The Dr E.Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session the annual session on vision science and optometry conducted by the Elite School of Optometry entered its 13th session in March 2014. This year the session had two days of events with the Contact lens pre-conference symposium on the 15th March and the 13th Dr. E. V. Memorial Scientific session on the 16th March. The session is named after Dr E.Vaithilingam, fondly remembered as the “Father of Modern Optometry in India”, who served the institution with distinction between 1991- 2001. The event is conducted annually with the objectives of felicitating a dynamic exchange of the latest research findings, clinical experiences and learning of experienced optometry professionals to students pursuing optometry. This year’s session had 15 colleges from all over the country participating in it.
The opening day of the symposium started with an enlightening session on “International year of light” by Professor Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, a close associate of ESO and SN and one of the masterminds behind the genesis of ESO. He emphasized about United Nation’s proclaim on 2015 to be observed as “International Year of Light and Light based Technologies” and motivated the participants to submit their creative ideas and projects related to light. He gave various examples from the International year of Astronomy celebrations during 2013 on how simple ideas can bring in greater understanding of science. This was followed by in-depth talks and interactive exchanges related to contact lens and its usage ranging from changes in ocular surface affected by changes in environment, key role of cleaning in lens care, issues of ocular flora, and allergies among lens users and the transition to disposable lens. The event had participation from basic and clinical sciences, the much needed integration needed at the moment for best clinical practice. The in-depth presentations on these topics made by experienced professionals from the respective fields was ably consolidated by Dr. Rajeswari after which Ms. Vijayalakshmi, Manager – Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya presented an interesting curtain raiser to the forthcoming sessions on ‘Clinician to Researcher’, the theme of 13th Dr. E.V Memorial scientific session. This was followed by highly interesting and informative case discussions on Low Vision Clinic, Vision therapy, Binocular Vision, Contact lens, and Imaging. While 24 case reports were presented, the award for the best 5 case reports went to Mr. Nihar Davey, Ms. Archayeetha, Ms. Srividya, Ms. Greeshma and Ms. Rinu Thomas all from ESO. Ms. Anuradha, Lecturer, ESO made a crisp and concise consolidation of the cases discussed after which Dr.L.Vijaya, Director, Glaucoma Services presented an inspiring note on being responsible clinicians and also gave away the awards to the winners.
On the 16th March, the proceedings got off to an auspicious start with an invocation by students of the Elite School of Optometry. Dr. S.Meenakshi, Director, Academics, Sankara Nethralaya extended a warm welcome to the dignitaries and participants after which Dr.Rajeswari, head of the Contact Lens department and also a dear student of Dr. EV shared her soulful experiences on mentoring and molding by Dr. E. Vaithilingam. It was evident from the significant growth and contributions of his students, the role that Dr. EV played in their lives as a friend, philosopher and Guide.
As a hallmark of the event, the ever inspiring clinician researcher and the most suitable person for this year’s theme, Dr. J. Biswas carried away the audience with his enthralling insightful talk on “Peer reviewed publications – Personal experience”. He was a true inspiration to the young minds that was evident from the standing ovation he received at the end of his lecture. This year’s session witnessed the presentation of 64 scientific abstracts in various specialties of which 14 were selected for rapid fire round; the best presentation in the student category was bagged by Ms Banumathi of ESO while the best paper in the regular award went to Ms. Shwetha of Manipal University. The session also witnessed the presentation of 9 ESO-Essilor travel awards bagged by Undergraduate optometry students from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Shillong.
This year also had the commemoration of “Shri. P. V. Parameswara Iyer – Smt Kamala Bai” endowment awards presented by our beloved chief Dr. S.S. Badrinath to Ms. Anuradha, Ms. Rashima and Ms. Jameel Rizwana for their doctoral research and advanced training. This endowment was made possible through a generous donation by Dr. P.P. Santanam, the first principal of Elite School of Optometry who has been an integral part of ESO’s growth and celebrations and this endowment is named after the noble parents of Dr. P.P.Santanam. Dr. Krishna Kumar, Principal, ESO made a presentation on ESO’s upcoming international conference in 2015 (EIVOC) and reminded the participants to year mark their calendars for the event to be held between 13th and 16th August, 2015. The session concluded with vote of thanks by Mr. Viswanathan, HOD – Optometry and Optical services.