In keeping with the centuries old tradition of the country where patriotism and spiritualism blend and complement each other Sankara Nethralaya celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda the 20th century spiritualist and patriot along with the 66th Republic Day of the Nation. The quadrangle between the Mahyco and Ramanatha Iyer blocks was filled to capacity with members of the senior management, consultants, staff members and their families gathered enthusiastically for the occasion. The day’s proceedings started with a moving patriotic song by Ms. Maria a student of the Elite School of Optometry and a ceremonial March Past after which Swamini Pramananda reveriantially known as Ammaji, the Chief Guest of the Day unfurled the tricolor, followed by the rendering of the National anthem by the entire gathering.Shri T.Arokiaswamy, Social Worker from the Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology got the day’s proceedings to a great start and food for thought with an interesting anecdote from the Mahabaratha where the ace archer Arjuna sees only his target while other archers get distracted of their focus by extraneous things , he drew a parallel of how Dr SS.Badrinath set his target like the great Arjuna and pursued it with single minded focus, never losing sight of it for once, he observed that Sankara Nethralaya the institution he started has reached many impressive targets and exhorted the Sankara Nethralaya family members assembled on the auspicious occasion to take an oath to work towards the goals he set for the institution at the time of its inception and pursue the same with his blessings.
Dr Lily Therese, Head of the Department, Microbiology gave an interesting account of the Chief Guest Swamini Pramananda, she traced the life of the intensely religious little girl, the bright young lady who went on to do her Masters in Microbiology at the New York University and how her childhood sentiments came back to visit her with renewed vigour making her give up everything to take a life of an ascetic, revive the Vedic heritage, serve and impart value based education through the Purna Vidhya and other institutions founded by her. Dr Lily Therese ended her introduction with a note that it was most auspicious and a great blessing for the institution to observe a function graced by Ammaji as the very first function of the year.
What followed was a most inspiring talk by the Chief Guest on the sacrifices made by the founding fathers of the nation for the cause of this sacred land and soil, she emphasized that they got a great sense of fulfillment in being ‘Givers’ underlining that real joy lies in being givers and not consumers and wondered if the Nation would have been freed if they had chosen to be consumers instead of givers. Making a most touching account of the sacrifices of the fearless patriots the freedom fighters and the pain and torture they underwent for their conviction and beliefs, she asked the audience to introspect if they have contributed anything to the nation that they won independence for. Ammaji pointed out that Sankara Nethralaya was as a true ‘Giver’ and exhorted everyone assembled to make a strong resolve to give more than they receive, start leading from the front and not look for leaders to lead them. The occasion witnessed Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya dedicating the plaque encapsulating the qualities of Strength, Vision, Patience, Initiative and Courage presented to him by the Ramakrishna Mission to the employees of the institution by presenting it symbolically to Srimathi Usha, Executive at the Stores Department being recognized for completing 30 years of service. Speaking on the occasion Srimathi Revathi from the Nursing Department described Dr SS.Badrinath as a true patriot who flew only by AIR INDIA and how freedom fighters and army personnel are provided cost free eye care at Sankara Nethralaya the institution he founded. She described the Sankara Nethralaya family as a true example of upholding familial values and the spirit of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Patriotic songs by Shri Anand Prasad and Ms Sushmitha and her group from the Elite School of Optometry and the narration of Swami Vivekananda’s life story by master Vishal added colour to the day’s proceedings
It was a day of jubilation for the employees and their children as they received their service completion and recognition awards for service and academic excellence from the Chief Guest and members of the Senior Management and Consultants, The momentous event came to an end with a warm vote of thanks by Ms. Sudha Mohan, Senior Manager, HRD.