We are all familiar with the dictum ‘Do your best and God will take care of the rest” good acts after all seldom go unnoticed. It was such devoted, sincere and selfless efforts by the members of Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust, USA towards raising funds to light up lives in their home country and the sterling work in ophthalmic care by Sankara Nethralaya in terms of cost free, high quality care delivered in the remote rural areas that drew the attention of “Wonder Work”, the global relief organization to Sankara Nethralaya. The relief provider driven by the byline ‘Wonder surgeries for Children’ was particularly impressed by the exclusive status that pediatric surgery received at Sankara Nethralaya and the significant work done in the field of child eye care, from simple squint correction to research and treatment in retinoblastoma, which resulted in a generous donation to Sankara Nethralaya through the good offices of the SN OM Trust USA.
A grateful Sankara Nethralaya family extended a warm welcome to Ms Delois Greenwood, Senior Advisor, Global Programs, Wonder Work on a visit to its centers to gain a firsthand knowledge and feel of the institution, so thoughtfully supported by her organization. After a tour of the Jaslok Community Ophthalmic Center (JCOC), Jagadguru Kanchi Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Nethra Nilayam (JKCN), Ms. Delois was taken around the various blocks of Sankara Nethralaya Main including the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institution for Research in vision and ophthalmology before joining senior members of the Sankara Nethralaya family including Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Dr Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Laboratory Services and Ms Akila Ganesan, Senior General Manager for an informal chat at the board room. The meeting started with a briefing on the community services being carried out by Sankara Nethralaya especially in the area of child eye care in terms of creating awareness and educating school teachers by Ms Akila Ganesan. Ms Delois gave an interesting brief on the inception of Wonder Work in year 1987 and its growth, its highly professional and enterprising CEO and Co-founder Mr. Brian Mullaney who leveraged his considerable skills in PR and advertising skills for a non-profit and noble cause, she explained that Wonder Work was started primarily to provide surgical relief and care to children as most charities focused on programmes like polio eradication and other ailments and the area of child surgery remained largely unserved. Ms Delois highlighted that Wonder Work was funding surgeries for cataract, club foot, treatment of burns and hydrocephalitis and USD – a condition where a hole is formed in the heart. Showering praise on Sankara Nethralaya as a “Place of Hope” she observed that Wonder Work chose to partner with Sankara Nethralaya on account of its
• Being extremely well qualified to provide service
• Vast outreach capability
• Follow up care
• Education and training initiatives
Ms Delois was thoroughly briefed on the work done by Sankara Nethralaya in the area of retinopathy of prematurity, research in the early detection of retinoblastoma, Elsemia, research towards immunization against cataract, free outdoor eye camps, on the spot spectacle dispensing, assistance received from Orbis and Mahima Foundation for pediatric ophthalmology, Education and training of African Doctors, eye care campaigns in Botswana, Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya, by Dr. SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr. S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. Sheila John, Dr. Krishna Kumar and Dr. Vikas Khaitan.
The significant all round advancements made by Sankara Nethralaya and the audio visual presentation of the twin surgical bus campaign and other eye care camps made a deep impression on Ms Delois Greenwood. She expressed that the purpose of her visit was to introduce her organization, learn more about Sankara Nethralaya and explore new areas of support and assistance that Wonder Work could extend in the years to come and she was highly satisfied with the visit and interactions at different levels.