In this 74th year of Indian Independence, Sankara Nethralaya took our time-honored Independence celebrations virtual to maintain social distancing norms. There was a limited attendance at the ceremony with Dr. Girish Rao, President – Medical Research Foundation, Dr. T. S. Surendaran, Vice-chairman and Head of the Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology, and essential staff only.
Dr. T. S. Surendaran unfurled the Indian National Flag on the 74th Indian Independence Day.
After unfurling the National flag and singing the National Anthem, Dr. T. S. Surendaran greeted everyone. Looking back to when he joined Sankara Nethralaya 43 years ago, he recollected the dedication and work ethics of our Founder, Dr. S. S. Badrinath, and his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Vasanthi Badrinath. It is their commitment, drive, and belief in a service-oriented life, which has made Sankara Nethralaya into the Temple of the Eye that it is today, Dr. TSS said.
Acknowledging that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected Sankara Nethralaya’s regular patient inflow, he observed the adverse effect it had on the regular routines like prize distributions, which were canceled this year due to the pandemic. He praised everyone who fought at our national borders and encouraged everyone who stood at the front lines of patient care with the ever-present threat of contracting Covid-19 for their heroism.
Our staff member, Mr. Ravi, rendered a heart-felt patriotic song to rousing applause.
Dr. Girish Rao wished everyone a Happy Independence Day and observed that our 74th Independence Day was like never before. He reiterated that the only way to control the virus was social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks, contact tracing, and isolation, “at least until we have a vaccine in our hand or rather, in our arm.” Dr. Rao also encouraged his listeners with the news that over 100 vaccines are in various stages of development – an unprecedented event in the history of medical science that a viable vaccine could be available within the year. He appealed once again for everyone to follow all the region-specific standard protocols to avoid further outbreaks as seen in many regions around the world.
Dr. Girish Rao thanked everyone for making the virtual celebration possible while adhering to social distancing norms within the hospital premises.