Divine intervention by a seemingly invisible benign ‘Divine Hand’ at work has been the hallmark of many of Sankara Nethralaya’s achievements, right from its very inception to its growth to its present status, there have been many instance of destiny and fortune favouring the institution in the most incredible ways, this ‘Divine Will’ was evident in the fact that the Sage and Seer, who sowed the seeds for its inception with his emphatic appeal to an assembly of Doctors to serve their countrymen and blessed that Sankara Nethralaya will shine and serve humanity as long as the Sun and Stars shine in the sky was presiding over its ‘Thanksgiving day’ being observed by the institution in its 37th year of service on the 18th of April 2015 at its main campus in Chennai.
The ‘Thanksgiving’ function began at 3:00pm sharp with the mellifluous voice of Bombay sisters enthralling the audience at the packed to capacity Sri V.D.Swami Auditorium. A highly moved Dr. SS.Badrinath, Founder and Chairman Emeritus started the proceedings in an auspicious manner by paying his humble pranams at the feet of the Kanchi Pontiffs, His Holiness Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal and His Holiness Shri Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal who had most benignly accepted to grace the function and bless the institution and employees. He recalled the inspiring words of the Seer made 37 years ago which laid the foundation for Sankara Nethralaya and how it continued to inspire him to this day. He extended a warm welcome to the gathering and explained that the institution in general and he in particular had been ever grateful to the support and encouragement received from society and since it was humanly not possible to thank the thousands of people who had helped the institution along its way, the institution was dedicating the day as a symbolic ‘Thanksgiving Day’ to express its profuse gratitude to all those who made it happen from within and outside the institution. He declared with pride that Sankara Nethralaya has been adjudged as the ‘Numero Uno’ in the field of ophthalmic care in the country and thanked his team of colleagues for their dedication and hard work which kept the institution ahead and on top.
Delivering the Anugraha Bhashanam His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal recalled the role of noble souls like Shri Vaidhya Subramania Iyer and Shri V.D.Swami in making Dr SS.Badrinath’s dream a reality, he remarked in lighter vein that if he had not restrained the young Badrinath from going back to the USA, he may have been an affluent doctor over there, sending his contributions to the institution from the USA. The seer observed poignantly that while Sankara Nethralaya was observing the day as a day of Thanksgiving to its well wishers, the institution deserved a big thanks from society for its great work done with dedication and often cost free.
Delivering his Anugraha Bhashnam His Holiness Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamigal traced the noble tradition of delivering cost free eye care to the needy as being thousands of years old and evidence of the same being engraved in the stone inscriptions of ancient temples, he underlined that the great rishis had emphasized on the qualities of sacrifice and service to mankind being practiced by Sankara Nethralaya with fervor. The Seer underlined that vision was the most critical of all the human faculties and congratulated Sankara Nethralaya for the excellent work being done in the field of eye care, eye research and education in ophthalmology. He declared with pride that devotees of the mutt from all over the country were making frequent requests to start a Sankara Nethralaya in their region with promises of taking care of the cost of the infrastructure, a testimony to the quality of work being done by the institution. The Swamigal enlightened the audience by observing that while it is natural for everyone to strive for a better ‘Standard of life’ such a pursuit should not be restricted to a good job, house and material comforts but a greater involvement in charity, compassion and service to fellow human beings, he emphasized that the more that one contributed to charity for noble causes like healthcare and education the more they and their progeny will be blessed.
The day witnessed the honouring and rewarding of Sankara Nethralaya associates for their great support to the institution and employees who had discharged their duties in an exemplary manner, by the Acharyas.