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The Rotary Club of East Madras joins the battle against the cancer of the eye.

Rotary Club of East Madras

The Terry Fox Foundation the Canada based body espousing the cause of its illustrious champion against cancer, Terrance Stanley Fox conducts the ‘Terry fox Run- A Marathon of hope’ the world over to raise funds for cancer research and treatment. This August body had preferred Sankara Nethralaya as the beneficiary of its assistance in year 2013, in recognition of the in-depth and pioneering research being carried out by the institution in the field of cancer especially retinoblastoma or cancer afflicting the eye. This year the Terry Fox Run was organized by the Rotary Club of Madras East at the IIT-Madras and in a clear indication of its growing popularity it drew more than 25,000 enthusiastic participants expressing their solidarity with the battle against cancer.

The proceeds of the run were handed over to Dr SS.Badrinath, Founder and Chairman Emeritus Sankara Nethralaya by Shri VGP.Ravidas, President and Shri Badrinarayanan, Chairman, Rotary Club of Madras East accompanied by fellow Rotarians, at a simple function at the Sankara  Nethralaya Main campus. The institution decided that the simple unction could be utilized to educate and create awareness on retinoblastoma and what it proposed to do. Addressing the press, Dr Vikas Khaitan, Senior Ophthalmic Surgeon observed that the fact that eyes do not release bio-markers in the blood and tissue biopsy was not possible to ascertain cancer as in other organs of the body made cancer diagnosis a challenging task, he added that the mutation in the blood may be present in future generations too. Expressing his sincere thanks to the members of the Rotary Club of East Madras for organizing the run in an excellent manner Dr S.S.Badrinath expressed that the run being conducted in the past two years has not only aided in raising funds for research on retinoblastoma but created a high level of awareness on the rather less known ailment among the general public. He recalled that Sankara Nethralaya started a study with the Terry Fox Research Institute to look for biomarkers in the blood a year ago and researchers at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology the research of the Medical Research Foundation are hopeful of identifying some critical biomarkers that would help in early diagnosis of retinoblastoma soon.

The pioneer in eye care reiterates its commitment to keep preventable blindness at bay

World Sight Day 2014

With an undaunting resolve and commitment to “No more avoidable blindness”, the theme of this year’s World Sight Day, Sankara Nethralaya the leader in preventable blindness initiatives and the Lion’s Club of Chennai Central Madras its steadfast partner in battling blindness joined hands to celebrate “World Sight Day” on October 9, 2014, at the Aruna Diabetic Centre, Arumbakkam, Chennai in view of the damaging impact of diabetes on blindness.

World Sight Day, the globe over is marked as a special day, annually, to raise awareness and address the problem of preventable blindness and vision impairment.

Pioneering the cause of “helping to see the world better” Sankara Nethralaya’s tele-ophthalmology team with Dr. Deepak Bijwani, Ophthalmologist organised a day long camp at the Diabetic centre under the aegis of Dr. A Paneer Selvam, Diabetologist, Aruna Diabetic Centre.

The day’s camp at the premier diabetic centre witnessed the screening of 90 patients that included many diabetics. All the patients underwent comprehensive eye check up along with routine blood sugar tests.

Tele consultation with consultant ophthalmologist at the base hospital offering expert opinion after detailed fundus examination, were offered to 45 patients. 18 patients were detected for cataract and referred to the base hospital for further management.

Over 13 pairs of spectacles were dispensed with on the spot for those who were detected as needing refractive correction.

The momentous day concluded with an important message on World Sight Day ‘to prevent, restore and enhance vision’.

Crossing heights and hurdles in the journey of providing vision

Mobile Eye Surgical Unit

The Mobile Eye Surgical Unit, Sankara Nethralaya’s operation theatre on wheels,in keeping with its avowed objective of taking the light of vision to the most remote and unreachable regions and to the most socially and economically backward communities commenced its noble journey from Sankara Nethralaya, Main campus, Chennai to the hilly terrain of Vellimalai located near Kallakuruchi, Villipuram District, a distance of about 350 kms between the 20th and 27th September 2014.

Vellimalai, as the name suggests, is a place of magnificent beauty, it is surrounded by rocky mountains and dense forests and a serene environment far from the hustle and bustle of the urban region. The geographic nature of the place however makes it very difficult to access and the region remains largely isolated from the neighbouring areas. If the steep terrain posed a challenge in terms of traversing to the top for the twin buses, the total remoteness of the place and low awareness levels of the locals posed a challenge to the crew in terms of executing the camp successfully. A crew not unaccustomed to such challenges the doctors and support staff geared up to the challenge and made the camp a grand success.

The MESU team comprising of a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Optometrists, Para medics, admin personnel began their hectic activity from day one when there was a beeline of visitors to the camp, for screening and comprehensive eye evaluation. The Eye camp came as a boon to the villagers in and around Vellimalai, who had  poor access to the nearest town  and almost no access to health care benefits .The team retuned jubilantly to the base hospital after completing one of its memorable outdoor surgery camps and providing the light of vision to a significant number of vision impaired living in a hilly tribal area with no access to even the most basic healthcare.

High recognitions in diverse areas reiterate Sankara Nethralaya’s superior research infrastructure and in-depth knowledge of its researchers.

Ms. M.K. Janani

Ms. M.K. Janani receiving the ‘Smt. Sreerangamma N.Narayana and Smt. Radhamani N.Anantha Endowment Award”
from Dr. H.N.Madhavan, Director, L&T Microbiology Dept.

Dr. M.Sowmya

Dr. M.Sowmya receiving the ‘Professor S.Krishnamoorthy Rao Gold Medal Award” from Dr H.N.Madhavan, Director, L&T Microbiology Dept.

Ms. D.Sudha

Ms. D.Sudha receiving the ‘Swarnalatha Punshi” Award” from Dr. Ronnie Jacob George, Director- Research, KNBIRVO

Research initiatives at the Sankara Nethralaya received a fillip with its researchers bagging coveted awards for excellence in their areas. While Ms. M.K. Janani from the L&T Microbiology Research Center won the “Smt. Sreerangamma N.Narayana &Smt.Radhamani N.Anantha Endowment Award” for the  best woman scientist working on infectious  diseases for year 2013, Dr. M.Sowmya, Consulant Microbiologist at the Sankara Nethralaya referral laboratory was awarded the “Professor S.Krishnamoorthy Rao Gold Medal Award” for the best outgoing PhD student  for 2013 and Ms. Sudha PhD scholar from the SASTRA University pursuing research at the Sankara Nethralaya ONGC department of Genetics and Molecular Biology won the “Swarnalatha Punshi” Award for the best researcher in basic medical sciences for 2014.

Sankara Nethralaya’s knowledge dissemination arms celebrate their proud moment!

The 26th annual graduation ceremony of the Elite School of optometry, the CU Shah institute of ophthalmic science and the Vidyasagar institute of bio-medical science was celebrated with great zest an vigour at the Sri V.D.Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya main campus on the 6th of October 2014. The placid and quiet interiors of the Sri V.D Swami Auditorium came to life with thunderous clapping, cheering and hoorays, as the students and parents lustily cheered their friends and wards who had made their mark and were stepping into the next stage in their lives. Delivering the welcome address Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan, Head of the Contact lens department and faculty member at the Elite School of Optometry declared with pride that the Chief Guest of the day Dr. Suresh Vishwanathan was a proud student of the 1990 batch at the Elite School of Optometry, she implored the graduating students to serve the world in typical Sankara Nethralaya spirit. Dr. Rajeswari took Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharath Abhiyan the pledge undertaking to keep the country clean and tidy and exhorted every member of the Sankara Nethralaya family to take the pledge most earnestly.

This was followed by a most spirited and vibrant account of the academic achievements, recognitions in terms of papers presented and recognized at national and international seminars, symposiums attended, lectures delivered, PhD’s awarded by Dr.S.Meenakshi, Senior Ophthalmic surgeon. The Director of Academics summed up the achievements of the institution right from the fresher to senior consultants to the living legend award won by the founder and Chairman emeritus, with much of her commentary drowned by loud cheering and clapping. Introducing the Chief Guest of the day Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya was at his spontaneous and humorous  best, he regaled the young audience by taking them back to the founding days of the institution, his class room sessions and jokes enjoyed with the Chief Guest who was his student, the proud master expressed in his characteristic humility that much of his student’s high academic achievements in his later years were out of his comprehension.

Delivering the Chief Guest’s address Dr.Suresh Viswanathan, Chair of the Biological and Vision Science at the State University of New York College of Optometry (SUNY) and a proud alumni of the Elite School of optometry expressed that he was proud to be the Chief Guest at the event not only because it was his Alma Mater but also because Sankara Nethralaya continues to be the pioneer and premium institution in eye care, research and education in the sub-continent. Imploring the new graduates to charter their own course, he quoted from acclaimed poet Robert Frost’s lines prompting them to choose the road less travelled when it came to choosing their career. The illustrious alumni member’s clear message to the graduating students was ‘Do not ask yourself the stock question ‘What do I want to be? Instead ask yourself ‘Whom do I want to be like for the rest of my life? He explained that the former question restricted its scope to the professional goals to be reached but the latter question probed into the deeper realm of value sets to be imbibed, ethos, convictions and their service orientation. He remarked that the role models to be emulated by them were present right at the venue and the students could choose whom they would want to be like from those assembled on the dais and the hall. He fervently appealed to the students to be individualistic in setting their goals and once the goal is set to work ceaselessly towards its realization.

Dr. Lily Therese, Professor and HOD, L&T Microbiology Dept and Dr. Krishna Kumar, Principal, Elite School of Optometry proudly announced the students who had made the grade in various courses offered by their institutions. The high power function closed with a Vote of Thanks by Ms. A.Rashima, Lecturer, Elite School of Optometry

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s 8th batch of Hospital Management program receives enthusiastic response.

Mr. A. Mahalingam, Program Director & Assistant Registrar of Academy highlighting the salient features and relevance of the course.

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA), the academic arm of its illustrious parent institution and world class eye care provider is committed to sharing the knowledge and experience of its parent institution to enhance the overall functioning of the Medicare industry, by improving every one of its multiple facets.

The need for better and more professional management of hospitals and better healthcare delivery became imperative in view of greater awareness levels and rising expectations of patients and their families, entry of Indian and overseas players into the health care industry, India especially South India becoming a preferred healthcare destination of patients from all over the world and the disturbing increase and complexity of ailments.

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy launched its Weekend Certificate Course in Hospital Management program (CCHM) in primarily to enhance the capabilities of healthcare professionals and to help them overcome the internal challenges and succeed in a tough marketplace.

The Objective of the program was to provide hospital management professionals with a broad perspective of the topics related to management with emphasis on better health care delivery.

The pedagogy and content of the CCHM program are health care specific and designed to address the concerns of hospital administrators / executives / supervisors and equip them with the knowledge required to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

The course is designed to increase the overall understanding of management issues and concepts by mid-level and senior managers to help them make well–informed decisions.

The course has since its first batch attracted mid and senior level professionals from small to high profile, multi-specialty hospitals and all of them have unilaterally found it to be of great relevance and purpose to their vocation.

Addressing the participants of the 8th batch of CCHM course being launched on 4.10.2014, Mr. A. Mahalingam, Program Director & Assistant Registrar of Academy and Prof S. Ramani, Principal the SN Academy highlighted the salient features and relevance of the course.

Dr. S S Badrinath, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya addressing the Hospital Management Program Candidates.

Making a surprise presence at the flag off Dr. S S Badrinath, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya strongly underlined the need for professional administrators to be in symbiotic relation with doctors to run the health care sector whose demand for quality services at low costs is increasing, in an effective manner.

He gave an interesting account of Sankara Nethralaya’s unique financial model, wherein 38% of its patients were treated totally cost free with the help of donations from philanthropists and the operational costs of the institution being met by the income accruing from paying patients.

He attributed the reason for the outstanding performance of the institution to the clear understanding and correct implementation of policy decisions made by the Board. The veteran of healthcare reiterated that services at the health sector demanded involvement, taking up challenges and dedication to the profession.

The session sparked interest with lively questions such as “How to integrate one’s profession to service”, “managing infra structural differences at different locales”, “infusing and strengthening the DNA to people of diverse backgrounds”, “quality of training imparted for handling high end equipments” and lastly “managing manpower deficit and attrition rates” the queries received expert answers from the living legend drawing from a life time’s experience, quoting real time instances and the subtle nuances in the medical profession.

The course will be conducted over 12 weekends( Saturdays – between 2.00 pm to 5 pm) at the Sankara Nethralaya Main campus, College road, Chennai – 600 006)

The maximum number of students per batch has been kept at 20 to enable closer interaction and personalized, in- depth discussions between the faculty and students.

The Course was well received with senior management personnel’s like Directors, Medical Professionals, Management Executives from reputed healthcare institutions in the city enrolling in it.

Mr A Mahalingam also announced yet another and unique Weekend Certificate Course on Healthcare Quality Management : The Program is being brought to you by The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, the academic wing of Sankara Nethralaya a name that is today synonymous across the country with high quality eye care services,The AHPI (The Association of Healthcare Providers (India) Institute of Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety, led by Dr Girdhar J Gyani, the acknowledged father of Healthcare Quality in India and founder of the NABH and ACME Consulting, the largest Healthcare Quality Consulting Organisation in India and this to be commenced from Mid November 2014.

To know more about this high potential and niche course, Pl visit:


Population based study by Sankara Nethralaya Consultant throws new light on Glaucoma.

Best Paper Award

Dr. Rathini Lillian David, Consultant at the Smt. Jadhavbai Nathmal Singhvee Glaucoma Services, Sankara Nethralaya, was honoured with the “Best Paper Award” for her in-depth and well researched presentation, elaborating the critical impact of a variation in pressure on glaucoma. The paper titled “Tran laminar cribrosa pressure difference and glaucoma in a population based study” was adjudged as the best paper at the annual meeting of the Glaucoma Society of India held at Bhubaneswar from 12-14 September 2014.

The Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty Congratulations to her on this achievement and wishes her many more recognitions and honours.

Nobility through charity

Sathvaro Radhe Shyamno

There are no excesses in nobility and charity. When deeds are true, it binds the heart and goes beyond.

In yet another act of utmost compassion, the Sankara Nethralaya Women’s Auxiliary (SWAN) exhibited the camaraderie that they have fostered on to themselves with Sankara Nethralaya, an institution, that forges every moment to alleviating blindness, by a benefit program – Sathvaro Radhe Shyamno, a magnificent dance drama cultural bonanza depicting “Radha Krishna Leelas” by Hiren Parpani and team, the icon masters of fine arts and dance.

The cool Sunday evening of 21st September 2014, witnessed a glittering show at the Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai bringing all minds both young and old, to tunes of Culture and passion, to being one with Lord Krishna, from Balakrishna to Sri Krishna.

SWAN volunteers who have passionately committed to being an integral part of Sankara Nethralaya’s cause, showcased their solidarity by raising significant funds from Corporates, Philanthropists, Well wishers and donors for continuing their dynamic activities to serve the indigent patients.

Sankara Nethralaya salutes the SWAN Trustees and volunteers for their unflinching dedication.

Faculty from the ABDO College, Kent, UK throw new light on parameters and potential of new course

Ophthalmic Dispensing program Students and Parents attending the session

Faculty from ABDO College, UK interacting with Students

Ms. Miranda Richardson, Asst Director of Professional Examinations, ABDO having a lively chat with students

The SN Academy added a feather to its cap when it conducted the first interactive session between the first batch of 3 ½ years Baccalaureate in Ophthalmic Dispensing students and a team of faculty from its course collaborator the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), UK.

The session was held on 22nd September in the presence of Shri A Mahalingam Asst Registrar and Prof S Ramani – Principal of SN Academy

The UK team was represented by Shri. T.Pavanakumar, Chief Finance officer, Ms. Miranda Richardson, Asst Director of Professional Examinations, Ms. Diane Nash and Mr. Paul Schimell, Examiners from ABDO College, Kent, UK.

Welcoming the gathering of students, parents and faculty members, Dr. Anuja R Singh, HOD – Optometric Education, the SN Academy, said this is a first of its kind program of international standards in India in the field of Ophthalmic Dispensing. Observing that the UK team of examiners were very meticulous and looked for fine details even while conducting examinations, she advised the students to imbibe the same qualities with the help of the faculty of ABDO College, UK. She added that the SN Academy has created a platform for creating world class talent right here in India and the students should make use of it.

Speaking next, Shri Pavanakumar of ABDO College pointed out that the statistics in India on spectacle dispensing is very poor and by pursuing this course successfully, a student can go and work in the UK subject to immigration laws. Ms. Miranda Richardson gave a detailed presentation about the course and the ways the exams are conducted.

The program concluded with a very useful and lively session where parents and students interacted with the UK faculty.

The Indian Express

Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust conducts a musical fundraiser

Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust

The mellifluous tunes of the Nadaswaram, India’s pride are so captivating that they are believed to have the mystical quality of enhancing the output of crops in the paddy fields and making cows produce more milk. The Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust organized a rare Nadaswaram concert by brothers Kala Saraswathy, Kalaimamani Kasim and Babu disciples and grandsons of the legendary Dr. Sheikh Chinna Moulana Saheb on August 17, 2014 at the Sri Siva Vishnu Temple Auditorium, Lanham, MD. Shri Kasim and Shri Babu come from a traditional family of musicians with an unbroken and glorious history running to 300 years and are among the front ranking Nadaswaram artists in the world. The virtuoso performers are noted for both raga alapana and kirti rendering in gayaki style especially in Dhikshithar kirtis. The event was well attended by over 250 members. This is the first time that the Trust presented such a concert and the program was well appreciated and enjoyed by the audience. Mr. S. V. Acharya, President gave the welcome address and highlighted the issue of the visually impaired population in the Indian sub continent. Mr. K. G .Venkataraman, Executive Trustee explained the various donation plans and how the public can support this noble cause. The program concluded with a Vote of thanks by Mr. Shankar Iyer, Executive trustee, highlighting the versatility exhibited by the artists. The program succeeded in spreading the message of Sankara Nethralaya’s philosophy and commitment towards total eradication of blindness and the need to support its noble crusade, among the Indian population of the region.