The mantra “Others before self” could have been the apt theme for the recently held Alumni Meet held on Sunday, 21st July 2013 at the Sri V D Swami Auditorium as one witnessed doctors spiritedly seeking and exchanging information for the common good.
The day long meet registered a record attendance of 130 alumni members from all over the country including Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice Chairman and Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Director-Clinical Services, Sankara Nethralaya and notable overseas participants Dr.Surendra Basti and Dr.Vimal Swaroop who had come down all the way from the United States.
The day was packed with vibrant presentations of challenging and complicated cases by experts in their respective specialties of ophthalmology with a lot of informative and intellectual exchange of scientific ideas on a single platform.
The day’s highlight was a special interview with Dr.SS Badrinath, recalling his veteran Guru Dr.Charles Schepens who remarked on a bright morning before the training began “to pick and read the subject book” instead of the day’s newspaper that he was holding. The other most cherished memory was the promise to go back to India, after completion of training, which Dr.Charles Schepens was most insistent upon.
A highly touched and emotional Dr.Badrinath, remarked that he felt very optimistic on the occasion. He reminisced spiritedly and chronologically the watershed events like his meeting with Sri JRD Tata at his institute in Mumbai and Sri.C.U.Shah, the philanthropist entrepreneur who made available the seed capital to Sankara Nethralaya’s genesis at Hotel Savera. He complimented Dr.Alay Banker for his services in retinopathy of pre maturity of the newly born and went on to say, service should be ingrained as a passion by one and all.
Dr.S.Natarajan, from the Aditya Jyot Hospital, Mumbai, who was awarded the highest civilian award – Padmashri, by the Government of India for his yeoman service, motivated by the former president of India, Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, to the underprivileged children living in utter poverty in Dharavi, Mumbai, the biggest slum dwelling in South East Asia, was honoured by Dr.SS.Badrinath, to a thunderous applause of the gathering. Dr.SS Badrinath highlighted that Dr.Natarajan who hailed from a remote village in South India went on to score great success in Mumbai, by his sheer hard work that made him popular across the country.
Humbly acknowledging the honour, Dr.Natarajan quoted Swami Vivekananda’s line “They alone live who live for others”, he attributed all his success to his “Guru” and mentor Dr.S.S.Badrinath for taking him from the “visible to the invisible”, “material to divine”, “ephemeral to eternal”. He thanked the Almighty to have blessed him with such a guru and avowed to dedicate his life for eradicating blindness.
The Dr.Nataraja Pillai best paper presentation saw four paper presentations with Dr.K.S.Kumar, Bangalore bagging the best paper presentation for his excellent presentation on “Computer Simulation of Laser Treatment – Old wine in an animated new bottle”
The enchanting and intellectually invigorating day concluded after the Annual General Body Meeting and some spirited planning for the grand celebration of the Silver Jubilee Alumni meet, falling next year.