The Ambassador group of Hotels, had as part of their ‘Madras Week’ celebrations selected seven leading personalities belonging to diverse fields through an independent jury consisting of eminent figures to be conferred with the title ‘Doyens of Madras’ for their significant contribution to their field of activity, their positive impact on the city and service to society through their chosen vocation and for doing their city proud. The awards were given away by the senior management members of the hotel at a function held on 30th August 2013 observed as ‘Madras Day’. The recipients spoke in length on the rich heritage of the city, its people, its pride of place and recalled their long and fond association with it.
Dr SS.Badrinath was honoured as a ‘Doyen of Madras’ for his role in rendering yeoman service to society, making quality eye care available to the rich and the poor, founding an exclusive eye care institution and nurturing it to world class standards, an institution which had over the years become a pride of the city. Delivering his acknowledgement and thanks note he remarked that he was born, brought up and educated in this great city and indeed most proud to belong to it and being conferred with the title ‘Doyen of Madras’. He recalled Sankara Nethralaya’s old association with the Ambassador Pallava, the excellent arrangements and hospitality by the hotel that he had experienced during official functions held there. Thanking the selection committee and the management of Ambassador Pallava for their gesture of conferring him with the title of ‘Doyen’, Dr SS.Badrinath made use of the opportunity to speak on the subject most close to his heart and had become the very purpose of his life, the need to create awareness on blindness, educating the people on its prevention and cure and to muster support for the battle against blindness.
Starting on a positive note he expressed that each and everyone assembled at the venue was a friend of Sankara Nethralaya and an Ambassador of its cause and they should resolve to do something for its cause of spreading awareness on prevention of blindness and its service to the indigent vision impaired. He explained that Cataract which was the most common cause of blindness, especially among the economically weaker sections was an easily reversible form of visual debility; he listed the causes for blindness as simple refractive error which could be treated by wearing a pair of glasses to diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinoblastoma and how these could be prevented and treated. Dr SS.Badrinath briefed the audience on the community eye care initiatives being undertaken by Sankara Nethralaya, by way of the mobile glass dispensing unit, satellite aided tele-ophthalmology vans and the most advanced, first of its kind mobile surgical bus developed jointly with the IIT-Madras and the ambitious plans that Sankara Nethralaya had in the area of eye care especially to the underprivileged, he closed his thanks note with an emphatic appeal to the gathering to do something for their 10 million visually impaired countrymen.