Following an invitation from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam,(TTD ), Sankara Nethralaya (SN ) and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam signed a Memorandum of Agreement on April 25, 2010 for providing ophthalmology services to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam employees, public and pilgrims at Tirupati.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam has set up a separate non-profitable Charitable trust — Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya (SSSN) Trust — to establish the eye care centre at the 2nd floor of the TTD’s Central Hospital in Tirupati on September 21, 2009.
The Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya, which inaugurated its OPD services on September 28, 2009, has so far examined about 3,500 patients.
Sankara Nethralaya Chairman Emeritus Dr. SS Badrinath described the moment as a historic day. The opportunity to serve people at Tirupathi, he said, was recognition of the 3 decades of hardwork of all employees at Sankara Nethralaya.
Mr. IYR Krishna Rao, Executive Officer, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, lauded Sankara Nethralaya’s “impeccable and unquestionable credentials” and said the eye care centre will serve to be a great facility for both pilgrims and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam employees.
Under the recently signed Memorandum of Agreement, the services at the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya, apart from the OPD, will expand to include diagnostic procedures, cataract surgical procedures and optical services.
The expansion — of both services and personnel — will also increase the number of patients being examined at the centre every day. Currently, the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya examines around 20 patients every day. This is expected to rise to about 50. The OT, expected to be completed in the next few months, will enable the centre to perform around 20 cataract surgeries every day.
Nearly 80 % of the patients will be treated free with all expenses borne by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam through SSSN. Sankara Nethralaya, on its part, will provide the ophthalmologists and all para-medical and non-medical manpower for SSSN at actual cost.
The operations of SSSN will be overseen by a management committee of the Trust which will include representatives from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam as well as Sankara Nethralaya.