The 33rd Institutional award ceremony of the Elite School of Optometry(ESO) and Vidyasagar Institute of Biomedical Technology and Sciences(VIBS), Medical and Vision Research foundation was held on 26 November 2022 at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. The annual event was well- attended by proud parents and students of Sankara Nethralaya’s academic wing.
Ms. Janani and Ms. Swetha, Faculty of Elite School of Optometry compered the event gracefully. The event was auspiciously begun with an invocation song by the students of ESO – Ms. Jayanthi, and Ms. Soundarya.
Dr. Angayarkanni N., Chief Scientist / Professor, Vision Research Foundation, welcomed the gathering, the graduating students, Dr Girish Rao, President – Medical Research Foundation, Dr T. S. Surendran, Director – Department of Pediatric Opthalmology, and Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, Head, Myopia Program and Head, Intellectual Property Manager at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Conjoint Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, Sydney, Australia – a “warrior against myopia”. She also welcomed Dr Smita Praveen, Director- Academics, Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal – Elite School of Optometry, and Dr Rashima Asokan, Head of Dept of Occupational Optometry Services, Professor – Elite School of Optometry.
Dr. Smita Praveen, Director – Academics, gave the Academic Report of Vidyasagar Institute of Biomedical Technology and Sciences for 2022- 2023 and added that VIBS is highly sought after for its various programmes as evidenced by its alumni. Dr Anuradha Narayanan, Principal, Elite School of Optometry (ESO), presented the academic report for the year 2022- 2023. She went on to report on the academic achievements of the ESO alumni and the accolades they brought to their alma mater. The students also benefitted from the ESO- VISTA, a scientific session initiated by endowments from Dr P P Santanam and his family. Two other endowments instituted by his family provided a research grant to SN’s Dept. of Occupational Optometry Services to understand the occupational visual needs of farmers and support for PhD scholars. The vigorous community activities conducted by ESO included over 88 eye screening camps for over 20,000 children and approximately 3,800 adults, along with screenings for senior citizens in old age homes. The educational institution also screened over 10,000 indivudals for World Sight Day and received an award for Outstanding Achievements from the Optometry Council of India and Essilor.
Dr. Rashima A., Professor, ESO & TSNA, Head – Occupational Optometry Services and Vision Enhancement Clinic introduced Dr. Padmaja Sankaridurg, Conjoint Professor of Optometry, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW| Consultant – and an alumna of Batch BO1, graduating from ESO in 1989. She participated as an expert at the WHO-BHVI global meeting of myopia, 2015 and is an advisory board member, and a member of the Interventions and Harmonisation Committee, International Myopia Institute. Vision Monday named her as one of the “Women of Influence in Optical Industry Innovator section” for 2018.
On her address to the graduates, Dr Sankaridurg emphasised on the importance of optometrists and their roles across the world. She motivated the optimistic youngsters telling that people will visit them at once in their lives and said that their experiences would be different from hers. She closed her speech by wishing the graduates all the best for their future careers and thanked the institution for the honour of making her a part of the ceremony.
One PhD scholar, nine post graduates and twenty seven undergraduates of Optometry received their honors apart from the best students of the first, second and third year of optometry. Besides, the awards for Best Optometrist, Best Research Publication and Best Research in Optometry instituted by ESO, Best Junior & Senior faculty were also conferred to the recipients. In addition, the institutional awards for various ophthalmology specialties and research were also awarded.