The 73rd Independence Day of the nation was celebrated with customary patriotic fervor and gaiety by the institution committed to freedom and independence through revived vision. The quadrangle between its imposing clinical, administrative and research blocks wore a festive look as members from the senior management, consultants, staff and their family members gathered in large numbers. The proceedings started with a reverential recollection of the nation’s freedom fighters and founding fathers to whom we owe our Independence, by the compeer of the day. Thanking the distinguished chief guest whom he hailed as a Guinness record holder for his presence in the midst of his busy schedules Dr TS Surendran, Vice Chairman highlighted that before introducing ‘Sankara Nethralaya’ the institution to the esteemed chief guest, he would like to add that Dr SS.Badrinath and Dr Vasanthi Badrinath who jointly strived in its creation were by themselves two great institutions who had the Vision Research Foundation and Medical Research Foundation in every breath of theirs. Hailing the distinguished chief guest as one of the world’s greatest liver transplant surgeons he underlined that every member in the audience had a hidden talent which he should explore and nurture.
A spirited rendition of a patriotic song by Mahakavi Bharathiar by Mr Durairaj a member of the staff added its special flavor to the day’s proceedings. Dr Suganeswari Senior Consultant,introduced the Chief Guest Dr Mohomed Rela, Founder Rela Institute & Medical Centre as a man with the distinction of having performed 1000 liver transplant surgeries which included a most challenging surgery on a 5 day old, she hailed him as a perfectionist and a man committed to his goal and vision just like Dr SS.Badrinath, she brought out the less known facets in him in terms of his charity without publicity and humanitarian values.
Likening his address on the occasion to the highly popular ‘Thought of the day’ broadcast by London’s Radio 4, his favourite program during his 20 year stay in UK, Dr Mohomed Rela highlighted freedom of expression and equality as the basic qualities of ‘Independence’, he wondered aloud if today’s citizenry are enjoying these privileges and rights enshrined in the constitution in the real sense? He went on to underline that these privileges are meaningful only when the basic needs of citizens like food and shelter are adequately met.
The distinguished Chief Guest quoted with authority from the epics, the Thirukural and Bharathiar’s patriotic poems to underline the quality of charity and other virtues and hailed Sankara Nethralaya for demonstrating these qualities in ample measure with an unimaginable tally of treating 70% of its patients totally cost free!
It was a wonderful demonstration of the saying that ‘Great men think alike’ when he completed his talk by quoting John F Kennedy’s immortal lines ‘Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country’ the same electrifying lines with which Dr SS.Badrinath appealed for individual and societal responsibility at his acceptance speech to the nation, on being conferred the ‘Greatest Legendary Living Indian’ by ND TV in year 2013
The day witnessed the awarding of service awards, merit awards, children’s scholarships and the most awaited ‘Man of the Year’ and ‘Women of the Year’ by the chief guest and senior management members.