Sankara Nethralaya (SN) is a non-profit charity organization providing ophthalmic(eye) care to millions of patients throughout India for the last four decades. To support the Indian Mission of Sankara Nethralaya, Sankara Nethralaya USA was established back in 1988. The main goal of the Trust creation is to have the NRIs supporting and contributing to this Nobel cause. Sankara Nethralaya USA is one of the trusted and well-respected charity organizations in USA. The Trust also received Charity Navigator’s highest rating of “Four Stars” for maintaining financial accountability and fiscal transparency for funds donated by donors and how they are utilized towards the stated cause.
Sankara Nethralaya has recently received a whopping Rs. 1.11 crores ($150,000) donation from Dr. Govinda Visvesvara in memory of his parents. His generous donation will help to care for 2300 deserving blind patients in India. Dr. Govinda Visvesvara, is a great scholar, philanthropist, and excellent human being.
Dr. Govinda Visvesvara was born in Bangalore to Shri Govinda Sharma and Smt. Rajamma. He hails from a very well-respected traditional south Indian family. His parents were blessed with 11 children (5boys, six girls), 18 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 8 great, great-grandchildren.
His mother, Smt. Rajamma was the youngest child in the family born in 1909 in Bangalore city, erstwhile Mysore state. Smt. Rajamma was a kind-hearted, friendly, a devoted wife to Shri Govind Sharma, and the family was the center of her world. She was highly pious and always reciting slokas in Sanskrit, Kannada, and Telugu. Smt. Rajamma was kind, giving, and appreciated all people. She passed away peacefully at the age of 91.
His father, Sri Govinda Sharma, was born in 1900 in Akkihebbal, erstwhile Mysore state. He graduated with a Bachelor of Law from Maharaja’s College, University of Mysore. Subsequently, joined the Judiciary system of the then Mysore State and served in various capacities. He retired as District and Sessions Judge of Bangalore District. He was a student of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (Former President of India) at Maharaja’s college. He was a great philosopher and studied in depth both Indian and Western Philosophies. Often, he participated in discussions with noted scholars on questions of comparative philosophy. He was known for high standards and quick wit. He had an exceptional ability to engage effectively with children and others from all walks of life. He was a devoted husband and father. He passed away peacefully in 1985.
Dr. Govinda Visvesvara (Vish) earned a Master’s Degree in Science from the University of Nagpur and started his career as a Zoology lecturer in Dibrugarh City in Assam. He later joined as Research Assistant at Central Public Health Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur, India. In 1963 he joined the Defense Research Laboratories in Gwalior, India, as a Junior Scientific Officer. In 1967, he competed nationally and received a Fulbright award and a U.S Government Scholarship. He chose to work on his Ph.D. with William Balamuth at the University of California, Berkeley. While a graduate student at Berkeley, he also served as a teaching assistant and teaching associate. There he also met and married Marika, she passed away in 2001.
After obtaining a Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Vish Joined the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA as a Postdoctoral fellow 1972. His laboratory participated in the investigation of outbreaks of several different “unknown” diseases. He discovered a new amoeba that causes meningoencephalitis in humans and other animals and paid tribute to his former mentor by designating the name of a new genus and species of amoeba, Balamuthia mandrill Aris. His work has provided novel insights into the medical relevance of protists in human disease and had a big impact on public health. At CDC he mentored doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and guests who came from all corners of the globe. He has published over 350 articles, book chapters. He has won several awards.
Some of the significant awards are:
- Awarded Joseph E. McDade Citation for Lifetime Scientific Achievement: July 2012
- Awarded William C. Watson, Jr. Medal of Excellence for outstanding public health service and leadership in understanding the biology, diagnostics, and public health impact of free-living amebae and other protozoan pathogens 2011
- Golden Pen Award” for the PAM article Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis in Florida: A case report and epidemiological review of Florida cases Fl J Environ Hlth 2011; 207:15-21. from the Florida Environmental Health Associations -2011
- Awarded CDC’s Excellence for research on Acanthamoeba keratitis outbreak, 2008
- Cited as “a leader in free-living amoeba biology” and a new species of ameba, Monomyelocytes Visvesvara was created – 2008
Both Sankara Nethralaya USA and the Sankara Nethralaya India teams, thanked Dr. Govinda Visvesvara for his generous donation and share the following appreciations.
Dr. Girish Rao, President of Sankara Nethralaya: “Dear Mr. Visvesvara ji, Greetings from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. On behalf of the staff of Sankara Nethralaya and Board of Management of Medical Research Foundation I wish to convey our sincere gratitude for your benevolence in loving memory of your parents. Your donation will help us provide free treatment for countless indigent patients.”
Dr. T S Surendran, Vice Chairman & Director, Sankara Nethralaya: Sankara Nethralaya family and on behalf of patients, thank Dr Govinda Visvesvara from the bottom of our hearts a BIG THANK YOU for the munificent contribution coming forward to sponsor one of the floors of the temple for the eyes Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya USA Executive Committee & Board of Trustees appreciation:
S.V. Acharya, President Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya USA: Expressed gratitude to Dr. Govinda Visvesvara on behalf of our Trust in US for the generous donation of $150,000 towards naming one floor at Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, India. He also indicated that while smaller donations help us in providing free ophthalmic services to indigent patients, major donations like the one from Dr. Visvesvara help us in enhancing the infra structure and in the long-term growth of the institution.
Bala Reddy Indurti, President, Sankara Nethralaya USA: “Dear Sri Govinda Visvesvara garu, I am truly honored to be the receiver of your generosity $150,000 (one hundred fifty thousand US dollars) on behalf of Sankara Nethralaya to support 2300 indigent blind patients in India. “The highest of distinction is service to others” – your magnanimity & selflessness is unparalleled, and it would bring hope and ray of light into many unfortunate lives. Thank you heart fully, and I am sure your parents would be delighted watching from above. Glad to know you during my tenure as Sankara Nethralaya USA president.”
Moorthy Rekapalli, Vice President: “Dr. Visvesvara, Namaste . What a great way to pay tribute to your parents!! Your generous contribution to Sankara Nethralaya is so much appreciated by all of us and it can’t be expressed in words. Also, these types of generous acts boost the morale of all the volunteers, who are working for this noble cause of restoring vision to indigent patients. May God bless you and your family for your selfless and generous acts.”
Srinivas Ganagoni, Secretary: I’d like to thank Visvesvara ji for your generosity to support Sankara Nethralaya to provide eye care services to the people who are in need. Appreciate it very much.
Banu Ramakrishnan, Treasurer: Banu: Kindly Thank Dr. Govindarajan Visvesvara Garu for his kindness and his generosity. This will be inspiring for others to do the same. There is saying in Tamil – ‘the more water you draw from the well, the more water will secrete’- the more you give, the more you will get. May Lord will bless him with wealth to do more great things!
Sowmi Narayan, Joint Secretary: Our humble pranams and namaskarams to Dr. Govinda Visvesvara and his family for supporting 2307 cataract surgeries. Thank you for your generosity, kind and timely help. God bless.
Raja Krishnamurthy, Joint Treasurer: God works in so many ways to serve the needy. Thanks to Bala Garu, Dr. Govindarajan Visvesvara Garu and Sankara Nethralaya on this Aadi Vellikizhamai, Aadi Month Friday very auspicious for Lalitha, embodiment of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi.
Leela Krishnamurthy, Past President: Dear Dr Govinda Visvesvara Words cannot express our sincere gratitude to you for your very generous donation of $150,000 to Sankara Nethralaya as a tribute to your parents , a truly magnanimous decision Your contribution will give so many the ultimate gift the Gift of sight. Gods’ blessings to you and family
Srini Vangimalla: Dear Visvesvara garu, I would like to express our sincere gratitude for your generous contribution to Sankara Nethralaya. Great way to pay tributes to your parents by creating a means for serving the under-privileged patients in India. I am sure your donations will be best utilized in restoring the vision for many.
Krishnaraj Bhat: Namaste Shri Govinda Visverara Ji, my heartfelt pranams for your generous donation towards Sankara Nethralaya in order to eradicate blindness from India and all over the world. Your incredible contribution has the power to fund over 2,300 cataract surgeries and inspire countless others to give back to the community. Once again, thank you so much for your generosity!
Partha Chakravarthy: It was very nice of Sri Visvesvara to have donated generously to Sankara Nethralaya. May he and his family be blessed.
Dr. Reddy Urimindi: There is no greater gift to mankind than the gift of sight, and what a delight it is to learn about your kindness to Sankara Nethralaya. We are thankful for your generosity which will bring the lost light and smile back on the face of countless indigent individuals with visual impairments
Shankar Shetty: Sri. Govinda Visvesvara garu’s big heart to help needy ones!! God bless him and our Sankara Nethralaya!!
Prasad Rani: I am pleased to learn about the grand donation made by Dr Govinda Visvesvara to Sankara Nethralaya USA. These funds will definitely cause life changing effects on thousands of people in India who will now be gifted with a better vision.
Shyam Appali: We are truly blessed to have selfless-minded individuals like Dr. Govinda Visvesvara, who believe in the services offered by Sankara Nethralaya. We appreciate his generosity in donating to this great cause and thank him from the bottom of our hearts. His generosity and story are very inspiring to everyone at Sankara Nethralaya. May God bless him and his family with health, happiness, and wealth.
Upendra Rachupally: Sri Visvesvara Garu – Thank you for your generous donation to SNUSA. We are very grateful for your contribution. Your care and commitment for SNUSA are above and beyond. Your giving spirit makes a difference as we help hundreds of patients. Take a bow……….
Ramesh Chaparala: Dear Dr. Visvesvara garu, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for your generous contribution to Sankara Nethralaya. We sincerely appreciate your generosity and commitment for Sankara Nethralaya! Thank you!
Neelima Gaddamanugu: Thank you for your generous donation to SNUSA. We are very grateful for your contribution and support. Your commitment for SNUSA is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
Dr. Bellamkonda Kishore: Love and Compassion are the Divine attributes that have real power to solve the problems of the world. It is really gratifying to see those in Dr. Govinda Visvesvara garu, who made a very generous gift to SN OM Trust. May God bless him and his family
Jagannath Vedula: Thank you Bala ji for sharing the inspiring news about Sri Govinda Visvesvra garu. It is great to see his faith in Sankara Nethralaya. This will be an inspiration for all others. Please thank him on behalf of the board. May Lord bless him with abundance and a big heart.
Meher Lanka: Dear Visvesvara garu, Namaskarams to your benevolent contribution to Sankara Nethralaya. I’d like to thank you very much for your care by proving a means to serve the needy and visually challenged patients in India. We are very honored to serve with you.
Rajasekahr Aila: Dear Govinda Visvevsvara garu, we needed you and you were there. We are so grateful for your donation towards SNOM charitable trust. Thank you for your generosity and your confidence in our work. Sincerely
Ravi Maraka: Sri Govinda Visvesvara garu, Thank you very much for your extremely generous donation to Sankara Nethralaya. It is greatly appreciated, and I can’t thank you enough. Your $150k donation would help so many underprivileged people in India, it also inspires many people to come forward and donate towards true causes.
Anand Dasari: Can’t explain the greatness and kind heart of the donor Dr. Govinda Visvesvara garu, in words. It’s a motivation to do bigger and better stuff. I will pray for him for his well-being and success. Thank you Bala Anna for your effort to make this happen.
To read the article on Great Andhra.com, please click here:- https://www.greatandhra.com/articles/special-articles/dr-govinda-visvesvaras-150000-donation-to-sankara-n-115334
Watch the tribute video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UXO5FTSbLU