Every once a while the ever so quiet , lobby, corridors and the lifts of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Research building come live to the laughter, chatter and bonhomie of jubilant students and their parents, a reflection of Sankara Nethralaya’s involvement in the field of education and its key initiative ‘knowledge dissemination’.
The 24th graduation ceremony of the Elite School of Optometry (ESO) and the Vidyasagar Institute of Bio-Medical Sciences (VIBS), on the 5th of October 2012 was a typical example of this. The day’s proceedings started on a colourful note at the Sri V.D.Swami Auditorium with the Chief Guest Lion P.Haridas, Senior Advocate and Secretary, D.G Vaishnav College, Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.TS. Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr HN.Madhavan, President, Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Clinical Services, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr Lily Therese, Professor and HOD of Microbiology, L & T Microbiology Research Centre, Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr S.Meenakshi, Director, Academics, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr K.Krishna Kumar, Principal, ESO, Sankara Nethralaya and Dr Bharathi, BITS coordinator going on a procession in their ceremonial gowns and convocation caps and taking their place on the dais.
Dr S.Meenakshi extended a hearty welcome to the Chief Guest, the proud parents, esteemed faculty members of the BITS,VIBS and ESO, individuals and representatives of companies who have initiated the awards and last but not the least the stars of the day the graduating students. The Chief Guest was introduced by Dr TS.Surendran with a highlight on his legal acumen, significant contributions to social and educational causes, his critical role in faculty exchange between the MOP Vaishnav College and the VIBS and ESO, familiarizing students of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy to computers and the role of Mrs. Haridas in the founding of SWAN. The Chief Guest was honoured with a memento by Dr TS.Surendran soon after the introduction
The Chief Guest began his address on an emotional note that he felt very much like a member of the Sankara Nethralaya family; he cited the Paramacharya’s grace and Dr SS.Badrinath’s compassion as the reason for his presence on the momentous occasion. Quoting from a more than 500 year old Sanskrit couplet he congratulated every member of the Sankara Nethralaya family for being a part of a great movement of compassion. Shri Haridas recalled the small role he was fortunate to play in the formation of the Elite School of Optometry and the history of the institution with a reference to the visit of the legendary Dr JM.Enoch and the thoughtful benevolence of the Appukuttys in making available the land for the institution. The Chief Guest made a wonderful analogy between the graduating students and a sapling that would soon bear fruit and provide shade and shelter to the needy to drive home his point.
Dr R.Krishna Kumar, Principal, ESO spoke on the developments at ESO including the institution of new awards, , awards for ‘Best Optometric research’ and the good work being done by Shri Jothi Balaji, Manager E-Learning including the screening of jail inmates, he also announced the winners of the institutional awards and establishment of the Professor S.Venkateswaran Endowment Fund.
The award distribution was followed by an interesting report on VIBS, ESO, contributions by Prof S.Ramaswami, Dr L.Vijaya, the ESO’s role in creating awareness on eye donation, integrated model of teaching, video conferencing, eye camps for schools, tribal children and orphanages by Dr HN.Madhavan, President, VRF.
The graduation ceremony came to an end with a Vote of thanks by Ms Anuradha, Lecturer, Vision Screening Coordinator, Elite School of Optometry, congratulating the new graduates, parents and the Alma Mater.