Ophthalmologists and social workers, who have worked towards treating and restoring vision to the under privileged people, were honoured at a function to mark the Helen Keller Remembrance Day organised by the Lions Club of Central Madras at Sankara Nethralaya on June 1, 2009.
Lion. K. Jayaraman, past president, briefed the audience about the significance of the day — Helen Keller, the first deaf & blind person to have received a Bachelors Degree, was an American author and activist. She died on June 1, 1968.
The Lions Club of Central Madras has been observing this day for 10 years now.
Lion. S.M. Miskeen, founder chairman, Lions Eye Hospital, Tiruvarur and Chief Guest at the function was presented with the I(eye) care award. Mr. Miskeen emphasized on the need to encourage people to seek treatment for their medical condition.
Lion. Dr. K.S. Lakshmi, District Governor, 324A1 ,the guest of honour spoke about the Lions involvement in the sight first projects throughout the world and congratulated the recipients of awards. She also congratulated the Lions club of Central Madras for their continuous focus on sight first projects.
Dr. Rekha Gyanchand, medical director of eye bank and corneal consultant of the Bangalore West Lions Hospital, was presented with the Dr. G. Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight Award for her services.
The award, Dr. Rekha said, would motivate her to continue her services towards the poor and underprivileged.
The I(eye) care award was presented to the Chennai Glaucoma study team of Sankara Nethralaya. Dr. L. Vijaya received the award.
The Knight of the Blind award was presented to Dr. Ronnie George, Mr. Madan Raj and Dr. Veena Baskaran and S. Ve. Ramesh by Lion. Dr. K.S. Lakshmi and Lion. T. Bakthavathsalam.
The Knight of the Blind award was also presented to Dr. S. Hariharan and S. Premanand of the Lions eye hospital, Tiruvarur by Chairman Dr. Lingam Gopal and Vice-Chairman Dr. T.S. Surendran respectively.
The Lions club of Central Madras donated Rs. 1,60,000 towards an endowment for feeding patients at the community wing (JCOC) for three days in a year to begin with. The amount will be increased as and when the club receives more.
While Lion S. Raghavan and Sri. N. Swaminathan contributed Rs. 1,10,000, the club donated Rs. 50,000.
Chairman-Emeritus Dr. S.S. Badrinath and Vice-Chairman T.S. Surendran spoke about the Lions Clubs’ association with Sankara Nethralaya.
Dr. Badrinath also honoured the President of Lions Club of Madras, P.K. Chandrasekaran, Lion G.V. Raman, past dist. Governor, the Chairman of Sight First, Lion. S.N. Hari Narayanan, Lion Andal Rajaram, secretary & Lion Rajendran, treasurer of the club and members involved in the project.
Lion. T. Bakthavathsalam, Vice dist. Governor offered his felicitations to all the awardees and also congratulated Lion. Hari Narayanan and Lion G.V. Raman for receiving the prestigious “friend of humanity” award from the Lions Clubs International.
The past presidents and members of the Lions club of Central Madras recognized the services of the various departments and presented mementos, which were received by the following representatives:
Sri. Vijayakumar.P. (multimedia)
Sri. Murugan & Chandrakumar of the community wing (JCOC)
Sri. Chandrasekaran (transport)
Augustin & Ms. Amudavalli of the Chennai glaucoma study team
Sri. Visvanathan & Ms. Kotteswari of community optometry (JCOC)
Sister Mahalakshmi and Sister Bhavani of the community ward (JCOC)
Mr. Ramaiya and Ms. Thilagavathi, of the community OT (JCOC)
The paramedical staff of Sankara Nethralaya and
Ms. Devi and Ms. Usha Rani of the Lions eye hospital, Tiruvarur.
SWAN (Sanakra Nethralaya Women Auxiliary) volunteers Mr. Chellappa and Mr. Narayanaswami were also honoured.
Lion .K. Rangarajan, past president, proposed the formal vote of thanks.