Sankara Nethralaya joined hands with the Bharathi Medical & Research Foundation,Mumbai to conduct an eye screening/surgical camp at Ettayapuram the birthplace of Mahakavi Bharathiar from the 6th to 17th of December 2014, in celebration of the 132nd birth anniversary of and homage to the national poet and revolutionary freedom fighter who strived all his life to dispel the darkness of ignorance and bring in the light of reasoning and knowledge into the people’s minds. The eye surgery camp was conducted through the most advanced “Mobile Eye Surgical Unit” (MESU) the operation theatre on wheels and drew patients from Ettayapuram and the surrounding villages in good numbers in spite of the rainy weather.
The Raja of Ettaypuram most generously extended his support and help to the noble initiative. The camp started with comprehensive eye screening on the 6th of December and extended up to the 17th of December 2014. The 11th of December the poet’s birthday started with the screening of a movie about him and playing of Shrimathi MS.Subbulakshmi Amma’s inspiring songs on him. This was followed by a reverential procession of the ‘Chikku Palagai’ or the book rest used by the great poet by Dr. SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya and Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath to the S.M.AVUDIYAMMAL THIRUMANA MADAPAM the venue of the proceedings. The palagai was honoured with flower petals and the assembled gathering of students from various colleges and ITI worshipped the sacred utility used by the poet, seeking his divine blessings. Chief Guest at the function Dr S.Natarajan, Founder & CEO of Aditya Jyot Hospital, Mumbai gave a spirited speech recalling the greatness of the poet, his message to the nation especially youth and appealed to the gathering to imbibe his great qualities. Speaking on the occasion a visibly moved Dr SS.Badrinath, recalled the evergreen lines of the poet’s immortal song, he likened the students gathered at the occasion to “Nalladhor Veenai” or “a well tuned Veena” which produces mellifluous tunes, underlying that their talents and skills should not be wasted away in a pile of barren dust but channelized in a proper manner. He underlined that Bharathiar’s words were immortal and had the highest relevance even today.
Around 250 members from various NGOs assembled at the venue spoke on the greatness of Bharathiar. They also helped to create awareness on Cataract by highlighting on the need to examine the eyes for possible Cataract and undergo a simple Cataract removal surgery to get back lost vision. They also communicated that a highly advanced and totally cost free Cataract screening/surgical camp through Mobile Eye Surgical Unit (MESU) was being conducted by Sankara Nethralaya the premier eye institution jointly with the Bharathi Medical &Research Foundation, Mumbai at Ettayapuram and exhorted the public to make the best use of it. The Government authorities for their part extended all the necessary help for successful execution of the camp.
Camp details in terms of numbers
1. Total number of patients Screened: 409
2. Total number of patient diagnosed as needing Cataract surgery: 61
3. Total number of patients found unfit for surgery: 13
4. Total number of Cataract surgeries performed: 49