In keeping with the current times and trend where ‘dinner diplomacy’ and ‘power luncheons’ seem to be making an impact, the Sankara Nethralaya senior management decided to reach out its message of eliminating blindness and emphasizing the need to support this noble initiative through a novel method of organizing Celebrity/Charity dinners. The dinner meeting would be an ideal get together for the invitees and also give them and their families the pleasure and thrill of interacting with a celebrity. The first of a series of charity dinners to be held on a monthly basis was held at the ‘Hotel Annalakshmi’ at Egmore, on the 31st of August 2013, with popular film star Shri Arvind Swamy as the celebrity guest of honour. The dinner get together was a great success as friends, supporters and well wishers responded warmly and turned up in good numbers. The invitees were thanked for their fine gesture of responding to Sankara Nethralaya’s invite and welcomed warmly by Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya.
Addressing the invitees Dr Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant, Department of Vitreo-Retinal Services gave a detailed account of the pipeline eye care projects at Chennai, namely the A.Sivasailam Block and the Community Hospital proposed to be built at the Appukutty campus at St.Thomas Mount and the ambitious healthcare, research and education facility coming up at Rajarhat, Kolkata and the financial outlay of these projects. The celebrity of the day who is also an old friend and strong supporter of the institution recalled with passion his late father, eminent industrialist Shri VD.Swamy’s long and close association with the institution right from the time of its inception and his memorable experiences during this time. He had a high word of praise for the high dedication levels of Dr SS.Badrinath, founder and Chairman Emeritus Sankara Nethralaya and the institution’s exemplary record in quality and service in eye care. He appealed to the gathering to support Sankara Nethralaya to enhance its reach for the welfare of mankind through its forthcoming projects and gave a good start to the effort by pledging his personal donation for a sum of rupees 2 lakhs. Shri NDJ. Renganath, a strong supporter of Sankara Nethralaya and a member of the board, Medical Research Foundation spoke on the starting of the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya jointly by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam and Sankara Nethralaya and its great service to the poor and indigent living around the area through its community eye care initiatives. Sri KS. Jayaraman, Director, Autotech Industries rose to the occasion with a significant donation pledge and Shri Shishir Mundra son of SWAN volunteer late Srimathi Vimla Mundra made an on the spot donation towards the new projects, in memory and honour of his mother who held Sankara Nethralaya very close to her heart.
The memorable get together came to a close with a warm note of thanks to the participants for their presence and continued support of the institution’s cause by Dr TS.Surendran, Vice-Chairman Sankara Nethralaya.