sen and Dr V.Jaya Prakash and members of the conceptualizing, planning and implementation teams at every level, the men and women within and outside of the institution, in front and behind the screen who worked hard and long and contributed to the grand success of the event.

The two day high power meet came to a close on a warm note with the hosting of the Sankara Nethralaya Alumni Dinner, which brought old members of the Sankara Nethralay family from abroad and India into a warm get together.

The champion in preventive and curative eye care for children is honoured with a prestigious award

VIBS 2019

The Indian arm of  Vision 2020, the global initiative towards eliminating avoidable blindness instituted the ‘Sri SN Shah Award’ for Equity:  to provide comprehensive primary eye care screenings with a focus on women and children, in year 2013 towards recognizing ‘equity of eye care services to women and children’ and to honour institutions dispensing excellent eye services to this vulnerable group. The award for year 2019 was conferred on Sankara Nethralaya in recognition of the significant contribution to preventing and treating childhood blindness by the Elite School of Optometry, its academic arm. The ESO-SN community outreach teams under Dr Anuradha Narayanan Program in-charge – School Children Eye Health, Sankara Nethralaya and Vision Screening Coordinator – Elite School of Optometry carry out massive cost free eye screening of children from the socially and economically backward sections of society living in remote villages by conducting a large number of eye screening camps in rural schools. These camps are a boon to children living in the backward regions of the country to whom school screening is the only access to quality eye care, children found with refractive errors are dispensed with cost free glasses and those needing ophthalmic intervention are referred to the base hospital for cost free treatment.  It would be noteworthy to mention here that the SN-ESO joint effort towards screening this delicate group has found its pride of place in the ‘Limca Book of Records’ for the largest number of school children screened in a single day.

The Sri SN Shah award for equity, consisting of a cash prize of INR 10,000 and a citation were presented by His Excellency Banwarilal Purohit, the Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu, at the 15th Vision 2020 conference held on the 8th of June 2019, at the Arvind Eye Hospital, Chennai and received on behalf of Sankara Nethralaya by Dr Anuradha  Narayanan.

VIBS – Hands-on Summer Training programme (13th -31st May 2019)

VIBS 2019

The annual Hands-on-summer training programme (13thMay and 31st May 2019) was conducted by the Vidyasagar Institute of Bio-Medical Science (VIBS), a unit of Medical Research Foundation (MRF) with an objective of imparting real time knowledge and experience on advanced techniques in their chosen fields of Microbiology, Genetics and Biochemistry. A total of 19 candidates, (7 in R.S. Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 6 each in SN ONGC Genetics & Molecular Biology and L & T Microbiology Research Centre) underwent training under this program. The  participants were from Stella Maris College, Chennai (5), Women’s Christian College, Chennai (2),Vels University, Chennai(1),Rajalakshmi Engineering College, Chennai (5), Jeppiaar Engineering College, Chennai (1), V.O.Chidambaram College, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tuticorin (1), Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research (BIHER), Chennai (2), Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University, Vellore (1) and Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chennai (1).

The Valedictory function was conducted on 31st May 2019 at 3pm at the Lecture Hall, Ist Floor KNBIRVO Building.  Dr.H.N.Madhavan, Director of VIBS was the Chief Guest for the function. Dr.K. Lily Therese ( VIBS – Co-ordinator) welcomed the participants and the function started with a prayer song by Ms.Harshavardhini from Genetics department. Dr.H.N.Madhavan addressed the participants and appreciated the interest of the participants in learning the various techniques. Dr. K Lily Therese updated the attendees on the activities of VIBS till May 2019 in a detailed manner, she gratefully acknowledged the faculty scientists and technical staff involved in training the students and the management of Vision Research Foundation & Medical Research Foundation for providing the facility and the Founder of VIBS, Late Padmashri Iravatham Mahadevan, IAS, for providing the wonderful opportunity to train the Post graduate students from various Science & Arts Colleges & Research Institutions. The HODs from the respective departments who imparted the training shared their experience and appreciated the enthusiasm and involvement with which the participants learnt the techniques they were taught. The participants performed well in the evaluation conducted at the end of the program by all three departments.  They (one representative from each dept) gave a good feedback on the training programme and assured to impart the knowledge and skills they acquired to their juniors and colleagues in their respective colleges. Dr.Sinnakaruppan Mathavan, Dr.N. Angayarkanni and Dr.H.N.Madhavan, distributed the certificates to the successful candidates.

The function came to an end with a warm Vote of Thanks by Dr.K. Lily Therese, Programme Co-ordinator, VIBS. The function ended with high tea and a group photograph at the entrance of the KNBIRVO building.

Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya Consultant’s Paper on the surgical management of complex ophthalmic disorder wins high honours at prestigious meet

Dr Aditi Ghosh Dastider

The 70th Annual Conference of the Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOSCON) was held at New Delhi between 12- 14 of May 2019, it was a great honour for the Sankara Nethralaya when a white paper on the surgical management of a complex ophthalmic condition authored by Dr Aditi Ghosh Dastider serving at the Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya won high honours at this most prestigious meet organized on the theme ‘Cutting edge technology,’ with a focus on showcasing the latest technology and ophthalmic processes from the world over and featuring the best works in the fields of Cataract, Refractive Surgery, Cornea, Glaucoma, Strabismus, Neuro-ophthamology and Occuloplasty attended by a large number of ophthalmologists from all over India.

The white paper titled “Bulbar Oculosporidiosis with Staphyloma and its Surgical Management :Case Series” presented by Dr Aditi Ghosh Dastider, Consultant at the Cornea Department, Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya, Kolkata was adjudged as the ‘Best Paper in Cornea and Ocular Surface’ at this most prestigious meet.

The Sankara Nethralaya family expresses its hearty congratulations and rich compliments to Dr Aditi Ghosh Dastider for emerging as the winner in a highly prestigious meet and wishes her many more accolades and awards in her professional journey.

The pioneer in ‘Myopia’ care takes a far sighted view of the malady emerging in threatening proportions

Light and Vision

As an institution which has several water shed initiatives in better understanding, controlling and preventing ‘Myopia’ like starting an exclusive ‘Myopia Control Clinic’, the role played in the launch of ‘Myopin’ an effective drug against the ailment in the country and the pride of its head of optometry and optical services being conferred with a PhD by the Anglia Ruskin University, UK for his in-depth findings on ‘Myopia’, the optometrists and Ophthalmologists of the ‘Myopia Control Clinic’ at Sankara Nethralaya’s main campus rose gloriously to the occasion of ‘Myopia Awareness Week’ being declared by the ‘ World Council of Optometry’ as the period between 13th – 19th May 2019.

Long time crusader against Myopia and champion of the Myopia Control Clinic at the institution, Dr Rizwana Hussaindeen summed up the purpose of the event succinctly as 1. To educate and create awareness on an ailment which is a lifelong financial burden which one has to bear on changing one’s spectacles periodically 2. The negative effect that wearing of glasses can have on one’s lifestyle and most importantly 3. The loss of vision that uncontrolled Myopia can lead to. The Assistant Professor at the Elite School of Optometry with an enduring interest in children’s eye health and an active player in the institution’s school screening camps shared alarming statistics on the impact of the ailment according to which ½ of the world is likely to become Myopic by year 2050, with close to a billion being in the category of ‘Highly Myopic’, she cited Japan, China and South East Asian nations as showing signs of this threatening epidemic with a majority of their citizens being bespectacled at a very early age, she quickly reassured that in comparison India was in a safer position but still cannot afford to treat the threat mildly and take steps on a war footing. Dr Rizwana underlined that myopia was not a simple open and shut problem which could be addressed by simply wearing a pair of glasses that the optometrist prescribes but an ailment which calls for a more serious approach.

It was day of extraordinary edutainment, the interns from the ESO and optometrists from the Myopia Control Clinic spread the word on the topic of the day through a series of fun games and brain teasers, brilliantly conceptualized by Ms. Aparna, Chief Optometrist, Myopia Control clinic, currently working on her doctoral thesis on the challenge of better understanding the risk factors contributing to Myopia progression. Ms Aparna combined her subject matter expertise on Myopia and remarkable creative skills to mentor the interns of the Elite school of Optometry and the Optometrists of the Myopia clinic (Ms. Anusha, Mr. Sourabh, Ms. Sangita Das and Ms. Aishwarya) who rose to the occasion with extraordinary skills and creativity which reflected through Myopia book marks, Fun memes and Skit show.

Senior Consultant, Paediatric Ophthalmology Department and Director Academics, Dr Meenakshi Swaminathan, an expert and veteran in the field blended her talk on Myopia with the spirit of the day with a racy, humour laced and interactive session that opened the eyes of the audience to the common follies they have ignored. The senior consultant whose services have been sought by ORBIS to train paediatric ophthalmologists in China in ensuring children’s eye health shared a lot of food for thought and simple but far reaching solutions to the ailment which largely affects children. Dr Meenakshi Swaminathan strongly underlined that the best route to good physical and mental health of children would be for them to get outdoors and play under the Sun, as natural light reduces the onset of Myopia, she urged parents to ensure that their child’s ‘screen time’ was limited to optimum levels and suggested that this time could be made less harmful on the child’s eye if the images/content received on the hand held phone or laptop could be beamed on to the big screen of the TV at home which the child could see and decipher from a healthy distance, instead of holding the screen of the device close to the eyes and straining it continously. The senior ophthalmologists cautioned that ‘Myopia’ is not a light thing as it is perceived to be and if left unchecked could lead to retinal lesions/detachment.

It was an evening of fun and entertainment with a message, talks by veterans in the field of ophthalmology and optometry coupled with distribution of awareness materials and WHO’s technology guidelines released on the occasion providing a lot of take home messages on Myopia.

As an institution which has several water shed initiatives in better understanding, controlling and preventing ‘Myopia’ like starting an exclusive ‘Myopia Control Clinic’, the role played in the launch of ‘Myopin’ an effective drug against the ailment in the country and the pride of its head of optometry and optical services being conferred with a PhD by the Anglia Ruskin University, UK for his in-depth findings on ‘Myopia’, the optometrists and Ophthalmologists of the ‘Myopia Control Clinic’ at Sankara Nethralaya’s main campus rose gloriously to the occasion of ‘Myopia Awareness Week’ being declared by the ‘ World Council of Optometry’ as the period between 13th – 19th May 2019.

The Champions of Light and Vision get a hands on feel of darkness and despair!

Light and Vision

There is a popular adage in the Tamil language that only when one goes out into the sweltering heat of the hot sun does one realize the pleasure of the cool shade and shelter, it was an extension of this adage when the US gave its classic tribute to the man who leveraged the power of electricity to light up the world.  The President of the USA appealed to every citizen to pay his/her last tribute to Thomas Alva Edison the inventor of the electric bulb when he died in year 1931, not by brightening up the nation by flooding every nook and corner with ‘Light’ through the electric bulb which he invented, as one may have anticipated, what the President emphatically appealed was just the opposite, he requested that every bulb in the homes, streets and offices, commercial establishments be switched off! and the nation be plunged into absolute darkness for two full minutes to remind/demonstrate to the people how the world looked before the discovery of the electric bulb! by the great inventor

Students of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya the pioneer and champion in dispelling darkness and reviving the joy of vision took part in a novel exercise of experiencing what vision impairment and the despair of darkness in real time by depriving themselves of sight, just as the US President had deprived light to his people many years ago. The novel experiment was conceptualized by Dr Anuja Singh, Vice Principal, TSNA, planned Ms Sarika- Head, Low Vision Clinic and executed by Ms RS.Saranya Head, Vision Enhancement Clinic with amazing support from Mr Srinivas, a trained in independent mobility skills undergoing intensive training in ‘assistive software’ at the Vision Enhancement Clinic, as part of ‘World Optometry Day’ celebrations. To quote the words of Ms Saranya, the idea was to empathize with the visually impaired and understand the pain of blindness and the uncertainties and fear that the visually impaired faced every minute by literally getting into their shoes, by experiencing what ‘not seeing’ is all about.

Light and Vision

The setting for the experiment was seemingly very simple, a group of students had to simply stroll a couple of yards to a make shift tea shop, take their seats and help themselves to a sip of water and some tea which they had to pour into their glasses from different jugs, a strip of cloth over their eyes keeping the light out and making them blindfolded momentarily underlined the power of ‘Vision’ and ‘light’ to the champions of vision and viewers alike in a manner nothing else could have. It was an eye opening spectacle as the participants walked with unsure steps, clinging to each other’s hands for security and an all pervading fear of the unknown, tripping against obstacles as they made their way to the wayside cafe, a distance which took an inordinately longer time to cover than it would normally do. Coffee the caffeine drink is supposed to brighten the drowsy and make them bright but this ‘Blind ‘coffee in the dark’ party’ was a different affair with the guests fumbling for the water jugs, tumblers and coffee mugs and spilling generous quantities of the fluids on themselves, their friends partying with them and the table cloth.

The ‘coffee in the dark’ party’ had some surprise lessons too, participants realized after a while that their other faculties became sharper and rose to the occasion when their main partner was missing in action and students could gauge the environment better with the surrounding sounds and smells but what came as a big surprise to them after the exercise was when they learnt that the man who held them and guided them from tripping and falling was himself a vision challenged person from the Vision Enhancement Clinic. The observations and feedback by Ms Sarika and the participants came as a great learning and strengthened the resolve to serve the visually impaired even more. The eventful evening came to an end with a warm vote of thanks to the students, organizing faculty and spectators for their presence and participation, by Dr Anuja Singh the person behind the drama with a strong lesson.

The taste of the coffee in terms of the lessons learnt would linger in the minds of the organizers, participants and viewers for a long time to come, which was its very objective.