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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jayakanthan



Jayakanthan (Tamil: ஜெயகாந்தன்) (born April 24, 1934) is a Tamil writer, essayist, journalist, pamphleteer, film-maker and critic.

Jayakanthan was born in 1934 in a family of agriculturists in Cuddalore, in the South Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. He quit school after completing grade 3 education. He was then considered a problematic child. He was close to his mother and grandfather. He had a rocky relationship with his father. Unable to bear the harsh treatment meted out to him at home and in the village, he ran away from home at the age of 12 to Villupuram. There, he grew up under the aegis of his uncle from whom he imbibed communist ideologies and was also introduced to the works of Subramanya Bharathy. At this stage, his mother took him to Chennai and requested a friend/family member associated with Communist Party of India (CPI) to bring some sense to him for she was frustrated that he was a school dropout. It was here where Jayakanthan first worked as a minion in the CPI party office. Jayakanthan has written a lot about his days in the office and seems to cherish his boyhood days there. During this period, he became acquainted with some great CPI leaders of Tamil Nadu such as Mr. Jeeva Jeevanandam and Mr. Baladandayutham and many others. Thus, the CPI office in Chennai became his primary school, the members of the communist party his immediate family.

Jayakanthan grew up listening to the discussions of these leftists during his formative years. It can be seen that this had a serious impact on his outlook and literary works. Jayakanthan once wrote that Mr. Jeeva was horrified to read his Tamil with full of grammar mistakes. This led to Jeeva offering the fee needed for proper education under a Tamil pandit. Thus he learned proper Tamil from a pandit. Later he moved around in various jobs forced by circumstances. He worked in the party's printing press and spent his evenings selling the magazine JanaSakthi on street corners. But in 1949, unexpected political developments resulted in extreme restrictions on the activities of the CPI. Jayakanthan was forced to work in a shoe shop in Thanjavur for a short period of time, after which he came back to Chennai. This period was an important phase for Jayakanthan as he found more time to think and read. During this period, the CPI also was eclipsed by the emergence of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the DK, whom Jayakanthan termed "fascists".

Internal rifts within the CPI and his difference of opinion on many political issues forced him to gradually withdraw from CPI and active politics. His frustration with CPI can be seen through his short story "Karungali" (The traitor). Equally he broke ranks with his fellow Tamil writers in opposing E.V. Ramasamy Naicker (a noted rationalist movement leader in Tamil Nadu) and his view of brahminism in Tamil Nadu. Only a personality like Jayakanthan who could have the courage and wisdom to oppose Mr. E.V. Ramasamy openly in a public forum. Jayakanthan was greatly praised for his public speech in Tiruchi. Before this, he also tested waters in other political philosophies including Congress. He was fascinated with the former Chief Minister and Congress party leader Kamaraj and briefly served as a member of that party and actively compaigned for him and his party members during election time. He also served as the editor of "Nava-Shakthi" a daily with leanings towards Congress party philosophy.

Jayakanthan himself has accepted that he had no patience to do a systematic research and do a complete work. It was this lack of scholarly approach to his work led to more short stories than fiction writing. It was only later he matured enough to write fictions. Once Jayakanthan wrote that all his true friends lived in Soviet Russia. Of course Russia loved it and invited him as a state guest and gave him a "Nehru literary award".

His lack of scholarship in matters of religion can be seen in his writings. Jayakanthan started his literary work at a young age. He started writing from around 1953 in Tamil magazines such as Saraswathi, Thamarai, Grama Uzhiyan and Anantha Vikatan. He called himself "the first Tamil writer to earn a living by writing". He went on to become one of the most prolific and powerful Tamil writers of the twentieth century. He also had a stint in Tamil Cinema and tried his hand at making films. He made a film based on his novel, Unnaippol Oruvan, which became the first Tamil film to get an award at the national level in India. It was awarded the President's award (third prize) in "The Best Regional film" category .

It was then that he developed a relationship with a stage actress. Jayakanthan was already married to his uncle's daughter. This chapter in his life was fictionalized in the novel Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkkiral(An actress witnesses a play).
His stories are vivid portrayals of life as he sees them and they embrace humanity as a whole. His later works also witnessed a strong dose of his philosophical musings. He is considered as one of the most influential writers Tamil Literature has ever produced.



Jayakanthan is infamously known for his arrogance and his multi-dimensional personality. Significantly, his personality became ideal characters of a writer—many movies and writers later adopted such characters as protagonists for their creations.
Though he is not a brahmin, he orated "Why I am a Brahmin", explaining why Brahminism was a concept.

2009 -'Padma Bhushan' -very first time for Tamil Literature was given to Mr.D.Jayakanthan.

2002 - Jnanpith Award: The 2002 Jnanpith Award was announced for D. Jayakanthan. His works were described as one that delicately unveiled every depth of human emotion and equations. Announcing the award, L. M. Singhvi said "He has not only enriched the high traditions of literary traditions of Tamil language but has also made outstanding contribution towards the shaping of Indian literature. His literature presents a deep and sensitive understanding of complex human nature and is an authentic and vivid index of Indian reality." (The Hindu)

1996 - Fellow of Sahitya Akademi (Sahitya Akademi)

1972 - Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize: He awarded Sahitya Akademi translation prize in 1972 for his work on Tamil novel Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal. (Sahitya Akademi)

"2011-Order of Friendship’ Russia has announced

Notable quotes

There was a time when I numbered among my close friends rickshaw- drivers, prostitutes, rowdies, pickpockets and cigarette-butt scavengers. Perhaps because of that fact I can never work up disgust towards their kind. There is a sense of involvement among them. Sometimes I even wonder whether I wouldn't have been happier if I had decided to live among them as one of the family. Truly, an attraction for their life came to be planted in my youthful mind . . . There is in the life of such people a flaming passion, a liveliness, and truth!

They hold a notion that I have all along been writing about people of the lower strata. But haven't I really been writing about high level people among the so-called lower strata. Who belongs to the higher strata and who to the lower strata? That cannot be determined by their position or by their place of living. It is by how they are - how they live - that a determination should be made.

However lowly and decadent are the matters that I have to take up broadly for depiction in my story, I tend to place special emphasis on whatever is elevating and meaningful for life embedded in them. And thus I sing of the glory of life

Contemporary Tamil Culture


A fascinating Insight of Sankara Nethralaya now available as a great literary work!

Giving you a wonderful reading experience and a great donation option!



(Sale proceeds of the book go towards eye care for the poor and needy)



Price Information

Rs. 1000 (exclusive of shipping cost) applicable to those buying in person from the Sankara Nethralaya (Main Campus) at No. 18, College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 006

Shipping Details (Applicable for those who need door delivery
at their address)

Inside Chennai: Rs. 30
Within South India: Rs. 70
Within India: Rs. 115

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Total cost of 4 books @ Rs 1000 per book – Rs. 1000x4 = Rs 4000/-

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Total amount for delivery of 4 books within Chennai, inclusive of book cost and shipping cost- Rs.4120/-

Kindly draw your cheque in favour of ‘Medical Research Foundation’

Buying options

Direct in person sale
You may collect your copy of ‘Insight’ directly from the Sankara Nethralaya (Main Campus), located at College Road, @ Rs.1000 per copy by contacting Shri M.Senthilnathan.

Order the book by Courier
By mailing a cheque in favour of ‘Medical Research Foundation’ for the total amount, inclusive of the cost of the book and shipping charges as applicable to your mailing address.

Get your copy of ‘In-Sight – Sankara Nethralaya’s Passion for Compassion’. This long awaited inside story of the birth and growth of a world-class humanitarian institution could be the treasure trove in your home library, a book to read and preserve for posterity. The poignant narration of the saga of Sankara Nethralaya or the ‘Temple of the Eye’ by Shri V.V Ranganathan, entrepreneur and biographer par excellence, is enriched with an interesting foreword by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India and absorbing chapters by an array of luminaries like Shri Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Shri N.Murali,Shri Rahul Bajaj, Shri A.M. Naik, Ms Mallika Srinivasan, Shri Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Dr Prathap C.Reddy, Shri Amitabh Singh,Shri Deepak S.Parekh and Dr Vasanthi Badrinath and is now available at Sankara Nethralaya’s Main Campus at College Road.

In-Sight is an amazing story of the divine command of a sage and Seer, which became the calling and passion of one man and the light of vision to millions. Shri VV.Ranganathan in his own inimitable style captures the spirit and missionary zeal of Dr.SS.Badrinath and his dedicated associates and their ceaseless crusade against blindness. The book takes readers through an interesting journey spanning the humble beginning and growth of a world class eye care centre started on a modest rented premise to its present stature as a sprawling State of the Art hospital with several centers within and outside Chennai.

Last but not the least, like most Sankara Nethralaya endeavors the sale proceeds of this book……… yes you guessed right! The sale proceeds go towards meeting the cost of providing free treatment to the poor and needy, which is another great reason for you to buy and preserve this book. The first copy of Insight was released by Shri Deepak S.Parekh, Chairman, HDFC at a grand launch function attended by leading industrialists and celebrities, held at Mumbai on the 20th of March, 2012.

Contact Information for further details
Shri M. Senthilnathan,
Sankara Nethralaya (Main Campus)
No. 18, College Road,
Nungambakkam,Chennai - 600 006
Tamil Nadu, India
Telephone: 044-28254177
E-Mail: msn@snmail.org

Healthcare Management Course from LIBA



The Diploma awarding ceremony of the second batch of Sankara Nethralaya executives was held on Thursday, 19th April, 2012 at the Sri V.D Swami Auditorium. Shri Suresh Kumar, Manager, SN Centers the compeer for the evening got the program started with a warm welcome to the dignitaries and a short note on the course. The proceedings got off to an auspicious start with an invocation song by Dr S.Meenakshi, Director Academics followed by a welcome address by Dr R.Krishna Kumar, Principal, Elite School of Optometry to the Chief Guest of the evening Shri M.V Subbiah, Former Chairman, Murugappa Group, Father Christie, Director & Professor of Decision Sciences, LIBA, the evening’s Guest of honour, executives receiving their diplomas and the senior management of Sankara Nethralaya, following which the esteemed dignitaries were introduced by Shri G.Ramachandran, Honourary Secretary, Sankara Nethralaya and Ms B.Karpagapriya, Senior Manager, Training and Development with an interesting account of their credentials and achievements and honoured with a memento by Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya

Speaking on the occasion Shrimathi Akila Ganesan, Registrar, Sankara Nethralaya gave a detailed account on how the whole idea of a course to improve the performance of Sankara Nethralaya executives was conceptualized and the curriculum and modules finalized with critical inputs from LIBA. She explained that such a course would help in better team building, smoother inter-departmental working and a holistic approach to finding solutions to day to day issues. Shrimathi Akila explained the other areas of collaborative learning pursued by the Sankara Nethralaya jointly with institutions of repute; she observed that it was most heartening to note that there was already a qualitative improvement in the performance of the first batch of executives who had completed the diploma in healthcare from LIBA. A brief note on how Sankara Nethralaya provided an ideal work atmosphere for professional growth and nurturing of leadership qualities and how the senior management set a personal example of great leadership was delivered by Dr. S. Meenakshi, Director Academics, followed by a brief account on what makes a leader and the need to inculcate such qualities by Shri S. Vishwanathan, DGM, Optical Services.

Students completing the course were awarded their diplomas by the Chief Guest, followed by a feedback on the course, experiences in the classroom and a collective assurance on behalf of the entire batch to implement the classroom learning in real time and bring about a perceptible change by Ms. M.Rajeswari, Head of the Department, Contact lens Department who was among the successful candidates. Speaking on behalf of the faculty team Father Christie congratulated the students completing the course; he had a high word of praise for their deep involvement, commitment levels, regularity and adhering to a rigorous course discipline in the midst of their professional and family commitments. He expressed that although LIBA conducts such courses for top corporates across industry, the association with Sankara Nethralaya and the fact that a qualitative change could be brought to its noble efforts were most fulfilling. Delivering the chief guest’s note Shri M.V. Subbiah underlined his points with a generous dose of humour and interesting anecdotes. He emphasized the need to learn from one’s own experiences which according to him was the best way to learn. Shri Subbiah observed that Loyola as an institution run by the Jesuit principles of giving back to society and Sankara Nethralaya led by Dr SS.Badrinath whom he described as a Karmayogi was a great match. He congratulated the executives completing the course and exhorted them to give back to society, not as money but as time spent in its welfare.

The function ended with a hearty Vote Of Thanks by A Mahalingam, Academic officer, The Sankara Nethralaya Academy to the dignitaries, senior management members of Sankara Nethralaya, the TSNA team, members from the press and everyone assembled in the auditorium, followed by dinner at the rooftop.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bharathidasan Poems






Bharathidasan



1891 : Bharathidasan was born on April 29th, Pondicherry to Kanakasapai, Ilakkumi Ammal as a third son.

1895 : Begins studies with a teacher called Tiruppunisami.

1907 : Admitted to College where he masters the Tamil language.

1908 : Studies Tamil grammar, Tamil literature, and Saiva Sittanta Vetanta under learned men : first, Pu.A. Periyasami and later, Pankaru Pattari. He distinguishes himself soon as a student topping the list on every occasion. Introduction to the renowned Brahmin Tamil poet Subramania Bharathiyar at Venu Nayakar's house during the latter his wedding where he sings one of Bharathiyar's Tesiyappatalkal which greatly pleases the author.

1909 : Appointment as teacher of Tamil at a school in Niravi, in the French territory of Karaikkal.

1918 : Not being either caste-conscious or religious-minded, he composes his first poems on religious themes in a Tamil that smacks of classical linguistico-poetic influences. He also composes verse, stories and essays in a modern style and publishes them under several pseudonyms, such as, Putuvai Kalaimakal, Tesopakari, Tesapaktan, Anantapotini, Sutesamittiran, Tamilarasu, Tupleks, Kirukkan, Kintalkaran, and Bharathidasan, but only the last becomes wellknown. For ten years, he aids Bharathiyar both with cash and in kind.

1919 : While teaching in Tirupuvanai, he is sentenced and imprisoned for fifteen months by the French on the charge of opposing the French Government. Dismissed from his post, he subsequently wins the court case and is reinstated before the term of imprisonment is over.

1920 : Begins activities in collaboration with the Indian independence movement. Marries Palani Ammai, the daughter of Paratesiyar Mutaliyar of Perumatur, next to Puvanakiri. Four children are born to this union.

1921 : On 12 September the Brahmin poet Bharathiyar passes away.

1926 : Publication of first collection of poems : Srimayilam Cuppiramaniar Tutiyamutu, a hymn to the god Murukan, a work in the traditional vein.

1928 : Birth of his son, Kopati (real name : Mannar Mannan), on 3 November. (Later, three daughters are born : Sarasuvati, Vasanta, and Ramani). Joins the Self-Respect Tiravita Movement founded by Periyar E.V.Ramasamy.

1929 : Publication of songs and essays in Kutiyarasu and Pakuttarivu [Rationality]. The first poet in Tamil to publish songs on family matters.

1930 : At the Bharathiyar Anniversary, songs entitled : Tesiya kitankal [Patriotic Songs] are published. Bharathidasan Tontainataippattu, Katar irattinappattu (the latter were songs in support of the use of katar cloth, the emblem of Swadeshi or self-rule), Sanjivi Parvattin Caral and Taltappattor Samattuvappattu sees the light of day. On 10 December the Putuvai Murasu founding ceremony takes place, the poet being the editor of the weekly.

1933 : At the Atheist Conference held under the chairmanship of M. Sinkaravelar, in Chennai, the poet affirms his convictions by signing a document with the words : I am an undying atheist.

1934 : On a fullmoon night, the poet sets out together with his friends (P.Givanantan, Kuttusi Kurusami, Kuncitam, Mailai Cinivenkatasami, Mayuram Natarasan, Sami Sitamparanar, Narana Turaikkannan) in the direction of Mamallapuram. The birth of Mavalippurac celavu poems.

1935 : The inauguration - for the first time in India - of Sri Cuppiramaniya Parati Kavita Mantalam[Circle]. S.R.Suppiramaniam is placed in charge of the Circle.

1937 : Puratcikkavi kurunkaviyam published.

1938 : Bharathidasan Kavitaikal : Mutal Tokuti, first collection of Bharathidasan's poems appears with financial support from Katalur Kuttusi Kurusami, Kuncitam Kurusami, and Narayanasami Nayutu. Periyar [E.V.Ramasamy] names him Puratcik Kavinar Bharathidasan, the title by which he becomes known all over the Tamil territory.

1941 : Etirparata muttam (Kurunkaviyam) [Unexpected Kiss].

1942 : Publication of Kutumpa vilakkau I (Family Lamp).

1943 : The epic poem Pantian parisu published.

1944 : Mullai Muttaiya, with the aid of Tirunavukkarasu, sets up a publishing house at 59, Broadway, Madras, with a view to publishing Bharathidasan's works : Katal ninaivukal [Thoughts of Love], Nalla tirppu (play), Alakin cirippu [Beauty Smiles], Amaiti [A Play], Pantian parisu, Etirparata muttam, Irunta vitu, Tamiliyakkam, Bharathidasan Kavitaikal, Kutumpa vilakku II are all published one after the other. The poet traverses Chettinadu in a literary tour- de-force tour. In fact, whenever Bharathidasan pays a visit to Madras, he stays at the publisher's. The leading literary lights of the day, including C.Anna(thurai) and M.G.R(amachandran), two successive Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu in the sixties to the eighties, call at the publisher's where they sometimes meet and discourse with Bharathidasan.

1945 : Mullai Muttaiya and Tirunavukkarasu come to Putuvai and give Bharathidasan 4000 rupees, and the poet buys the house situated at 95, Perumal Koil Street in Putuvai in which he lives with his family, since the owner threatens to sell the house and put Bharathidasan out. In return, Bharathidasan writes away in Mullai Muttaiya's name the rights to eleven of his books. Tamiliyakkam [The Tamil (Tiravita) Movement] (written in one night) and Etu isai published.

1946 : The poet begins the composition of Mullai Petals. On July 29; his play Amaiti - Umai [Peace and Dumbness] published. Receives 25.000 rupees worth Golden Parrot Prize from Paventar who dubbs him Puratcik kavinar [Poet of the Tamil Movement]. At a meeting headed by the novelist Somasuntarar Bharathiyar, he is bestowed the Ponnatai [Golden Shawl]. Through the efforts of the savant Anna(turai) the niti tiratti realised to benefit Bharathidasan. Retires from his teaching post. With the money raised by Annaturai, the poet founds a printery. Mullai Muttaiya publishes a special volume of essays and poetry from various illustrious hands, entitled : Puratcik kavinar in Bharathidasan's honour, which later becomes an essential reference work on the poet.

1947 : Kuyil 1 & 2 appears from Putukkottai. The play Saumiyan and Bharathidasan Attisuti published. Kuyil isaiyamutu appears in Chennai; Kuyil ital is brought out by the poet in Putuvai. Also published Kavinar pesukirar [The Poet Speaks] ( collection of the poet's speeches). The French authorities ban his journal Kuyil (The Cuckoo), devoted to poetry, after a month of its appearance.

1948 : The following works published : Katala katamaiya? ( epic poem), Mullaikkatu, Inti etirppup patalkal, Patitta penkal (play), Katalmerkumilikal (epic poem), Kutumpa vilakku III, Tiravita tiruppatal, Akattiyan vitta putukkarati.

1949 : Published : Bharathidasan's second collection of poems; also Ceratantavam, Tamilacciyin katti (epic poem).

1950 : Kutumpa vilakku IV and Kutumpa vilakku V published.

1951 : Amiltu etu? - Kalaikkuttiyin katal published.

1954 : Wins elections to the Putuvai Legislative Assembly for a term and becomes its head. Ponkal valttuk kuviyal published. He is made head of State language body at Kulittalai.

1955 : The third collection of poems published.

1956 : Tenaruvi isappatalkal published.

1958 : Grammar for youngsters appears; assumes responsibility of the Tamil Nadu Poets Association. Kuyil kilamai put out as a manuscript.

1959 : Kurincittittu (plays by the poet) published; the play Pisirantaiyar published; from November 1st., the poet writes an explication of Valluvar's Tirukkural.

1960/1 : Comes to Chennai and decides to produce the film Pantian Parisu. Encounters untold difficulties. Sivaji Ganesan agrees at first to act in the film and then pulls out. Sustaining heavy losses, Bharathidasan is forced to renounce the project. Receives copy of Kamil Zvelebil's translations of his work into the Czechoslovakian language from the translator.

1962 : Kuyil Kilamai Etu, the journal founded by Bharathidasan in 1948, appears in Chennai on April 15th. World poets body formed. Kannaki puratcik kappiyam and Manimekalai venpa published. Rajaji bestows Ponnatai on Bharathidasan on behalf of the Tamil Writers Sangam.

1963 : Panmanittiral published. 72th birthday is celebrated in public. Bharathidasan attempts to film the life of Subramaniya Bharathiyaa in vain.

1964 : Expires on April first at a Chennai public hospital. Next day, is buried on the Putuvai seashore. Lived up to 72 years 11 months and 28 days.

1965 : On April 21st., the inhabitants of Putuvai build a mantapam (memorial pavilion) at the seashore Pappamma Temple cemetery for the poet.

1968 : On the occasion of the Second World Tamil Association Conference, Bharathidasan's statue is officially unveiled at the Marina Beach in Chennai.

1969 : His play Pisirantaiyar is selected for a prize.

1970 : In March, the latter work is awarded the Sahitya Academy Prize worth 5.000 Rupees.

1971 : Putuvai Assembly officially celebrates Bharathidasan's birthday on April 29th. The entire year is devoted to celebrations in the poet's memory. The Putuvai Assembly also buys his house at 95, Perumal Koil Street from his family and declares it a memorial library and museum in his honour.

1972 : On April 29th., the Putuvai Assembly officially unveils a lifesize statue of Bharathidasan.

1975 : The Tamil Nadu Government unveils a painting of Bharathidasan at the Rajaji Mantapam.

1982 : The Bharathidasan University, in the poet's honour, opens at Tirucirappalli.

1990 : A lifesize statue of the poet is unveiled at the Bharathidasan University by the Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu state.

"Bharathi"



Born: 11 Dec 1882 in Ettayapuram, Tirunelveli Dt, Tamil Nadu, India in Saiva Brahmin family

Parents: Chinnasami Aiyar and Lakshmi Ammal (mother died in 1889)

Personal Name: Chinnasami Subramania Aiyar.

The title "Bharathi" (tamil bharathi = goddess saraswathi ) conferred to him in 1893 in the Sabha of court-poets in recognition of his poetic talent - later it became his pen-name

1894-1897: studied in Hindu college, Trinelveli

15 June 1897 married Chellamma, aged 7; 1898 father dies

1898-1902 stay at Benares with his aunt, learns Sanskrit, Hindi etc, entrance exam to Allahabad Univ

1902-1904 - court poet at Ettayapuram; Aug-Nov 1904 tamil teacher at Sethupathi High school, Madurai; Nov 1904 on the staff of Sudhesimithran, well known tamil daily of Madras.

1905 active political life starts;
1906 contact with Chithambaram Pillai, on the staff of radical daily Inthia; Attends Congress session in Calcutta, meets sister Nivedita
1907 Editor of Inthiya and Bala Bharatha; meets Tilak, Aurobindo Ghosh, Lajpath Ray,...

Composes patriotic songs publishes his first book "Swathesa keethangkaL" in 1908
1908 Inthiya newspaper comes under govt surveilance, takes refuge in Pondicherry

1909 2nd volume of poetry - JanmaBumi

1908-1910 Inthiya paper published from Pondicherry; 1910 Aurobindo and VVS Aiyar come to Pondicheery

1912-1918 stays in Pondi to avoid arrest by the british, writes political and other essays,...; composes poetry - Kannan pAttu, kuyil pAttu, pAncAli capatham,.... 1917 first editionof KannanpAttu released

Nov. 1918 returns to India, got arrested and released after 34 days

1918-19 levaes for kilkattiyam and ettayapuram, lives in poverty; 1919 goes to Madras meets Gandhi in Rajaji's house; 1920 joins CuthEcamiththrin in Triplicane
12.9.1921 dies at the age of 39

Literary Works

The following collections published by Bharathi piracuralayam, Triplicane, 1949 contains

shorter pieces Dhesiya keethangal - 57 poems
thoththirap paadalkal - devotional songs, 66 pieces
vinayakar nanmanimaalai, kannanpattu -23 pieces
pirapadalkal - 30 pieces
autobiography in verse form:
svacarithai (49 st.), bharathi arupathu (66 st), cinnasiankaran kathai
short collections
puthiya aaththiccudi, paapapapattu (1914, 16 quatrains)
pancali sapatham - narrative poem in 1548 lines
prose - gnana ratham, 1910
short narrative pieces
aaril oru pangku,1911-12

Thiruvalluvar, the author of THIRUKKURAL



Thiruvalluvar, the author of THIRUKKURAL was born about 30 years before Jesus Christ in Mylapore, the village of peacocks (Myl in Tamil means peacock), the present day Chennai, at a time when the Tamil Land was rich in culture, vivid in its life and adventurous in its commerce. Valluvars were the priests of outcaste people at that time. Tamilians take cognizance of the birth of Thiruvalluvar as a basis of Tamil calendar according to which we are now in the year 2032 of Thiruvalluvar Aandu (Year).

Thirukkural is regarded as a renowned work, eulogized as a directory of code of conduct and ethics to humanity. The revered poet not only deals with the general administration, but also codified clear-cut directions to the mankind on how they should behave and act in a social, political, religious and family circles.

The weaver was Thiruvalluvar and the numerous poems he composed were Thrukkural: “Thiru” plus “Kural”. The word “Thiru” denotes Kural’s sanctity (sacredness), and “Kural” means the short verses (couplets). Thirukkural, meaning sacred couplets, is considered equivalent to the Vedas of the Hindu Scriptures and “the Bible of the Tamil Land”. It is evident from the Kurals that Valluvar had plenty of opportunities to talk to people from abroad and to know their different cultures and religions. He has taken the best from all cultures and religions and put them together in Kural form.

All the 1330 couplets portray the simple human pictures of life. The sacred verses deal very much with political and social affairs of life.

Tamil Literature



Tamil literature is as old and as rich as Greek, Sanskrit and Chinese literatures. Sangam Age (that lasted till ca. 3rd century AD) is an important period for Tamil Literature.

After this, during the next few centuries (Kalabhra Period) there was a lull in literary output. Then came a period of about four centuries (6- 10th C. AD) when a number of devotional or Bakthi literature appeared.

There were many important saivaite and Vaishnavaite literature contributions In the post-Sangam period (200-600 AD) is notable for the composition of five great Tamil epics Silappadikaram, Manimekalai, Jivaka-cintamani, Valaiyapati and Kundalakesi. Silappadikaram is considered to be the brightest gem of early Tamil literature. It is an invaluable source book of ancient Tamil dance and classical music.

Tolkappiyam one of the greatest works that the world has ever produced is the oldest extant treatise in Tamil. Its survival against vicissitudes is a wonder. Books literary and grammatical prior to it were completely lost. No works have reached us for the three centuries subsequent to Tolkappiyam.

Between 600-900 AD, the Tamil literature came under the influence of Saiva and Vaisnava saints called Nayanmars and Alvars respectively. The Saiva saints first compiled their hymns into the Devaram. The hymns of the Saiva saints were later collected into twelve anthologies called Tirumurais. The Periya Puranam or Tiruttondar Puranam, considered as the twelfth Tirumurai, was composed by Sekkizhar (12th century AD). The Vaishnavaite saint Nathamuni (824-924 AD) compiled the Vaishnava hymns into four books called Divya Prabandham or Nalayira Divya Prabandham. The other Alvar saints who contributed to the Tamil religious literature include Periyalivar, Poigaialvar, Bhutattalvar, Andal (the only woman saint among Alvars) and Nammalvar. Nammalvar's Tiruvaymozhi, the third book of Divya Prabandham, is said to be a quintessence of the Upanishads.

One of the great figures of Tamil literature, Kamban, belonged to this period. He was the greatest of the court poets of Kulottunga Chola III (1178-1218 AD).

He adapted Valmiki's Ramayana in Tamil in his Ramakatai or Kamba Ramayanam, which is very unique in its style and technique. The Cholas were the great patrons of Tamil literature.

The second great work with 1330 couplets written by an individual author is Tirukkural.

'Tiruvalluvar' who is also a follower of 'Tolkappiyam' made a new approach to Ceyyliyal and gave a concrete shape to some of the ideas contained in that chapter in Tolkappiyam.

Modern Literature

It is very difficult to find out the cultural heritage of the Tamils in the Modern Literature. The historic march of literature in Tamil began with the pre-Christian era. For the major division of "Silappathigaram" the first epic of Tamilnadu. In this epic Tamil Kings were given due respect at proper places.

"Tamil and Tamilnadu" are magic words to the Tamils to raise them as one man to do their duties at critical times in our history. This cultural aspect has been predominant in our Modern Literature.

The movement of Reform under the leadership of Periyar E.Ve.Ramasamy tried to reestablish the ideals of 'Kural' among the Tamils. They wanted to use it as a shield of "Aram" against the social evil and ignorance.

'Kalki' as a follower of Rajaji wrote many stories and novels in support of prohibition. Periyasami Turan has also written many stories to show the evil effects of drinking.

In order to eradicate the "Theva Thasi" System previling in the Hindu temples "Tevadhasi" and "Kottu Melam" short stories written by Ta.Na.Kumarasami and Ti.Janakiraman respectively came out successfully.

The modern period witnessed the impact of Islam and Christianity on Tamil literature. Umaruppulavar (1605-1703 AD) was the earliest among the Muslim Tamil poets. He composed the Sirappuranam, which is a verse narrative on the life of Prophet Muhammad. Another work dealing with the Islamic faith was Muhaidin Puranam (1845 AD) by Mohammad Ibrahim. Constanzio Beschi (1680-1747 AD), who adopted the pseudonym of 'Viramamunivar', wrote a classic Tembavani, on the life of Jesus Christ.

Subramanya Bharati (1882-1921 AD) was one of the greatest of Tamil litterateurs of the modern times. He is renowned for his patriotic and devotional songs and intense prose writings on contemporary social affairs. His Panchali Sabadam is an epic poem based on a single episode of the Mahabharata. His other great works include Kalippattu, Kannanpattu and Kuyilpattu.


The other renowned Tamil poetic works of the modern times include Meyyarivu and Padal Tirattu of V.O.Chidambaram; Malarum-malaiyum and Umarkkayyam-padalkal of Desikavinayagam; Podumai Vettal, Tamiizhan Idayam and Sankoli of Kalyanasundaram; Avalum Avanum of N.K.Ramalingam; Azhakin Sirippu, Pandiyan Parisu, Tamizhiyakkam, Kudumbavilakku, etc of Bharatidasan. Durai Manickam was another important modern Tamil poet who is credited with prolific works like Aiyai, Nurasiriyam, Koyyakkani, Ensuvai Enbatu and Paviyakkottu. The other renowned poets of this period include M.L.Thangappa, Mudiyarasan, Ezhilmutalvan, N.Kanakaraja Iyer, A.Srinivasaraghavan, Kannadasan and Tamizhazhagan.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

‘Naan patta kashtam solli mudiyathu!’



By compiling the speeches of the sage of Kanchi, Ra. Ganapathi has provided an immortal link.

In his last letter to G. Vaidyanathan, Secretary, Sankara Bhakta Jana Sabha, Ra. Ganapathi, prolific writer and compiler of “Deivathin Kural,” has narrated how difficult it was for him to gather the speeches of Paramacharya, add references to them and give them continuity. (‘Naan patta kashtam solli mudiyathu!’ he wrote.)

“Yes, but for Ra. Ganapathi, Kanchi Mahaswami’s speeches would not have reached the masses,” says Vaidyanathan. “He noted down Periyava’s talks and made cross-references, spoke to the people who knew the subject and got the required clarifications. Periyava would speak about one subject in one place and would leave it at that. Then again he would pick up the thread and speak in detail about it in some other venue. The challenge was to maintain the link. Ganapathi had a sharp memory and was alert in his observation. He would give final shape to the article and there would be no ambiguity in it!” he recalls.

“He used the same language that Periyava used so that the reader would feel as if he was listening to Periyava!” adds Vaidyanathan.

Maniyam Selvan recalls an incident when his father Maniyam painted a black and white painting of Siva Thandavam for Kalki Deepavali Malar in 1961. Periyava holding a small veena was in the forefront of this painting. Lotus petals, along with nagalinga flower were drawn in the place where the box of sacred ash was normally kept near his feet. The huge piece of moon on the head, the loose locks of hair, raised foot, abhaya hasta, agni and the vilva leaves were visible, but not Muyalakan or the right foot of the Lord. “Ra. Ganapathi Sir took this Deepavali Malar to Periyava, when the sage asked him to fetch my father during his next visit to the mutt. When Ganapathi Sir took my father to the Mutt, Periyava said, “You have opened my eyes!”

“In the original photograph of Periyava, his eyes were looking down at the veena he was holding. In the painting of Maniyam, however, Periyava’s eyes were looking straight. Father, though a bit embarrassed, said: ‘No Periyava. I thought it would be nice if your ‘paarvai’ (vision) fell on the devotees!’ Periyava replied: ‘Maniyam, what I saw in my inward vision, you had painted in the background showing the Siva Thandavam!

Maniyam drew the illustrations for the serial, ‘Jaya Jaya Sankara’ that Ganapati wrote in Kalki. “In 1970, when the Shankara Shanmatha Conference was held in Mylapore, I drew those 25 pictures all over again. My mother took them along when we (mother, myself and uncle) visited Periyava in Thenambakkam and showed them. He was immensely pleased and those blessings were precious! But for Ra. Ganapathi Sir, this would not have happened!” Incidentally, the cover paintings for two volumes of ‘Deivathin Kural’ were done by Ma.Se.

Even the rationalist Anna had praised Ra. Ganapathi’s way of writing. In ‘Than Varalaru,’ published by Bharati Pathippakam, in one of the chapters, where he writes about the loss of his beloved mother, Anna refers to the serial Ra. Ganapathi was writing in Kalki. In that particular week’s issue, Ganapathi had written about the demise of Sankara’s mother Aryambal and Sankara’s sorrow. Anna writes that he was moved by the writing, especially when he had lost his own mother at that point of time.

‘Deivathin Kural’ has been translated into English (‘Voice of God’) and also in many other languages. Educationist and philanthropist V. Shankar of Mumbai arranged to get them translated in Hindi and three volumes have already been released.

Sri Ganesa Sarma has been giving monthly lectures on the basis of “Deivathin Kural” in many different venues and the audience relish the simple way in which he interprets it.

Ra. Ganapathi suffered physically and mentally in the evening of his life but he was a true Karma Yogi.

Life with a purpose

Bharatanatyam exponent, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, sends this message:

“‘Kaarana Janmam' – it would be an apt description of Ra. Ganapathy's presence on earth - a life endowed by the Almighty for a purpose. The “Deivathin Kural” volumes stand as an eternal beacon of light to showcase the spiritual thoughts that emanated from the centenarian sage of Kanchi.

Ganapathy, who remained a bachelor, was himself a sage, who shunned publicity. The former President R. Venkataraman rightly described ‘Deivathin Kural' as ‘Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Upanishad.'

“When I went to pay my last respects to Sri. Ra. Ganapathy, I felt doubly blessed to know that my humble little book, ‘Kanchi Mahaswami's Vision of Asian Culture,' was the only work for which he had graciously given a Foreword. On the holy day of Mahasivaratri, he has joined the Lotus Feet of Kanchi Mahaswami, who was looked upon as Parameswara in human form.”

Source:CHARUKESI - The Hindu

Mahaperiyava Paramacharya Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati



Jagadguru Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (Tamil: சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சுவாமிகள்) (May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994) or the Sage of Kanchi was the 68th Jagadguru in the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. He is usually referred to as Paramacharya or Mahaswami or Maha Periyavaal.

Maha Periyavaal was born on 20 May 1894, under Anuradha star according to the Hindu calendar, into a Kannadiga Smartha Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family in Viluppuram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu as Swaminatha. He was the second son of Subramanya Sastri, a District Education Officer. The child was named Swaminatha, after the family deity, Lord Swaminatha of Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam. Swaminatha began his early education at the Arcot American Mission High School at Tindivanam, where his father was working. He was an exceptional student and excelled in several subjects.In 1905, his parents performed his Upanayanam, a Vedic ceremony which qualifies a Brahmin boy to begin his Vedic studies under an accomplished teacher.


During the childhood of the Acharya, his father consulted an astrologer who, upon studying the boy's horoscope, is said to have been so stunned that he prostrated himself before the boy exclaiming that "One day the whole world will fall at his feet".In 1906, the 66th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham performed the annual Chaturmasyam (a forty-day annual ritual performed by Hindu ascetics while remaining in one place), in a village near Tindivanam in Tamil Nadu. This was Swaminathan’s first exposure to the Math and its Acharya.

Later, Swaminathan accompanied his father whenever he visited the Math where the Acharya was deeply impressed by the young boy.

In the first week of February 1907, the Kanchi Kamakoti Math had informed Subramanya Sastrigal that Swaminathan's first cousin (son of his mother's sister) was to be installed as the 67th Peetathipathi. The presiding Acharya was then suffering from smallpox and had the premonition that he might not live long. He had, therefore, administered upadesa to his disciple Lakshminathan before he died. Sastrigal being away in Trichinopoly on duty arranged for the departure of Swaminathan with his mother to Kanchipuram. The boy and his mother started for Kalavai (where Lakshminathan was camping) to console his aunt who, while also being a widow, had just given up her only son to be an ascetic.

They traveled by train to Kanchipuram and halted at the Sankara Math. By then, Lakshminathan had fallen ill:

"I had a bath at the Kumara Koshta Tirtha. A carriage of the Math had come there from Kalavai with the people to buy articles for the Maha Puja on the tenth day of the passing of the previous 66th Acharya. One of them, a hereditary maistry (mason) of the Math, asked me to accompany him. A separate cart was engaged for the rest of the family to follow me. During the journey the maistry hinted to me that I might not return home and that the rest of my life might be spent in the Math itself. At first I thought that my elder cousin having become the Head of the Math, it was his wish that I should live with him. But the maistry gradually clarified matters as the cart rolled on. The acharya had fever which developed into delirium and that was why I was being separated from the family to be taken to Kalavai... I was stunned by this unexpected turn of events. I lay in a kneeling posture in the cart, shocked as I was, repeating "Rama... Rama," the only prayer I knew. My mother and other children came some time later only to find that instead of her mission of consoling her sister, she herself was placed in the state of having to be consoled"

—T.M.P. Mahadevan, The Sage of Kanchi

The 67th Acharya also died, after reigning for a brief seven days as the head of the Math. Swaminathan was immediately installed as the 68th head of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on February 13, 1907, the second day of the Tamil month of Masi, Prabhava year. He was given Sanyasa Asramam at the early age of 13 and was named Chandrasekharendra Saraswati. On May 9, 1907 his "Pattabishekam" as the 68th Peetathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam was performed at the Kumbakonam Math. Devotees including Shivaji Maharaja of Tanjavur, government officials and pundits participated in the event.



Even though there was not enough property in the mutt to be administered, the court considering the benefit of the mutt, ordered the mutt to be administered under the “Guardian and Wards Act”. Sri C.H.Venkataramana Iyer, an illustrious personality from Kolinjivadi (Colinjivadi) village near Coimbatore was appointed as guardian by the court. The administration of the mutt was under guardianship from 1911 to May,1915. On the day of Sankara Jayanthi in the year 1915, Swamigal took over the administration of the mutt on the completion of his 21 st year. The administration of the mutt was taken over in name, but the actual work was taken care of by an agent, one Sri Pasupathi Iyer. He was an able administrator who volunteered to do the job without compensation and hailed from Thirupathiripuliyur. Sri Swamigal does not sign any document, instead Sri Mukham stamp is placed on documents.

Mahaswami had vedic studies at Kumbakonam Mutt oppostie the mahamaham tank. In 1915, Sri Anantharama Srouthigal was his prathama adhyayana tutor. As a little girl, his granddaughter Nagam used to carry milk in a pot to the pontiff next door. She said the acharya was sharp in memory and divinely blessed with prediction. Avidly she recalled how the acharya directed her father Narayana Iyer (S/o Anantharama Srouthigal) to vacate the place and go to his house next door. Narayana came home and died within minutes. Thus was his spiritual darshan. When her family visited the Kanchi Mutt in 1991, the aged acharya blessed the family members and enquired if they were Nagam's children. It is understood that the house was later donated to Mutt by the family.

Maha Periyavaal spent several years in the study of the scriptures and dharma shastras and acquainted himself with his role as the Head of the Math. He soon gained the reverence and respect of the devotees and people around him. To millions of devotees he was simply "Periyavar"—the revered one or Maha-Periyavar or Periya-Periyavar. "Periyavar" in Tamil means a great person, and conveys endearment, reverence, and devotion. "Mahaswami" and "Paramacharya" are his other well-known appellations.




Maha Periyavaal was the head of the Mutt for eighty-seven years. During this period, the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam acquired new strength as an institution that propagated Śankara's teachings. The devotion, fervour, and intensity with which the Paramacharya practiced what Śankara had taught are considered to be unparalleled by his devotees.[citation needed] Throughout his life, the focus of his concern and activities was rejuvenating Veda adhyayana, the Dharma Sasthras, and the age-old tradition, which had suffered decline. "Veda rakshanam" was his very life breath, and he referred to this in most of his talks.

Remaining active throughout his life, the sage of Kanchi twice undertook pilgrimages on foot from Rameshwaram in the far south of the Indian peninsula to Benares in the North.

Providing support through Veda Patashalas (schools teaching Vedic lore) through the Veda Rakshana Nidhi which he founded and honouring Vedic scholars, he reinvigorated Vedic studies in India. He organised regular sadhas ('conferences') which included discussions on arts and culture—these led to a renewed interest in Vedic religion, Dharma sasthras, and the Sanskrit language. His long tenure as Pitadhipathi is considered by many to have been the Golden Era of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.He attained Mukti (died) on January 8, 1994 at the age of 100 and was succeeded by Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.

Periyava stressed the importance of a Guru in one's life. He repeatedly preached about the importance of following the Dharmic path. His various discourses are available in a volume of books called 'Deivathin Kural' (Voice of the Divine) which have been compiled by R. Ganapathi, a devotee of Periyava, and published by vaanathi publications. These books are available both in Tamil and English. A condensed form of these books is also available in English. These are available in any branch of the Kanchi math. He was a pure Gnani - (Sanskrit - he knew every thing happening in the world). He had proved this several times. So many devotee's mentioning this in there experience accounts for this. His advice to Paul Brunton is a classic example. He treated all religions equally and with respect. He guided the devotees by spiritual means.

Though Periyavaa did not get directly into politics, he was interested in the happenings. At Nellichery in Palakkad (Present Day Kerala), Rajaji and Mahatma Gandhi met the Acharya in a cow shed. It was a practice in the mutt to wear silk clothes. But Acharya was the first one to do away with them and shifted to Khadi robes at Rameshwaram. He requested his devotees to do away with foreign/ non natural clothes some time earlier at Trichy. The day India became free, he gave the Maithreem Bhajata song, which was later to be sung at the UN by M S Subbulakshmi. He gave a speech on the significance of the flag and the Dharma chakra in it on that day.

Periyava's charm invited the rich and the poor, the old and the young alike to be his devotees. Some of his famous devotees include, their highness the King and Queen of Nepal, the Queen Mother of Greece, the Dalai Lama, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Subramanian Swamy, Indira Gandhi, R. Venkatraman and Atal Bihari Vajpayee among others. To the Acharya, the VIPs and the common man were one and the same. There were thousands of personal experiences to lakhs of his devotees, who still revere him, and pray to him as a messenger of the Supreme or an ultimate Guru.




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Seminar on Ophthalmic Nursing



The fact that additional seating arrangement had to be made to accommodate the beyond capacity invitees and participants assembled at the Sri VD Swami Auditorium on the 30th of March is a clear indication of the overwhelming response to the Ophthalmic Nursing Seminar being held there. The seminar was organized to educate participants on the general principles of nursing, healthcare and the finer nuances of ophthalmic nursing.

The function started with a hearty welcome and interesting note on the objectives of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy by Shri A.Mahalingam, Academic Officer, followed by a brief note on the objectives of the seminar by Ms H.Priya, Professor, Nursing. The participants were enriched by a high level understanding and deep knowledge on a broad spectrum of subjects, directly and indirectly related to nursing like Infection Control Issues in Ophthalmic Practice, Basics of Electronic Medical Records(EMR), Emergency Management of Eye Injuries & Nurses in Mobile OT and Rural camps, Counseling and emotional support for patients with Vision loss, Handling of Ophthalmic Patients – Pre / Per/post and Ambulatory care, Refractive Procedure : LASIK, Paediatric Ophthalmology & Role of Nurses in Ophthalmology by speeches on these subjects by experts and Senior Professionals in the respective fields.

One Year Internship in Clinical Optometry at Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata



The admission test for the one year internship program in Clinical Optometry at Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata is scheduled on 27-04-2012,evening 4pm to 5pm at SN Kolkata,Mukundupur Campus.Based on the performance in the written examination 20 students would be selected for pursuing their one year internship at Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata,which would be conducted in the academic year 2012-2013,between June 2012 to June 2013.The selection would be based on the percentage secured in the written examination and there would be no interview process.Optometry Students from Kolkata & West Bengal under WBUT stream of 4 year degree program in Optometry would be given preference,since the internship training aims in developing their clinical skills and enhance and upgrade their professional and academic standards to pursue higher responsibilities and positions in the Eye Care Industry in the national and international platform.

The details regarding the fees and admission formalities for the one year program could be discussed with HR Incharge,SN Kolkata further to the admission test on 27-04-2012.

Seventh internship certificate awarding ceremony of the students from the Twintech International University College & Technology held at the Sankara Nethralaya Academy on the 28th of March 2012



The seventh internship certificate awarding ceremony of the students from the Twintech International University College & Technology held at the Sankara Nethralaya Academy on the 28th of March 2012 was a perfect picture of the continuing understanding and synergy between the Sankara Nethralaya Academy and the Malaysian University in taking students to the next level in their chosen vocation. The jubilant students all set for the golden hour and the equally excited members of the faculty and management of the Sankara Nethralaya Academy reflected the deep involvement and joy of both partners.

Delivering the welcome address Ms Akila Ganesan, Registrar, Sankara Nethralaya Academy expressed her joy to be present on the happy and momentous occasion, she congratulated the students completing their internship and highlighted the various options that lay ahead of them, she also gave them healthy advice on how they should always place the patient’s interest foremost before everything else. Ms. Akila Ganesan warmly welcomed and thanked the Chief Guest Dr. Haliza Abdul Mutalib, Head and Associate Professor from the Universiti of Kebangsan, Malaysia and recalled that she was instrumental in signing the MoU with Twintech University, adding that she could be the right role model for the students assembled.

Speaking on the occasion Shri S.Vishwanathan, DGM, Optometry Department highlighted the exposure that the students completing their internship, received in every major department in addition to the continuing medical education programmes and case presentation emphasizing strongly on the strict and thorough evaluation methods adopted on completion of each program. Shri Vishwanathan congratulated the students from Malaysia on their ‘Log Book’ practice and commended that this could be something we could emulate too. Speaking on behalf of the students Ms Chong Lee gave an emotional account of their experience and showered everyone at the Academy and Sankara Nethralaya with fulsome praise. Chief Guest Dr Haliza congratulated the students for coming out with flying colours and reiterating that the MoU between the two institutions was a great decision indeed, she advised the students assembled to treat knowledge and learning as tools to serve the people and promised to speak to a number of Malaysian Universities including the Toon Hussain University on the Optometry Internship program.

The function ended with a thanks note from Ms. Subha, member Sankara Nethralaya Academy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

RVR @ Low Vision Symposium & Workshop at Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata,25th March 2012






Venkataramanan Ramasethu,RVR @ Annual Conference of OAI,Ashutosh Centenary Hall,Indian Museum,Kolkata


Venkataramanan Ramasethu,RVR @ Annual Conference of OAI,Ashutosh Centenary Hall,Indian Museum,Kolkata






L&T and Sankara Nethralaya - A long cherished strong association


L&T and Sankara Nethralaya have cherished strong association. L&T has built and supported many facilities for Nethralaya. Sankara Nethralaya has also been conducting many eye camps for L&T and Prayas, providing quality eye care service to the community of underprivileged. As a step forward in this collaborative Corporate Social Initiative, Mr. K.V. Rangaswami, Advisor to Chairman, presented a cheque of Rs. 4 lakhs towards L&T’s sponsorship for a Topcon Slit Lamp equipment which will be used by Nethralaya in all their eye camps.

In addition, the list and names of 273 cornea donors — all L&T staff and family members who had pledged their eyes – was also presented by KVR to Dr. Sheila John, Head Tele Ophthalmology, Sankara Nethralaya at HQ Chennai on March 29, 2012.

Speaking during the occasion in the midst of the team that helped launch the eye donation drive, Mr. K.V. Rangaswami (KVR) said that L&T and Sankara Nethralaya’s association is a testimony to the quality and commitment provided to society at large in eye care. Hailing eye donation as a great noble act, KVR said that such initiatives should be well communicated to the public to facilitate greater awareness for eye donation and people’s participation.

Mr. V.S Ramana (VSR), Head Corporate Communications set the context by emphasizing on the importance of eye donation. VSR briefed on L&T’s eye donation campaign carried out across L&T Construction. He said “while planning for the eye donation drive, L&T’s Corporate Social Initiative team unearthed the ‘heart-rending story’ of the L&T’s unsung hero – late Sri. S. Balachander, EHS Engineer who becomes a multi organ donor in May 2010. Thanks to the compassion and graciousness of his family members – seven people got a new lease of life. Such an L&T testimonial was inspiration to drive the campaign and for so many to pledge their eyes.”

Dr. Sheila John thanked L&T for sponsoring the Topcon slit lamp and said that this would greatly facilitate community ophthalmology and offer rural patients the same kind of quality service as in hospitals. This facility would benefit over 14000 patients annually, she added.

Inauguration of the Tamil Vision Chart


The Elite School of Optometry is known for its real time approach to awareness creation and eradication of blindness stretching far beyond the realm of its classrooms and its significant contribution for this noble cause. In keeping with this spirit a team of early birds comprising both optometrists and optometry students from the ESO descended as early as 6:00 am in the vicinity of the Anjaneya Temple at Ashok Nagar on 24th of March, which is observed as World optometry day, much to the pleasant surprise of early morning walkers and devotees on the way to the temple. On reaching the destination they grouped themselves into several teams and began an intensive door to door campaign covering as much as 920 households in the area by afternoon, educating families on the risks of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, preventive measures including the need for regular eye check-up. They also handed over self testing ESO pocket vision screeners, eye donation forms and information pamphlets to those screened and contacted, the occasion also saw the retina and eye pressure check-up for 115 senior citizens in the locality.

The highlight of the day was the inauguration of the Tamil Vision Chart prepared meticulously by the ESO which would help devotees to self examine their eye sight, at the Ashok Nagar Anjaneya temple by Shri TS.Subramanian who was instrumental in the establishment of the psychophysics department at the ESO with the help of the Uthrash Trust.

‘Insight-A passion for compassion’ a compelling biography of Sankara Nethralaya


The book launch of ‘Insight-A passion for compassion’ a compelling biography of Sankara Nethralaya co-authored by Shri VV.Ranganathan, Shri George Skarias and Ms Meera Prasad was held at the Walchand Hirachand Hall Mumbai on the 20th of March 2102.The city of Mumbai has a pride of place in the inception and growth of Sankara Nethralaya and it was chosen as the venue to open the eyes of the world to a great saga of courage and determination. The beyond capacity crowd gathered Hall the venue of the book launch strongly reiterated that Sankara Nethralaya has an indelible place in Mumbai’s heart.

Dr S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya extended a warm welcome to the Chief Guest, esteemed invitees, friends and supporters who had contributed for the growth of Sankara Nethralaya gathered for the momentous occasion, the authors and everyone present at the venue, The glorious moment of the day the launch of the book by Chief Guest Shri Deepak S.Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd and receiving of the same by Dr B.R Barwale, Chairman, Mahyco and Member of the Board, Medical Research Foundation was accorded a thunderous applause by the audience. Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya gave a touching account on the crucial role of great philanthropist like Shri C.U Shah from the city of Mumbai who were instrumental in the inception and growth of Sankara Nethralaya to its present stature, he expressed his view that there was no shortage for eye care centers in Mumbai but if there were well-wishers willing to support such an initiative as in Kolkata he would be happy to set up a center in Mumbai.

The book launch function provided a platform for the Chairman Emeritus and senior management members of Sankara Nethralaya to meet and interact with some of the greatest benefactors of the institution like Ms Noel Tata, Shri Neeraj Bajaj, Shri C.U Shah,Shri Homi Bhaba, Dr Bapat, Shri Nichal H.Israni and several other great people in the same venue. Shri Sugalchand Jain, Honourary Treasurer and Secretary warmly thanked the Chief Guest, the esteemed invitees and all those assembled, for their time and interest in the book and the authors for the great work in compiling the long history and making it most readable and enjoyable.

Eleventh Dr E.Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session



The Dr E.Vaithilingam Memorial Scientific Session is conducted every year as a tribute to the contribution of this great man to the field of optometry and to the all round growth that the Elite School of Optometry registered during his tenure as its Principal between 1991- 2001. The 11th scientific session was held at the Sri VD Swami auditorium on the 18th of March, 2012. The significant increase witnessed in both the number of participants and the scope of the presentations every year is a testimony to the increasing importance of this session.

This year’s session witnessed the presentation of 22 oral and 32 poster presentations on a wide range of topics including Binocular Vision, Low Vision, Contact Lens, Pediatric optometry, Qualitative research, Refractive error, Cataract, Glaucoma and Retinal diseases from school and college students across the country. Dr Prem Nandhini and Dr Dharani Ramamurthy were the judges of the day and presented the following awards to the winners

1. Best Scientific Oral Presentation in regular category – Ms Nandhini Ganesh, Post Graduate student, Elite School of Optometry

2. Best Scientific Oral Presentation in student category – Ms Lynn Mathew, student, Lotus College of Optometry

3.Best Poster Presentation in regular category – Ms Manuseni Uma, LV Prasad Eye Institute

4.Best Poster Presentation in student category – Ms Mumtaz Qazi, student, Lotus School of Optometry

The Indian Vision Institute awarded travel grants for the eligible students.

The function was graced by Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.TS.Surendran, Vice-Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya and Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath. Speaking on the occasion Dr TS.Surendran and Shri S.Veeraraghavan, Professor of Mathematics and Biostatics, ESO recalled the critical contributions of Late Dr E.Vaithilingam to the field of optometry in general and the Elite School of Optometry in particular and shared their fond memories of working with him.

The function was webcast for the benefit of those who were unable to attend in person.

(CPCL) has donated Rs14.50 lakhs to Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation


S Venkataramana, MD, CPCL, presenting the cheque to
Dr Sheila John, Head of Department, Tele-Ophthalmology,
in the presence of Dr SS Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus,
Dr S Baskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya and other senior officials of CPCL

Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) has donated Rs14.50 lakhs to Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation for the purchase of an operating microscope for their community operation theatre, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. Operating microscope is used to perform surgery under high magnification and special lighting in the operation theater. It is used especially for ocular surgeries, involving correction of cataract, vitreoretinal and squint. CPCL, in association with Sankara Nethralaya, has been conducting Comprehensive Eye Care Camps in and around Manali. Those who are diagnosed with cataract and need surgery will be operated at the base hospital.