The Xth Mrs. Nagamani Dharmapuri Endowment Lecture

It was time to recall, honour and add value to the contribution of two dedicated doctors to the cause of pediatric ophthalmology and make their effort more meaningful and far reaching. The Xth Nagamani Dharmapuri Endowment Lecture was held at the Sri VD Swami Auditorium on the 24th of January 2013 to fulfill precisely these objectives. Speakers recalled the concern and dedication of world renowned neo- natology expert Dr Vidyasagar Dharmapuri and his wife Dr. Nagamani Dharmapuri, a world renowned pediatric cardiologist in whose name the Endowment was instituted by him to the field of pediatric ophthalmology.

The function started with a melodious invocation by Dr S.Meenakshi, Director, Academics following which Dr Sumitha Agarkar, Deputy Director, Squint and pediatric ophthalmology Department gave an interesting account of the expanding and exciting scope of pediatric ophthalmology and how it came into prominence rather belatedly, she recalled the long association between Dr Vidyasagar Dharmapuri and Dr SS.Badrinath and the role of the Endowment lectures held annually in furthering the cause of pediatric ophthalmology. Speaking on the occasion Dr Sandeep Mark Thirumalai, Consultant, General Ophthalmology traced the genesis of the pediatric ophthalmology department, citing it as the brainchild of Dr SS.Badrinath on whose request Dr T.S Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya single handedly started and nurtured this specialty department until he was joined by a team of specialists in the field. The guest of honour of the day Dr. T. Janardhana Rao, former Honorary. Consul General of India in Melbourne, an old friend of Sankara Nethralaya was introduced by Dr Kavitha Kalaivani, Consultant, Squint and pediatric department; she gave a detailed account of his achievements, high positions held and for having been the voice of India in Australia for more than 3 decades and his valuable contribution to Indo-Australian unity.

Delivering the Guest of Honour address Dr Janardhana Rao emphasized that the huge number of patients being screened and treated everyday at Sankara Nethralaya gives it an unmatched clinical expertise, which it could share with the West for the great benefit of medical science. This was followed by a most interesting Chief guest’s address by Professor Frank Martin, Visiting Ophthalmologist at the Children’s Hospital at West Mead, Sydney, he emphasized that concern, love and care were paramount to the success of pediatric ophthalmology as the doctors were dealing with children, a quality he demonstrated in abundance by sharing the case histories of more than a score patients whom he had been treating since their childhood and continues to be in touch well after they have become parents.

The function ended with a warm Vote of Thanks by Dr Mohan Rajan, Head of the Rajan Eye care Hospitals.

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