It was a solemn occasion on the 3rd February 2013 as the members of the Sankara Nethralaya family gathered to pay their homage to Shri C.U Shah one of Sankara Nethralaya’s earliest supporters and the man who was instrumental in its inception. The homage to the departed soul started with an interesting video presentation and commentary by Dr TS. Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya capturing the memorable moments of Shri C.U Shah’s association with the institution he helped in founding and nurtured with love.
Chairman Emeritus Sankara Nethralaya and close friend of Shri CU Shah Dr SS.Badrinath gave a most interesting and emotional account of his association with Shri CU Shah and his role in making his dream and passion a reality. He took the audience back to year 1977 when he chanced to hear from his good friend Dr Mani that an entrepreneur and philanthropist by the name C.U Shah is in the city in connection with a donation he is making to the Andhra Mahila Sabha, Dr Mani had suggested that it would be a good idea for Dr SS.Badrinath to approach this gentleman for his proposed eye care project as he seemed to be inclined towards helping non-profits especially in the field of healthcare and the huge contribution of rupees 10 lakhs that he received from Shri C.U Shah although he expressed his inability to name the facility after him as the name had already been finalized. Dr Badrinath recalled with pride that subsequently the Post graduate training centre was named in his honour as the C.U Shah Ophthalmic Post graduate training centre, he congratulated the students of the institution for having lived up to the expectations of its founder donor and for having spread out to all parts of the country and rendering excellent service. He closed his address on an emotional note that with the demise of Shri CU Shah he had lost a very dear friend and Sankara Nethralaya, the institution he helped in founding has lost a great supporter and well wisher and a request to everyone gathered to pray for the departed soul.
Speaking on the occasion Shri V.Vaidyanathan, Former Chairman and Board Member Sankara Nethralaya described Shri CU Shah as the founding father of Sankara Nethralaya and a good friend of Dr SS.Badrinath. He recalled that as the Treasurer he had approached Shri CU Shah several times for donations and had always received generous support and rich advice from him, he recalled his observation that it was not advisable to depend on any single donor for all of one’s needs. He expressed pride that Shri CU Shah had always looked upon Sankara Nethralaya as a role model and was very happy that his money was being put to best use. Shri Vaidyanathan closed his address with the observation that in the demise of Shri CU Shah the country has lost a donor who had a passion for alleviating the suffering of the poor, Sankara Nethralaya a guide and supporter and Dr SS.Badrinath a truly great friend.
This was followed by an address by a senior representative of the Gujarathi Swetanbar Sthanakwasi, expressing his deep gratitude to Shri CU Shah for his generous and continuous donations which had helped in starting the CU Shah clinic and diagnostic centre, CU Shah Centre for alternative medicine & therapy and the CU Shah dialysis centre, he remarked that the members of their association invoke the name of Shri CU Shah more than they invoke God’s name. Speaking on the occasion Shri AP Irungovel, the man who served as the first manager of the eye bank recalled Shri CU Shah’s support in setting up the same and the role of Shri RC Parikh the manager of the CU Shah Charitable Trust in creating awareness on eye donation and ceaseless efforts in mobilizing cornea for which there was total dependence on Sri Lanka in those days. This was followed by the screening of the video of Shri CU Shah’s address to the Post graduate students during his final visit to Sankara Nethralaya in year 2009, his observations that Sankara Nethralaya is the fairest hospital in the entire world and the pride of South India drew a huge applause from the audience
The condolence meeting came to an end with the attendees paying floral tributes and observing a minute of silence in respect of the departed soul.