The State bank of India (Local head Office) Chennai and the Sankara Nethralaya main campus have been neighbours at College Road for very many years and share a great neighbourly spirit between them. The premier Public sector bank has helped Sankara Nethralaya in acquiring State of the Art equipment, serves as its official banker and treats it as the preferred eye care provider to its employees; the bank’s retired employees also receive cost free treatment from the eye care institution. Hence it was only natural that Sankara Nethralaya approached the SBI seeking support for its expansion projects in the anvil. In a commendable demonstration of concern and solidarity with its cause the senior management of SBI responded swiftly and positively and agreed to fund the entire cost of putting up a floor at the forthcoming A.Sivasailam block on Pycrofts Garden road, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative.
The donation was made by Shri A. Krishna Kumar, Managing Director & Group Executive (National Banking), SBI in the presence of Smt.Varsha Purandare, Chief General Manager, SBI, Chennai Circle, Shri P.Sanjiv Chadha, General Manager, Network-1, Shri S. Kirthivasan, General Manager, Network-2 and other Senior officials and staff members of the SBI at a thanksgiving and felicitation ceremony organized by Sankara Nethralaya on the 6th of December 2013 at the Sri VD.Swami Auditorium..
Delivering the welcome address Dr Rajiv Raman, Senior Vitro-retinal Consultant thanked the SBI for its continued support and highlighted Sankara Nethralaya’s key need areas as the A. Sivaasailam block, the project at Rajarhat, Kolkata, a new building coming up at St.Thomas Mount, Proposed Nano Research institution at the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya campus, setting a Corpus fund for free surgeries and upgrading of Sankara Nethralaya Main campus. Dr. Tarun Sharma, Medical Director, Sankara Nethralaya gave an interesting audio visual presentation tracing the inception, achievements and growth of Sankara Nethralaya, he described the day as a’Thanksiving Day’ and observed that every corporate body should emulate the spirit of giving back to society and commitment demonstrated by the SBI.
Delivering the Presidential address Shri A. Krishna Kumar, the Chief Guest of the evening observed that he considered it as an honour to share the dais with someone as eminent as Dr SS.Badrinath. He reiterated that the SBI was not only India’s largest public sector bank but also an institution committed to the upliftment of the downtrodden and observed that Dr SS.Badrinath and his institution the Sankara Nethralaya are the bank’s best choice to serve the deprived sections. He gave an interesting note of the various CSR initiatives being carried out by the Bank across the country, especially among schools and their impact.
Speaking on the occasion Dr SS.Badrinath recalled the role of his friend Shri Nagarajan of Tokyo in bringing SBI and Sankara Nethralaya close, adding that it is institutions like the SBI which have helped him to realize his dream. He gave an interesting account of the Mobile Surgical Unit and its high utility to the rural areas of the country and the India centric research initiatives being undertaken by the Vision Research Foundation to find solutions to various maladies of the eye. He shared his concern on the wide prevalence of Cataract caused blindness and made a startling revelation that substandard Cataract surgeries were the second largest contributors to blindness, next to Cataract caused blindness. Dr SS.Badrinath had a word of appreciation for the role of the Sir Ratan Tata Foundation in battling corneal blindness and how the impact study conducted by them revealed Sankara Nethralaya’s pioneering role both direct and indirect in battling blindness.
The occasion witnessed Shri Ashok Mehta, Chairman, Jain Housing, an old friend and supporter of Sankara Nethralaya making a donation towards meeting the running cost of the mobile surgical units and Shri Narendra Srisrimal, Group Chairman, Medi Sales India, a huge contribution towards the A. Sivasailam block. The two donors and Shri PB.Sampath, Secretary and Director, TAFE Access representing Srimathi Mallika Srinivasan, Chairperson, TAFE at the function were honoured by Dr S.Bhaskaran, Chairman and Dr TS.Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya.
The momentous felicitation and thanksgiving function came to an end with a warm vote of thanks by Shri S.Alagiri, Senior manager, Department of Fund Raising.