Sankara Nethralaya News

Sankara Nethralaya Celebrates Women’s Day

This year’s Women’s Day celebrations at Sankara Nethralaya were held in the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, 8th March 2023.  The ladies of SN were gathered for an evening full of fun and games, seamlessly organized by the HR Department headed by Ms. Sudha Mohan, the event included a quiz, a blindfold makeup session, and a hairdressing competition.

A very interesting quiz programme ‘On Women, By Women’ was hosted by Dr. V. V. Jaichandran, Deputy Director, Dept. of Anesthesiology, with Mr Suresh Kumar, GM, Operations and Administration, judging the friendly and focussed competitors.

Passing-the-parcel was conducted by Dr. Harini R., Assistant Professor, Clinical Lab.  To hunt for talent, Dr. Anuja R. Singh, Principal of The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, conducted mehendi, kolam, flower tying, gift wrapping, hair styling and blind-fold make-up events.  This in turn brought out the creativity of our female employees as well as nurturing enthusiastic audience participation.

The games were designed with the aim to include all the employees gathered for the celebrations; with audience joining in, the evening was a rare chance for the Women of Sankara Nethralaya to let their hair down and take a break from their hectic roles at home as well as at work.

The prizes were distributed by Dr. V. V. Jaichandran, Dr. Shikha Bassi, Dr. Durga Priyadharshini, and Dr. G. Suganeswari.

Sankara Nethralaya congratulates to all the Prize Winners:

Women’s Day Prize Winners


First Prize Winners

  1. Dr. Srilekha – Research Associate, ICMR – Genetics Lab
  2. Ms. Harshavardhini G – Senior Research Fellow –– DBT -Genetics Lab

Second Prize Winners

  1. Ms. Brughanya S – Project Associate – Genetic Lab
  2. Ms. Chitralekha S D – Research Optometrist – Projects – Carl ZEISS

Third Prize Winners

  1. Ms. Sneha S – Optometrist
  2. Ms. Sowmiya E – Optometrist

Audience Prize Recipients

  1. Ms. Punitham R. – Senior Manager – Laboratory Services – Bio Chemistry Lab
  2. Ms. Divya Mery T – Project Coordinator – Google Glaucoma Project
  3. Ms. Vijayalakshmi Saravanan – Deputy Manager – Nursing – Wards
  4. Ms. Vennila – Optometrist

Participation Prize Recipients

  1. Dr. Dhanurekha L – Senior Scientist –Molecular Diagnositic / Micro Biology Lab
  2. Ms. Gayathri V – Junior Executive -Micro Biology Lab
  3. Ms. Sridevi M – Optometrist
  4. Ms. Mahalakshmi G – Senior Optometrist

Winners of Game – 2

First Prize Ms. Sajisha V P – Optometrist

Second Prize Ms. Punitham – Senior Manager – Bio Chemistry Lab

Third Prize Ms. Swathi S

Winners of Game – 3

Kolam Ms. Vennila – Optometrist

Hair doing Ms. Swetha C P – Optometrist

Make up Ms. Harini I – Project Assistant – LCIF Project

Mehandi Dr. Sharada R – Sr. Principal Scientist/Associate Prof, In-charge – Bio Chemistry Lab

Flower tying Ms. Jayanthi S – Lens Coordinator

Gift Wrapping Ms. Divya M – Lab Technician – Micro Biology Lab

21st Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session March 4 & 5, 2023

Dr E Vaithilingam (fondly called Dr EV) was a pioneer in the field of Optometry. He served as the Principal of Elite School of Optometry from February 1991 – March 2001. Dr EV was well known for his technical expertise, innovations, and enthusiasm in the field of optometry. He was an ardent researcher with over 100 publications. He was the mainstay of the Elite School and it is to his credit that ESO has obtained an international reputation. In 2002, in memory of the late Principal Dr E Vaithilingam, ESO initiated a national scientific session to encourage optometrists and optometry students from all over India to present their research work. Every year, the quality and quantity of presentations have been increasing exponentially.

This year the 21st Dr E Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session was conducted in-person after three long years of online sessions. The session was held on March 4 and 5, 2023 in the VD Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. We had over 300 participants from about 20 different Optometry institutions across the country. This year’s EVM session was organized under the most important theme of “Optometry 2030 Insight – Elevate, Integrate and Activate”. On Day 1, We had 2 key note speakers.

Dr Prema Chande – Head: Department of Optometry, Lotus College of Optometry gave the keynote lecture on ‘2030 Insight: Elevate’ and Prof B R Shamanna – University of Hyderabad gave the other keynote lecture on ‘2030 Insight: Integrate’. Following which a panel discussion was conducted on ‘2030 Insight: Activate’. The panellists for the session were: Mr Govindakrishnan (Nethrodaya), Dr Anuradha Narayanan (ESO), Dr Rishi Raj Borah (Orbis), Adv.Vijayakumar, Ms Lakshmi Shinde (Optometry Council of India). The session was moderated by Dr Rashima Asokan.

On this day, ESO launched a new fellowship program named Fellowship in Community Optometry (FCO), which will comprise asynchronous online and in-person hands on training on community outreach services including School eye screening, adult comprehensive outreach, occupational optometry services, training, research basics and education. The fellowship was launched by Dr T S Surendran (Chairman), Dr Girish S Rao (President), Dr Smita Praveen (Director – Academics), Dr Rishi Raj Borah (orbis) along with the key note speakers.

On Day 2, we had a brief session on ‘Optometry and Vision Science – Unanswered Questions’. Three important questions were addressed by the speakers. Dr Pavan Verkicharla, Vision Scientist, Head – Myopia Centre at LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad addressed the question on ‘Why are my scientific papers getting rejected?’. Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal – Elite School of Optometry addressed the question on ‘Are we equipping our students for independent optometry practice?’. Dr Rashima Asokan, Head – Occupational Optometry Services and Vision Enhancement Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya addressed the question on ‘Should Preventive/Promotive be the key practice area of optometrists?’. The session was moderated by Ms Ramya S, Doctoral Researcher – ESO, Sankara Nethralaya.

Besides this, 3 important workshops were conducted on Basics of Binocular Vision, Contact lens and Special Children which was attended by 30 students. The workshops were well received by all the delegates who had in-person hands on training by the specialists in the field. The session also had 2 sponsor talks by Mr Shankar Raman – Hoya and Ms Ananthalakshmi – Essilor.

This year we received over 160 abstracts from the optometry fraternity across the country. These abstracts were screened by 13 external evaluators across the globe. Based on their evaluation, a total of 13 original research by regulars and 8 original research by students were selected along with 10 case reports for oral presentation and 76 abstracts were selected for poster presentations. From the 76 posters, 25 were selected for rapid fire presentations. All the presentations were evaluated by 6 internal and 6 external evaluators from various institutions. At the End of Day 2, the awards for various categories were announced by Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal – ESO.

The travel grants sponsored by Essilor were given to 12 students attending the conference.

Achutha Institute of Optometry, Erode

  • Ren varughese mammen
  • Archana S

Dr Agarwala Institute of Optometry

  • Hariharan N
  • Abirami M
  • Hema Nivetha R

Lotus College of Optometry

  • Khan Nuzhat
  • Kareena Nagpal
  • Alfiya bhayani
  • Afsheen Rais

Manipal College of Health Professions

  • Nishitha G
  • Stelyna Joylin

SRM Institute of Science and Technology

  • Bhavani C

The winners for various categories are as mentioned below:

Best Case report: Ms Nisha Jha – ‘Just touch me and see – a case of congenital corneal anaesthesia’ – Sankara Nethralaya Kolkata

Best Poster – Student category: Ms Shobhana Parab – ‘Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among pest control workers’ – Lotus College of Optometry

Best Poster – Regular category: Mr Janakiraman P – ‘Assessing diurnal variation of ocular blood flow in normal and glaucoma suspects’ – Elite School of Optometry

Best Oral presentation – Student category: Ms Gayathri B – ‘Cost Analysis of an adult comprehensive eye examination program from Tamil Nadu’ – Elite School of Optometry

Best Oral presentation – Regular Category: Ms Mobashir Fatimah – Impact of Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses on quality of life of children – Perspectives of children and their parents – Elite School of Optometry

The two-day Optometry fest was well received by all the delegates with their enthusiastic and dynamic participation.

TSNA conducts Continuous Education Series on “Emerging opportunities in Healthcare Analytics”

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA), Faculty of Management Studies organised a Continuing Education series program on “Emerging opportunities in Healthcare Analytics” for its postgraduate students pursuing MBA- Hospital Management, Master of Hospital Administration, and Master of Optometry. MBA students and Faculty from our collaborative partner Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science also attended the half day program held on 16th Feb 2023. Dr. R. Chandrasekhar Menon, Founder of SwiftMBA & Dean- Academics at Global Institute of Healthcare Analytics, USA was the Chief resource person.

Dr. Anuja R Singh, Principal TSNA welcomed the gathering and felicitated the Chief Guest. Mr.G.Senthilkumar, Asst. Professor & HOD- Management Studies, recalled his association with Prof Menon and introduced the faculty and the theme of Healthcare Analytics to the future hospital managers.

Prof  Menon, an accomplished administrator and a distinguished academician, has been one of the main proponents of this program for several years. His related experience in analytics includes B.Braun AG, a German-based company. During his illustrious career, Prof Menon worked in Germany,  Tai, Singapore, Malaysia, and many African countries anchoring sales and marketing to Asia Pacific Region and Gulf countries. He has taught various practical management courses for over 130 large corporations in India besides educational institutions. 

During the session, Prof. Menon highlighted the various opportunities in Healthcare analytics, which is the nervous system of IT-enabled Healthcare. The Healthcare industry is moving from volume-based reimbursement to value-based reimbursement that is designed to achieve higher quality, lower costs, and a better patient experience. Also he highlighted the concepts of  text analytics and patient-centric healthcare. To succeed, healthcare providers are forming accountable care organizations (ACOs) and restructuring their care delivery systems. He exhorted the students to develop professional networking skills.

The forum concluded with a QA session followed by a Vote of Thanks by Ms. Hansini Priya, Lecturer, Management Studies. Overall, 75 students and 10 Faculty members participated in this program.

Sankara Nethralaya bags International Patient Safety Award for “Excellence in Culture of Safety Design”

Sankara Nethralaya congratulates the Hospital Safety Committee (HSC) on creating awareness and culture of safety (for patients and staff) in the organization.

Out of 200 nominations from 70 organizations across India and all around the world, Sankara Nethralaya, won the International Patient Safety Award (IPS) in ‘Excellence in Culture of Safety Design’ category, for successfully implementing the “Recognizing Incident Reporting System,” which promotes patient safety and safety culture in the institution’s nine centres across India.

On behalf of the whole SN family, Dr. V. V. Jaichandran received this award from Dr. Jonathan Perlin, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Joint Commission (JCI) and Dr. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Group of Hospitals at the 9th International Patient Safety Conference, 2023 held on 13-14 February, Taj Palace, New Delhi.

The “Recognizing Incident Reporting System” (RIRS) recognizes the need to report errors that are caught before reaching the patients and/or staff, so that the patients’ safety can be significantly improved within the institution.

The Hospital Safety Committee (HSC) has successfully created the culture of heightened awareness among the employees about the RIRS system over the past two years. Those reporting near misses, were acknowledged during the monthly HSC meeting by awarding certificates and their photographs were displayed at Main Portal Webpage and in the in-house app (SN Health Bytes).

During SN’s Hospital Safety Week annual celebration, winners were announced for the following categories – Best Male & Female Safety Campaigner, 5 BEST Catches, Rolling Trophy for Best Department and Branch. The RIRS system also aims to inculcate a sense of accomplishment and ownership among the SN family as they are involved directly in the hospital safety programme.

Inauguration of Amiya Kumar Ghosh Vision-Aid Resource Centre – Vision Enhancement Clinic, SN- Rajarhat, Newtown

The Amiya Kumar Ghosh Vision-Aid Resource Centre – Vision Enhancement Clinic (VEC), SN- Rajarhat, Newtown was inaugurated on 31st December 2022 by Col Tapas Saha Roy, Medical Superintendent, SNK – Rajarhat. This Vision Enhancement Clinic is a joint collaboration with Vision Aid and was dedicated in memory of Shri Amiya Kumar Ghosh of Kolkota by his family in India, USA, and Australia.

This new centre is the only one of its kind in the Eastern part of India and its aim is to restore optimal vision function to patients through early intervention. Mrs Sapna Saxena, Donor, inaugurated the centre. The importance of such a centre to serve the patients in the Eastern parts of India was pointed out during the event.

The event was attended by Mr Arijit Ghosh and Mr Bijan Mukhopadhyay, donors, Mr V L Narasimhan, Executive Director of Vision Aid India, and Mr Ankit Deb, Vision Aid Volunteer. Also present were Sankara Nethralaya family, Kolkata kDr Sujatha Guha, Medical Director, Dr Suchetana Mukherjee, Deputy Director, Rajarhat, Col Tapas Saha Roy, Medical Superintendent, Ms Bony Das, Manager Administration, Rajarhat, and Mrs Payel Das Ghatak, Head of Department of Optometry.

A Well-trained Vision Rehabilitation Specialist guides patients on visual stimulation and developmental therapies, and treat a variety of visual impairments such as visual information perception, visual behaviours, visual acuity and eye-coordination, and eye movement (saccadic and pursuit).

Vision Rehabilitation is intended to improve the quality of life of many patients with visual impairment and other brain dysfunctions.

The Vision Enhancement Clinic is located at Sankara Nethralaya, New Town, (Premises No 253333,Plot No – DJ/16 ,Action Area : 1D. New Town, Rajarhat, Kolkata).

Mr Arijit Ghosh: Donor
Mrs Sapna Saxena: Donor
Mr Bijan Mukhopadhyay: Donor
Mr V L Narasimhan: Executive Director of Vision Aid India
Mr Ankit Deb: Vision Aid Volunteer
Dr Sujatha Guha: Medical Director Kolkata
Dr Suchetana Mukherjee: Deputy Director Rajarhat
Col Tapas Saha Roy: Medical Superintendent
Ms Bony Das: Manager Administration Rajarhat
Mrs Payel Das Ghatak: Head of Department Optometry kolkata
Mr Venkata Ramanan Ramasethu: Academic Incharge Optometry kolkata
Ms Shalini Sen: Optometrist
Mr Anik Sarkar: Optometrist

Dr. Radhakrishnan, Retired IPS Presides At The Republic Day Celebrations 2023.

Sankara Nethralaya joined our nation’s 74th Republic Day celebrations with great enthusiasm and fanfare along with the senior management, consultants, staff, students of Sankara Nethralaya’s various educational institutions and their children at our main campus.

Ms. Sujatha Vishwanath, SWAN (SN Women’s Auxiliary) Trustee warmly welcomed the gathering, and invited the Chief Guest Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Retired IPS officer and other dignitaries Dr. Girish S. Rao, President, Medical Research Foundation, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Chairman, and Mr. G. Ramachandran, Hony. Secretary & Treasurer, onto the stage. With 4 decades of meritorious service in the Indian Police Service, it was befitting for Dr. Radhakrishnan, the esteemed guest to unfurl the flag, followed by the ceremonial rendering of the National Anthem. He inspected the Guard of Honour presented by the ever vigilant SN’s security personnel accompanied by Mr. Chellasamy I. K., Chief Security Officer.

Introducing the Chief Guest, Dr. T. S. Surendran spoke of his long years of association with him as a Docto, as well as a personal friend. He highlighted his achievements in his long illustrious career to the rapt audience present. Also, he recollected the fond memories of meeting him along with Dr. S. S. Badrinath, when Dr. Radhakrishnan, L

Later, the Chief Guest, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan congratulated Dr. T. S. Surendran on becoming the  Chairman of Sankara Nethralaya and also cherished the  brotherly bond he had shared with him. .  He praised Sankara Nethralaya for its yeomen service for the cause of vision in India on the occasion of  its  74th Republic Day celebrations.  He recollected how he  knew Dr. Badrinath since his marriage in 1986 as his father-in-law was a close friend of  Dr. S. S. Badrinath himself.  He called SN  as the “Mecca of Eye Treatment in South Asia” and revered how it has become a ‘Mini India’ with  patients coming from all over India and from South Asian countries for treatment.

Further, Dr. K. Radhakrishnan  reiterated that our fundamental rights are guaranteed to every child born in our country.  We also have equal constitutional rights that were a true reflection of our culture and tradition.  He advised everyone to practice equality to one another.

Dr. Nirmala Subramaniam, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Oculoplasty received the prestigious 40 Years of Service Award from the Chief Guest with the audience giving a standing ovation. The awardee gave credit to Dr. S. S. Badrinath for bringing her into Sankara Nethralaya’s fold and also how she had learnt ophthalmology though her own expertise in the domain of plastic surgery. On this momentous occasion, she made contribution to a fund she had established for the treatment of congenital anomalies in children, which was received by Dr. Girish Rao and Dr. T. S. Surendran.

Other awards for SN employees like, longer periods of service, regular attendance and merit awards for their children were also presented on this joyous occasion.

Sankara Nethralaya Hosts “Music For Charity Margazhi Concerts”.

Sankara Nethralaya, one of the Chennai’s landmark Ophthalmic Institutions, hosted a 3 – day Carnatic Music Concert Series – “Music for Charity Margazhi Concerts”. The event was held in Sri V. D. Auditorium, Main campus of Sankara Nethralaya on College Road, Nungambakkam. Aiming to raise awareness about vision, the three days event of the musical concert had the privilege of the stellar performance by Carnatic music stalwarts like Vocalist Sri. Sikkil C. Gurucharan, Sri N. Guruprasad (Ghatam), the Sarvepalli Sisters, and the world renowned violinist, Padmashri Sangitha Kalanidhi Smt. A. Kanyakumari.

This unique fundraising musical concert series focused on raising awareness on preventable blindness and the community service activities of Sankara Nethralaya. An informative photo essay on Sankara Nethralaya’s 44- year- long journey gave the visiting public more insight into the purpose of holding music concerts in SN for charity. This charity concert continued with the Sankara Nethralaya’s long tradition of holding “The Music for Marghazi Concerts” with the patronage extended by the legendary Vocalist Padmashri M. S. Subbalakshmi Amma, who had performed several times to raise funds for SN’s Community Eye Care Services.

Dr. K. Angayarkanni, Director – Laboratory Services & Biochemistry, welcomed the keen audience. Dr. Girish S. Rao, President, Mr. Ramachandran G., Honorary Secretary, Mr. Kannan Narayanan, Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Ronnie George, President & Director of Dept. of Research and Dept. of Glaucoma Services, along with Mr. Sowmiya Narayanan, Committee Member, Sankara Nethralaya USA, lighted the traditional lamp seeking Sri Mahaperiyava’s blessings. The three days proved to be a total bliss for the music aficionados and they also encouraged budding talents who had performed for a noble cause. Padmashri A. Kanyakumari expressed her happiness for organising these ingenuous concerts to spread awareness of preventable blindness and the various community initiatives of Sankara Nethralaya. She promised that she would be very happy to attend such a uniquely themed concert yearly.

This wonderful event was sponsored by Sri Krishna Sweets, Nalli, Sai Rocks and 315 Work Avenue. Further, Sankara Nethralaya family thanks Sri. Sowmiya Narayanan, SN USA, for his tireless efforts in conceptualising and organising this musical fest in a successful manner.

The festive spirit continued and on January 1st 2023 a Mottamaadi concert was organised at the R. R. Sabha, Mylapore. Here, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya spoke about SN’s community services to a captive audience. Many kind hearted rasikas donated to our cause on the spot and thus joined hands with us to fight against preventable blindness. We thank Eyetex Dazzler for their sponsorship of this concert.

We wish to note that SN USA also known as the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust is the only authorized fundraising arm of Sankara Nethralaya in the USA.

YLP Program conducted for TSNA students

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA) conducted the Youth Leadership Program for its undergraduate students pursuing Medical Lab Technology and Hospital Management Courses. Spread over 12 weeks on Saturdays, this two hour program, held virtually by a team of Faculty members from Qatar, who are originally part of the Toast Master’s Club, a program aimed at developing confidence and public speaking skills among undergraduates.

Mrs. Sharada Ananth, Ms. Sushma Harish and Mr. Sathish Shah were the main coordinators from the Toastmaster’s team while the TSNA team comprised of Ms. Vaishnavi, Ms. Swathi, and Ms. Hansini who mentored the participants.

The 12-week program was successfully completed by 21 students, who received certificates.

The 21 students showcased their oratory skills, organizing potential and confident public speaking abilities on the concluding day of the event on 29th January 2023.

The Mentors also received merit certificates. TSNA acknowledges the contribution of Mr. Anantha B Ramachandran, Social Entrepreneur and Trustee, TSNA, JREF Scholarship fund for his effective co-ordination in implementing the YLP Program.

Smt Vani Jairam – A Sweet Melody Passes

One of our staunch supporters, Padmabhushan Smt. Vani Jairam, passed away last Friday (04 Feb 2023) aged 78 years. Smt. Vani Jairam had sung poignantly for Sankara Nethralaya at many of our fundraising events and helped to raise awareness of our community services.

The songstress was awarded the Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi award in 2018 for her endearing friendship and good will towards Sankara Nethralaya. In her thank you speech she had recollected her experiences with Padmabhushan MS Amma after whom the award she had received was named. She had received many rich compliments for her manner of singing from the immortal legend Padmabhushan Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi.

Smt. Vani Jairam has also lent her voice to the ‘Sankara Nethralaya Anthem’ or theme song, the brainchild and dream project of Sankara Ratna Sri. V.V.Ranganathan a long-time friend and well-wisher of Sankara Nethralaya. Smt. Vani Jairam had given life to the touching lyrics in 4 languages.

140th Birthday Celebrations of Mahakavi Subhramania Bharathiyar

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy (TSNA), the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya, has always been a front runner in conducting numerous co – curricular and extra – curricular activities to motivate the students and to help mold their personality through interactions with influential personalities.

One such initiative is the Mahakavi Subramania Bharathiyar on 23rd December2022 at (TSNA), The Sankara Nethralaya Academy in the V G Appukutty Campus, Guindy.

Mrs. Girija Raghavan, noted Film and Television Personality, Activist and Editor, ‘Ladies Special’ Magazine addressed the students on the topic of ‘Accham Thavir.”

The event started with an invocation to Lord Ganesha followed by ‘Tamizh Thai Vazhthu’, students of Faculty of Management Studies (FOMS) rendered the famous song of Mahakavi, “Oli Padaitha Kanninai Va Va Va” in which the great poet, exhorted the youth to be brave and fearless. Assistant Professor and Head of Management Studies, Mr. G. Senthilkumar, welcomed the gathering. Mr. A P Irungovel, Sr. Asst. Professor, Medical Sociology, introduced the Chief Guest Mrs. Girija Raghavan, as the woman who broke the glass ceiling in a male dominated media industry. Mrs. Girija Raghavan, praised the students for their discipline and enthusiasm and thanked the organisers at The Sankara Nethralya Academy for giving her an opportunity to share her memorable journey.

Mrs. Girija shared her experiences in the media industry and the struggles she underwent before attaining success. She advised gathered youngsters not to lose heart whatever hurdles come their way and expressed pain at students resorting to extreme methods like suicide to destroy themselves even due to trivial issues like not having a smart phone. She took an assurance from The Sankara Nethralya Academy students that never, ever they will resort to such means, whatever be the circumstances.

The Program ended with students’ interaction with Ms. Girija Raghavan and Dr. Anuja R Singh, Principal, TSNA proposing a Vote of thanks.