Former President of India Bharath Ratna APJ Abdul Kalam was a great admirer and well wisher of Sankara Nethralaya, a man deeply committed to the cause of ‘Research’ and its benefits accruing to the public at large, the eminent man of science had made laudatory observations of its intensive research and hailed it as a ‘Temple of the Eye’. The institution he had reposed his faith, paid a befitting tribute and homage to the missile man by conducting a cost free eye screening and ‘on the spot’ cataract surgery camp deploying the most advance ‘Mobile Eye Surgical Unit’ (MESU) at India’s rocket city Sriharikota, under the aegis of the Satish Dhawan Space Research Centre. A Valedictory function of the camp was held on the 13th of September 2015 with Dr. P.Kunnihikrishnan, Director, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest and attended by Dr. SS.Badrinath. Founder and Chairman Emeritus , Sankara Nethralaya, Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Shri Raja Reddy, Controller, SDSRC, Srimathi.T.Haritha, Junior Civil Judge, Sullurpet and other eminent people from the neighbourhood.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Kunnihikrishanan observed that the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit is a marvel of technology and its invaluable service to the local population reiterated his institution’s philosophy of being not only a space technology and research institution but a very humane institution in constant interface and service to the local people. Srimathi T.Haritha Sub-Judge, Sullurpet observed that the yeoman service rendered by Sankara Nethralaya and the MESU reiterated her faith in the service orientation of the medical profession. Breaking the good news that the MESU has recently received the sanction and approval of the Union Health Ministry to operate on a nationwide basis, Dr SS.Badrinath used the occasion to explain that the real worth of the hard work, research and cost that has gone into the designing of MESU would become worthwhile and its relevance to society would become a reality only if corporate bodies and institutions across the nation support its endeavours by adopting it as their Corporate Social Responsibility and operate it in their regions, he expressed his willingness to impart training to the outdoor teams of any organization planning to embark on such camps. He expressed his sincere thanks to SHAR for the kind hospitality and arrangements, the outdoor team manning the MESU camp, the local villagers for reposing their faith and turning up in good numbers. He used the occasion to acknowledge his sincere gratitude to Dr. Satya Atluri the World renowned Mechanical and Aerospace scientist and well wisher of Sankara Nethralaya settled in the USA hailing from Gudivada, for his generous support of cost free community ophthalmology services back in his home State of Andhra Pradesh and how it has helped in conducting such camps and also contributed towards setting up the Sri City Sankara Nethralaya at Nellore, he made an emphatic appeal to the residents of Sullurpet to support the MESU by donating to the cause of taking advanced Cataract surgery, right to the doorsteps of poor patients living in the most remote regions and help it to reach more and more backward regions of the State and revive the eye sight more number of people.
A total of 606 were screened and 120 of them underwent on the spot cataract surgery at the camp while a total of 380 were referred to Sankara Nethralaya’s base hospitals at Sri City and Chennai.