Helen Keller Remembrance Day was observed with reverence on Tuesday, 7th June 2016, from 5.30.PM at the Sri. V.D. Swami Auditorium, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Chennai 600006 by the Lions Club of Central Madras in association with Sankara Nethralaya.
The function being held as a honour to the indomitable courage and hope of a person who had over the years become an iconic figure for the vision impaired and crusaders against blindness started aptly with a quote from her talk “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. The highest result of education is tolerance’, ‘the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision” – quoted the Chief guest of the day MJF Lion S. Rajendran, President, Lions Club of Central Madras in his welcome address adding that the Lions Club International was proud to observe Helen Keller day every year for over 17 years.
Lion Senguttuvan presented the genesis of the awards, following which Ms. Renjini Madhavan, Manager – Training, Department of Optometry praised Dr. G Sitalakshmi as the “Alice in wonderland – Sankara Nethralaya” with innumerable credits as a corneal surgeon and expertise in osteo odonto keratoprosthesis.
Felicitating Vice Chairman Sankara Nethralaya Dr T. S. Surendran for his remarkable achievement of being conferred the FRCS, the Chief guest of the day, gave away the “I” (EYE) care awards to the Mobile Eye Surgical Unit, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai and Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, Loresho, Nairobi, Kenya for their institutional contribution in serving the downtrodden and the under privileged. The ‘Knight of the Blind award’ was presented to Mrs. Sudha Srinivasan, a visually impaired bank official with several international certifications to her credit and a motivational speaker, ‘Dr. G.Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight” Award in memory of Dr. Sitalakshmi, a phenomenal cornea surgeon, was presented to Dr.Jyotee Trivedy, Lions Sight First Hospital, Loresho, Nairobi, Kenya by Lion Andal Rajaram who paid rich laurels to the yeoman service rendered by the young doctor with over 45000 successful cataract surgeries to her credit, at remote corners of the dark continent, bringing light of vision to the poor and needy through her 100 odd outreach programs and being an inspiration to women.
Chief Guest of the day, PMJF Lion. N.S.Sankar, International Director, Lions Clubs International, showered encomiums on the great work being carried out by Sankara Nethralaya in alleviating the suffering of the blind and visually impaired for nearly four decades now. He extended an invitation to Sankara Nethralaya to set up a Lions Sankara Nethralaya centre at Pondicherry in their newly constructed building under the Tsunami Reconstruction program, to serve patients in the neighbourhood.
To make the occasion more significant, the Lions club extended their helping hands by giving Two Digital Magnifier Devices, NICCI, CC TV to two visually impaired persons, Mr. George Cooper and Mrs. Kasturi Priyadharshini to help them in pursuing their studies to qualify for the Banking profession.
PMJF Lion G.M. Balaji Rathnam, Dist. Governor, Dist.324A1, and PMJF Lion Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, MJF Lion G.V.Raman Lion Dr. K.S.Lakshmi, PDG .District.. Governors, Dist. 324A1, Lion B.R.Rao, PMC, MD316, Hyderabad, and Lion Dr. K.S. Lakshmi, Past Dist. Governor, MJF Lion SR Muruganandham, MJF Lion K.Jayaraman, Lion H.Raghothaman graced the occasion. MJF Lion S.N. Harinarayanan, Chairman Sight First and Manager –Projects, Sankara Nethralaya coordinated the program and Lion Abirami Rajendran proposed the Vote of Thanks.