The Lions Club of Central Madras and Sankara Nethralaya, comrades in arms in the battle against blindness celebrated the memory of Helen Keller, who had over the years become a mascot for the battle against blindness and the memory of Sankara Nethralaya’s own embodiment of service and sacrifice Dr.G.Sitalakshmi, who had captured the spirit of the institution like very few and brought the light and smile back into the lives of thousands, on the 27th of June 2014 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya main campus. Delivering the Chief Guest’s address Dr Shantharam, Vice-Chancellor of the Dr.MGR Medical University observed that he considered it a privilege to be participating in such an August function celebrating the spirit of service and sacrifice, he expressed that it was most alarming that 90% of the world’s 3.4 million visually impaired belong to the developing world. He highlighted the diverse measures taken by the Tamil Nadu government in blindness prevention and lauded the contribution of institutions like Sankara Nethralaya in complementing the same and closed his address with a few simple eye care tips like protecting the eyes from UV rays with dark glasses, refraining from smoking and consuming veggies rich in vitamin A.
Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya gave a highly touching and interesting note of Dr. Sitalakshmi, he recalled her pioneering role in the field of Keratoconus and how she was instrumental in Dr. Giancarlo Falcinelli the father of Modified Osteo-Odonto Keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) treatment, visiting Sankara Nethralaya three times and training its consultants, leading to the institution becoming a major center for the same. He completed his talk with the observation that Dr G.Sitalakshmi was a shining example of passion towards one’s work, service and sacrifice and young PG Fellows should emulate her noble example. Speaking on the occasion Dr T.S. Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya had a high word of praise for the doctors and support staff being honoured for their yeoman service to the underprivileged and the Lions Club for its steadfast commitment to eradicating blindness and support to Sankara Nethralaya and for most enthusiastically organizing the Helen Keller remembrance day and Dr.G. Sitalakshmi ‘Gift of Sight Day’ year after year
Senior Lions Club office bearers recalled the role of Helen Keller in making the members of the Lions Clubs all over the world to become ‘Knights of the Blind,’ many of them recalled their memorable association with Dr.G.Sitalakshmi both as a warm individual and a great doctor. The occasion witnessed the awarding of the I (EYE) care awards, ‘Knight of the blind’ and ‘Dr.G.Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight awards’ to Eye Hospitals, Ophthalmologists and Paramedics who had demonstrated exemplary skill, passion to their profession and sacrifice resulting in restoration of Vision to a large number of people especially in the backward regions of the country. The earnest and ceaseless efforts of Lion Harinarayanan towards eradicating blindness and facilitating a close relationship with Sankara Nethralaya came for special mention by senior Lions office bearers.
We take pleasure in sharing the details of the awards below
1.Recipients of the I (EYE) Care Awards
Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj, Maharashtra
Dr K.V. Reddy Memorial Lions Eye Hospital, Bodham, Nizamabad, Telengana
2. Recipients of the ‘Knight of the blind award’
Dr. Nerudu Krishna, Senior Ophthalmologist, Dr K.V. Reddy Memorial Lions Eye Hospital
Mrs. Dhanashri Prasad Arsang, Ophthalmic Assistant, Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj
3. Recipient Dr. G. Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight Award
Dr. Archana K. Biradar, Lions NAB Eye Hospital, Miraj