June 2022

Giving Smart Vision to the Visually Impaired

Sankara Nethralaya in collaboration with Vision Aid, an international NGO working for the welfare of the visually impaired and the US based NGO, Trees for Life India, distributed 20 Smart Vision Glasses in the type of a Spectacle, for the Visually Impaired on 25th June 2022 at Sankara Nethralaya Main facility.  Vision-Aid is a long-term partner with Sankara Nethralaya, collaborating on various vision rehabilitation programs including the programs and also skill development programs by the Vision Enhancement Clinic (VEC) at Sankara Nethralaya’s Shenoy Nagar campus.

The Smart Vision devices were presented to twenty visually impaired beneficiaries who are patients of the Low Vision Care Clinic (LVC) and VEC.  The Smart Vision Glasses is an assistive device for the Visually Impaired and the blind.  The device uses the latest technologies in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Machine Vision to facilitate smooth execution of daily living tasks and enables the visually impaired to become aware of their surroundings, read a book in many Indian languages known to them, and provides walking assistance, etc.

The Chief Guest at the event was Mr.  C.  Govindakrishnan, the founder of Nethrodaya, also a visually impaired person.  He spoke about his childhood spent visiting Sankara Nethralaya and his struggles through every step of his schooling, college education and onwards.  He expressed his gratitude towards his family and SN family for being there every step of his journey.

The event for the distribution of the Smart Vision Glasses was graced by Mr VL Narasimhan, Voluntary Member Secretary, Mr Vijay Francis, Program Director, Ms Gargee Dutta, National Program Manager, and Ms Vineetha, Head of Training from Vision Aid India. Mr Ibrahim represented Mr. Ramu Muthangi, CEO of SHG Technologies and gave a brief introduction of the Smart Vision Devices. Dr Rashima A, Head of VEC briefed on the services offered at the Shenoy Nagar campus.

Several of the beneficiaries shared their experiences and thanked SN, LVC, and VEC for their unstinting support and hard work for the visually impaired community.  Ms. Gayathri who has completed her B. ED has been coming to Vision Enhancement Clinic since she was 4 years old.         Mr. S. H. Rao was a recent visitor to the VEC and spoke enthusiastically of the tireless efforts of all the staff who had helped him conquer his disability.

Dr. Girish S. Rao, President, Medical Research Foundation, and Mr. C.  Govindarajan distributed the smart vision devices to the beneficiaries.  Also present to encourage the beneficiaries were Lion.  Harinarayanan, Dr. Anuradha N., Principal of Elite School of Optometry, and Dr. Anuja Singh, Principal of The Sankara Nethralaya Academy.

Proclamation to Sankara Nethralaya, Indra Nooyi

New York Mayor Proclamation to Sankara Nethralaya USA – Special Guest, Indra Nooyi – Sudha Ragunathan’s concert, raised $227,500.

Sankara Nethralaya USA organized Padma Bhsuhan Dr. Suda Ragunathan’s carnatic music concert in Hindu Temple Society of North America on June 19th, 2022, was a grand success. Dr. Suda Ragunathan shared her experiences with Sankara Nethralaya to a full house. Dr. Suda Ragunathan enthralled audience with popular Carnatic music songs.

Global legend Padma Bhushan awardee, Indian American Business Entrepreneur & former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi was the Keynote speaker. When Indraji was speaking huge response was received from the audience. She spoke highly about the organization, appealed the audience to open the wallet and donate generously to the noble cause to restore the vision to indigent blind patients.

Consulate General of India New York, Honorable Randhir Jaiswal is the Special Guest.

Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor City of New York – making June 19th is Sankara Nethralaya Day was presented to President Bala Reddy Indurti. He spoke about the history of Sankara Nethralaya and founders Padma Bhushan Dr. SS Badrinath and USA chapter Founder Sri SV Acharya. When he mentioned about recent 1 crore Rs from Smt Madu Gulati, who donated in memory of her parents-in-law, he received roaring response from the audience.

Mr. Dilip Chauhan, Assistant commissioner for international affairs, is a guest of honor to the NY concert who was instrumental in procuring the proclamation for Sankara Nethralaya.

Sankara Nethralaya New York chapter Board of Trustee (BOT) Dr. Raj Modi organized the event with the help of President Bala Reddy Indurti, Vice President Mr. Moorthy Rekapalli, Secretary Mr. Srinivas Ganagoni, and Board of Tustees Shankar Setty, and Sowmia Naarayan. Dr. Raj Modi and his wife Neelam Modi worked tirelessly to conduct this program successfully.

Thanks are due to Sowmia Narayan, Kamalakiran Vinjamuri, and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan for providing excellent music to back-to-back Suda Ragunathan’s concerts.

Thanks are due to the volunteers: Dr. Raj Modi’s wife Neelam Modi and his daughter Aparna Modi.

Thanks are due to the volunteers: Shankar Setty’s wife Sadhana, his daughter Shreekrutha and his Son in law Gigio Ninan.

Thanks are due to the volunteers: Dr Urmila Shivram, Ananda Iyar, Murli Iyar, Rahul Iyar, Pavithra Sundar, Meenu Sawhany, Anju Sharma, Sanjoo Sharma, Nilima Madan, Lalitha Sankaran, Chitra, Gina Shekhar, Shuba Rajgopal, Divya Shah, Sadhana Shankar, Sweekrutha Shankar, Gigio Ninan, Prameela Gopu, and Garikapati Seeta.

Thanks are due to media partners: Mana TV, TV Asia, Sakshi TV, TV5, US1, TeluguOne, GNN, and Singapore TV for promoting the mission of Sankara Nethralaya.

Thanks are due to Chennai team Mr. Theagarajan, Mr. Suresh Kumar, Mr. Deena Dayal for providing beautiful flyers and promoting the event for Morrisville PA and New York events.

We have raised $227,500.00 (Two hundred twenty-seven thousand and five hundred dollars) to restore the vision to 3,500 indigent blind patients in India.

MESU and Brand Ambassadors video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgp8Lu0gnuk

Recent activities and developments in Sankara Nethralaya in other parts of the world:

  • Shri S. V. Acharya, President Emeritus, SNUSA was honored with the A Shama Rao Memorial Outstanding Achievers Award 2022 on Friday May 27 at the Srinivas University Mukka campus in Mangalore, India.
  • Mr. Selva Jayaraman, Mrs. Leela Krishnamurthy, Mr. Anand Dasari, and Mr. Ravi Maraka sponsored Adopt-A-Village MESU 11-day programs successfully in their respective villages.
  • For the second year in a row, Newsweek magazine has named Sankara Nethralaya as one of the best 100 hospitals in the world. Our fund-raising arm in US, Sankara Nethralaya USA was given the highest rating of four stars for the third year in a row by Charity Navigator.
  • Our Newark Delaware team organized Padma Bhushan Dr. Sudha Raghunathan concert in Morrisville, PA in coordination with Chinmaya mission.

While we appreciate your support for the past four decades, we seek your continued support. You may donate your tax-deductible contributions by credit card or by check.

For more details and donations, please visit www.SankaraNethralayaUSA.org

Sankara Nethralaya (SN) is a non-profit charity organization providing ophthalmic(eye) care to millions of patients throughout India for the last four decades. Nethralaya also provides ophthalmic education and India-centric research. To support the mission of Sankara Nethralaya, Sankara Nethralaya USA was established back in 1988.

The main goal of the Trust creation was to have the NRIs support and contribute to the Noble cause. Sankara Nethralaya USA is one of the trusted and well-respected charity organizations in the USA. The Trust also received Charity Navigator’s “Four Stars” highest rating for maintaining financial accountability and fiscal transparency for funds donated by donors and how they are utilized towards the stated cause.

On an average, Sankara Nethralaya treats 3,000 outpatients and performs 300 surgeries/day almost half of them free on poor patients. Our two Mobile Surgical Units (operation theatres on wheels – only one of its kind in Asia) have so far screened 110,761 patients and performed 20,407 surgeries in the remote villages of India.

Program was concluded with New York Board of Trustee Dr. Raj Modi’s vote of thanks.

Please visit www.SankaraNethralayaUSA.org for more details.

To read the article on Great Andhra.com, please click here:-

To read the article on NRI Pulse.com, please click here:-

Sankara Nethralaya Deeply Mourns Smt. Kausalya Appukutty

Smt. Kausalya Appukutty, (85 years), Trustee, SWAN (SN Women’s Auxillary Wing) had attained her heavenly abode on 19-06-2022 at 10:50 am. Actively supporting her husband Dr. Appu Kutty, who had stood steadfast with Dr. S.S. Badrinath’s passionate mission to help the ‘Blind See’ since its inception.

From passionately involving in the growth of SWAN, her volunteering initiatives, selfless community services and the donation of Dr. V. G. Appukutty campus in Guindy were some of her humanitarian services that speak laurels of her innate nature. Donating her eyes to Sankara Nethralaya had again proved her philanthropic nature. Her core nature of generosity, meticulousness, punctuality, kindness, dedication and gratitude had truly reflected the values and ideals nurtured by Sankara Nethralaya’s visionary leadership of Dr. S.S.Badrinath.

We, the family of Sankara Nethralaya would always remember her untiring efforts and sincerely pray to the Almighty for her noble soul to attain Mukthi!

Mr. Asif Iqbal, Senior Optometrist, Department of Contact Lens wins IACLE Travel Award 2022 (International category).

International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) Travel Awards is an annual award, enables IACLE educator members to travel national, regional, or international contact lens meetings.

For this award the educators have to demonstrate their commitment to IACLE, utilization of its resources, programs and events, as well as the impact they have had on their institutions and students. The applicants also have to describe their achievements in contact lens education and also how they would apply the information gained in their teaching.

We are proud to announce that Mr. Asif Iqbal, Senior Optometrist, Department of Contact Lens, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, have bagged the IACLE Travel Award 2022 (International category). Mr Asif will receive a bursary up to US$3000 towards the cost of attending conference and a certificate to mark the award. The award will be presented at the American Academy of Optometry meeting in San Diego, USA (October 26-29) during the International Reception.

Sankara Nethralaya family congratulates Mr. Asif iqbal for making SN proud.

Sankara Nethralaya and Lions Club of Central Madras welcome Ms. Danielle Hormillosa, Global Grants Specialist of Lion’s Club International

Ms.Danielle Hormillosa, MPH, Global Grants Specialist, Global Grants Department, Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), visited Sankara Nethralaya on Monday, 6th June 2022.

For over two decades, Lions Club of Central Madras, Sankara Nethralaya and Lions Club International Foundation have collaborated through the Sight First grants in the fight against avoidable blindness.  Through these grants, Sankara Nethralaya has offered free cataract surgeries, diabetic retinopathy (DR), and even trained ophthalmologists from Lions’ Eye Hospital.

Ms. Danielle Hormillosa was welcomed by Lion. N. S. Sankar, Past International Director, Lion.  S. V. Manickam, Dist. Governor 324M, Lion.  Mohammed Naveen, First Vice Dist. Governor, Lion.  M. Sridhar, Second Vice Dist. Governor,  Lion.G.V.Raman Past District Governor  and large number of Members of Lions Club of Central Madras, Dist 324M.

Dr. Girish Shiva Rao, Chairman, Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice- Chairman and Director of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Dr. Rajesh P. S, Senior Consultant, in charge C. U. Shah Sankara Nethralaya & MESU, and Dr. Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant Shri BhagwanMahavirVitreoretinal Services were also present to introduce Sankara Nethralaya and our community activities.

Mr. Suresh Kumar P., General Manager, Operations, gave the welcome address followed by a brief introduction by Past District Governor, Lion. G. V. Raman about the partnership between Lions Club of Central Madras and Sankara Nethralaya since 1998.

Dr. T. S. Surendran, Vice Chairman and Director of Paediatric Ophthalmology, spoke about Sankara Nethralaya’s journey over four decades and our various community initiatives, including Mobile Eye Surgical Unit (MESU).

Dr. Rajesh P. S., Senior Consultant, In charge- CUSSN & MESU, elaborated on the very first Sight First grant, which enabled SN to perform 10,000 nos. cost free cataract surgeries per annum utilizing the upgraded facilities and equipment.

Dr.Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant, Dept. of Vitreo Retinal Services presented a detailed report of the LCIF -SN Dream project funded by LCIF and spoke about the usefulness and impact of the project on creating Awareness on Diabetic Retinopathy and its treatment.  He also gave a brief outline of the research project on the compliance of the Diabetic Retinopathy patients for subsequent follow-up and treatment.

Thereafter, Dr. Rajiv Raman invited questions from Ms. Hormillosa and the assembled Lions members.  The Grants Specialist asked insightful questions regarding the DR project and requested that any research papers be sent to the HQ after publication.

Dr. G. Suganeswari, Senior Consultant, Vitreoretinal and Oncology Services presented the Project onDiabetic Retinopathy Skill Transfer Training Program, funded by LCIF.

Twenty four ophthalmologists from Lions Eye Hospitals from various parts of India entered the two-month training program.

The project was different as it focussed on practising Ophthalmologists rather than young and freshly minted Ophthalmologists.  Many found it difficult to spare their time, as the program required them to be at SN for two months.

Lion S.N.Harinarayanan,Project Coordinator was instrumental in recruiting the participants for the program.

The event closed with Lion. K. Rangarajan, Past President, Lions Club of Central Madras proposing a formal vote of thanks.

Shri S. V. Acharya Honoured with A. Shama Rao Outstanding Achiever’s Award – 2022

Shri S. V. Acharya, President Emeritus, SNUSA was honoured with the A Shama Rao Memorial Outstanding Achievers Award 2022 on Friday May 27 at the Srinivas University Mukka campus.

On receiving this high recognition for his socially responsible community activities, Shri S. V. Acharya said, “Three things should have more emphasis in life. Time, help and wealth. Give time for yourself and help who are yours when they need, earn and use your wealth to communicate on a large scale.”

The Vice President of A Shama Rao Foundation and Pro Chancellor of Srinivas University Dr. A. Srinivas Rao, was the chief guest at this momentous occasion. In his address to the gathering, he appreciated Shri Acharya, saying, “Mr. Acharya works in the financial field, but is doing social work in the USA through Sankara Nethralaya. His service is always commendable.”

Dr. C. A. A. Raghavendra Rao, Chancellor of Srinivas University and President of A Shama Rao Foundation, led the awards presentation ceremony. He observed, “The man with the sight for the vision is Shri Sagri Vasudeva Acharya. The Shakti behind him is his wife, Nirmala Acharya. Performance is only possible when you are satisfied with any task.”

Shri S. V. Acharya’s wife, Smt. Nirmala Acharya, accompanied by their son and daughter-in-law, Shri Acharya’s sister and husband were present at the occasion.

Watch here: – https://youtu.be/CqsXj5ZZbvc