Tamil New Year’s Day falling on 14th April 2013 marked the culmination of a Special Economic Zone’s dream to bring a human touch to its endeavour in bringing about a world class industrial facility and hub and marked yet another mile stone in the journey of a service oriented eye care institution towards providing quality eye care across boundaries. The day marked Sri City Special Economic Zone and Sankara Nethralaya’s dream of providing quality ophthalmic care to the employees of the various units in the zone and cost free care to the poor and needy villagers of the region.
The chanting of Vedas and mantras at the first floor of Sri City’s Central hospital marked the auspicious beginning to the inaugural function of the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya to function from this venue, this was followed by the ceremonial ribbon cutting by Dr.MYS.Prasad, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in the presence of the distinguished invitees, donors/supporters, well wishers, senior management and staff members of both organizations, vendors/contractors to the project and local villagers who would be benefiting out of the facility. After a quick honouring of the chief guest, guest of honour, the consultant who would be posted at the new facility and the internal and external teams involved in the project, the action moved to the Sri City business center.
The proceedings at the filled to capacity business center started with a warm welcome address by Srimati Akila Ganesan, Senior General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya and an invocation song to Gajanan the Lord of auspicious beginnings by Ms Sumana Vishnu Vahan, wife of Dr Vishnu Vahan, Consultant, Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya.
Speaking on the occasssion Shri Ravi Sanna Reddy, MD, Sri City Special Economic Zone remarked that it was both the toughest and happiest day in his life as the 45 day challenge was completed with clockwork precision, he expressed his profuse thanks to Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya for consenting to his request for a joint eye care initiative and attributed its inception to his blessings. Shri Reddy closed his address with a note of thanks to the Chief Guest, Guest of honour Professor Mani Sundaram, the first Principal of the REC, Trichy and former Vice-Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, Shri Chandrasekhar formerly of L&T who brought about the alliance between the two organizations and Dr S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya.
Dr SS.Badrinath started his address on a vibrant note that if the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya embodied Balaji service the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya would embody Sriharikota service, he complimented the teams involved for their ‘4 week magic’ denoting the short frame of time in which the project was completed. He added in lighter vein that the new facility would propel itself to glorious heights in record speed as it was inaugurated by the head of India’s premier rocket launch center. Dr Badrinath highlighted that the new facility would serve the staff members of industrial units in the zone, serve as a referral hospital for camp patients and as a cost free eye care center for the poor and needy villagers in the region. Dr SS.Badrinath declared that Nanobiotechnology and stem cell therapy would bring about sweeping changes in the clinical processes and treatment and Sankara Nethralaya as a pioneer in these fields would enter into a larger area beyond ophthalmology in the years to come.
Shri Chandrasekhar the man who acted as the bridge between the two institutions congratulated the two pioneers for coming together and making it happen in a short time. He made a surprise announcement that Dr Sathya Atluri, the world famous Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer from Phoenix, USA and recipient of the Padma Bhushan for 2013 has made a large contribution to the new facility and read out his greeting message for the inaugural function to the thunderous applause of the gathering. Dr Krishna Kumar, Principal Elite School of Optometry gave an interesting note on the pioneering role of Dr SS.Badrinath and Professor PP.Santanam in the development of occupational optometry, finding a place of importance for this field and its relevance in overall ophthalmic care. He added that as an eye care facility located in an industrial zone the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya would enable better vision to the employees of the diverse units to enable vision and better productivity through occupational optometry.
Delivering the Chief Guest’s address Dr .MYS Prasad, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre thanked the organizers for the honour, he remarked that it was age old wisdom that one should do a noble deed on New year’s day and there could not be anything more noble than starting a service oriented health care facility. He expressed his happiness and satisfaction that just like the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sri Harikota the Sri City Special Economic Zone also did not displace or disturb local villagers but made them an inclusive part of its growth. He expressed that as one grew old one had the tendency to look for torch bearers to carry forth one’s work and Sri Sanna Reddy was a great hope in this direction. The guest of honour Professor Manisundaram, the first Principal of the Regional Engineering College, Trichy and Vice-Chancellor of the Bharathidasan University had a high word of praise for his student Sri Ravi Sanna Reddy and added that the government should outsource its projects to dynamic people like him to ensure timely completion.
The high power function came to an end with acknowledgements for their contribution towards timely completion of the project and kick off to the Sankara Nethralaya and Sri City teams and vendors by Sri Suresh Kumar, Manager Projects, Sankara Nethralaya and a warm vote of thanks by Dr Eesh Nigam, Associate Consultant, who would be in-charge of the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya.