Dr. SS Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, was awarded an honorary degree — the Doctor of Science (D. Sc.) — from the University of Missouri, US, on December 18, 2010 at the University’s Honors Ceremony. The award is one of the highest academic tributes that the University of Missouri awards to recognize the achievements of individuals in their roles as citizens and leaders.
Dr. Badrinath is the first Indian to receive the honour which was also bestowed upon Mark Twain in 1902.
Describing the award as “a prestigious honour conferred not just on me but also on the institutions I represent,” Dr. Badrinath spoke on the importance of empowering individuals through education.Likening Manava Seva (service to mankind) to Maheswara Seva (service to God), Dr. Badrinath described Vidhya Dhana (giving knowledge as alms), as one of the most supreme forms of charity. “There couldn’t be a nobler act than that of offering education and making knowledge available continuously and thereby illuminating the lives around us.”
“I had my education and training in Ophthalmology in the United States. I strongly uphold the view that the Residency training I had, in Ophthalmology, was the best in the world. It made an individual like me, become self confident, armed with practical knowledge. American education and training prepares and assures deliverance of quality care. It makes you a complete human being rather than just a doctor with a post graduate qualification.
“It has been our endeavour that Sankara Nethralaya acts as a training centre so that more people from the rest of India can come here and learn the difficult procedures carried out at the hospital and duplicate the Nethralaya experience in the rest India,” he said.
Education, he asserted, “holds promise not only to an individual’s future but also to a nation’s future.” Amongst those present at the Honors Ceremony were Chancellor Bradley Deaton; the Dean, Dr. Robert Churchill; Vice provost, Dr. Handy Williamson; Professor of Physics, Dr. Robert White; Dr. Kattesh Katti, Dr. Kannan Raghuraman, Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath and Dr. K Vasan, Sankara Nethralaya MD.
The award comes close on the heels of the hospital winning the Swastha Bharat Samman award for community ophthalmology, the ICICI Lombard & CNBC TV 18 Health care award 2010 for Best Ophthalmic Hospital, being recognized as the ‘Best Multi-Speciality Hospital (Ophthalmology)’ by The Week/HANSA research survey 2010 and becoming the first Indian ophthalmic institution to exhibit its Electronic Medical Records application at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Conference at Chicago in October 2010.
University of Missouri honours Badrinath
The Hindu, January 01, 2011