The Elite School of Optometry is the teaching and training arm of Sankara Nethralaya offering basic to advanced courses in optometry in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani. It is rated as among the best optometry schools in the world and also engages in collaborative research and knowledge dissemination with some of the world’s best optometry institutions. In keeping with the Sankara Nethralaya philosophy and spirit of service to society, the institution engages itself in delivering cost free community ophthalmology in the form of high quality, comprehensive eye screenings. While the ESO conducts such free eye screening camps on normal days and important days such as World Sight Day, World glaucoma week, Eye Donation fortnight etc in the neighborhoods of the city, its forte is screening of school children. It conducts regular camps at schools in the State and in AP jointly with the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya. The salient feature of these camps is the distribution of special, unbreakable glasses to the children. The Elite School of Optometry was also in the news recently for developing the first Logmar chart for eye testing in Tamil and having them installed in public places like the Anjaneya temple, Ashok Nagar, Anjaneya temple, Nanganallur and Jeeva Park, Thiyagaraya Nagar to enable the general public check their eye power/sight by themselves. This has been very well received by the public.
The 8th of October 2012 turned out to be a Red Letter Day for the ESO and a watershed in the history of community ophthalmology in the country. In an extremely well planned and perfectly carried out exercise of mammoth proportion the optometrists, optometry students, friends, volunteers and members of the Lions Club numbering 123 grouped themselves into 15 teams and fanned off to 38 corporation schools spread over Royapuram, Washermanpet, Adayar, Taramani, Velacheri and Thiruvanmiyur. A massive 8469 students were screened for all kinds of refractive errors in a high level screening operation that started at the stroke of 8:30am and ended at 4:30 pm. This was followed by distribution of free glasses and referral of more complex cases to the base hospital.
This herculean effort has been recognized by the prestigious ‘Limca Book of Records’ as a national record for the maximum number of eye screenings to be performed in a single day and the ESO has been issued a certificate for the same.