R Venkataramanan

R Venkataramanan

R Venkat's Blog

R Venkat's Blog
"To be an Inspiring Teacher,one should be a Disciplined Student throughout Life" - Venkataramanan Ramasethu



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Understanding the word "TEACHER"

An educator is not merely a giver of information; he is one who points the way to wisdom, to truth. Truth is far more important than the teacher. The search for truth is religion, and truth is of no country, of no creed, it is not to be found in any temple, church or mosque. Without the search for truth, society soon decays. To create a new society, each one of us has to be a true teacher, which means that we have to be both the pupil and the master; we have to educate ourselves.

If a new social order is to be established, those who teach merely to earn a salary can obviously have no place as teachers. To regard education as a means of livelihood is to exploit the children for one's own advantage. In an enlightened society, teachers will have no concern for their own welfare, and the community will provide for their needs.

The true teacher is not he who has built up an impressive educational organization, nor he who is an instrument of the politicians, nor he who is bound to an ideal, a belief or a country. The true teacher is inwardly rich and therefore asks nothing for himself; he is not ambitious and seeks no power in any form; he does not use teaching as a means of acquiring position or authority, and therefore he is free from the compulsion of society and the control of governments. Such teachers have the primary place in an enlightened civilization, for true culture is founded, not on the engineers and technicians, but on the educators.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Professor S.Krishnamoorthy Rao Gold Medal Award - 2013

Sri Mahaperiyaval’s Jayanthi Mahostavam @ Kolkata on 25th Saturday 2013 at Ved Bhavan

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |

न हि ज्ञानेना सदृशम पवित्रमिह विद्यते |
Gita Ch. 4, Sloka No. 38
Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.

Dear Devotees

Ved Bhavan Bhajan Samaj takes pleasure in informing you all that Sri Mahaperiyaval’s Jayanthi Mahostavam will be celebrated on 25th Saturday 2013 at Ved Bhavan as per following programme. All are requested to participate in large numbers and be the recipient of GRACE of PARAMACHARYAL of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Thaitriya Upanishad Parayanam

9.00 a.m. Mahanyasam Japam
Sri Rudra Abhishekam to Padukas of Pujya Maha Periyaval
Ashtothra Archana to Padukas

Evening 6.00 p.m. Vishnu Sahasranama parayanam

Evening 6.45 p.m. Weekly Special Bhajan

50, Lake Avenue, Kolkata - 700 026.
Email: vedbhavankolkata@gmail.com

What to do after class 10 or 12? A perennial question, with the usual answer of engineering or medicine

What to do after class 10 or 12? A perennial question, with the usual answer of engineering or medicine. However, at a career counseling session organized by The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, Ayanambakkam, Vanagaram, here on Saturday – 18th May 2013 young people had an opportunity to discover a whole range of courses in the healthcare sector that could help them build good careers.

A Mahalingam Assistant Registrar inaugurated and brief about the Institution and its facility. And highlighted about “The healthcare service sector is booming. There are many career opportunities here, with institutions offering courses to enhance their specialized manpower. The Sankara Nethralaya Academy is offering many such specialized diploma courses.”

Sri A P Irungovel, Senior Manager – Patients Education & Counseling dept of Sankara Nethralaya given a presentation on Goal – Towards healthcare services.

The 2 years diplomas in Ophthalmic Nursing Assistant, Operation Theatre and Anaesthesia Technology, and BSc Medical Laboratory Courses are all courses recognized by the TN Dr MGR Medical University. And the academy also conducts 2 year – Diploma in Refraction and Dispensing courses. For the +2 completed candidates.

In the Ophthalmic Nursing Assistant course, the students learn about ocular disease and its causes. They learn to assist in ophthalmic surgical procedures, to provide pre and post-operative care to patients and to act as primary and secondary resources to patients, care givers and healthcare professionals.

The Operation Theatre and Anaesthesia Technology course teaches students to assist the anaesthetist, surgeon or nurse in various procedures and to sterilise and disinfect OT rooms following NABH protocols.

A Mahalingam, academic officer & Assistant Registrar of The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, said, “Our courses are designed to get the students jobs. Students who cannot afford to go to college will definitely find jobs after the diploma courses.” For more details, contact 9710485295 or log on to www.thesnacademy.ac.in

Saturday, May 18, 2013

'‘Do your best and God will take care of the rest”

We are all familiar with the dictum ‘Do your best and God will take care of the rest” good acts after all seldom go unnoticed. It was such devoted, sincere and selfless efforts by the members of Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust, USA towards raising funds to light up lives in their home country and the sterling work in ophthalmic care by Sankara Nethralaya in terms of cost free, high quality care delivered in the remote rural areas that drew the attention of “Wonder Work”, the global relief organization to Sankara Nethralaya. The relief provider driven by the byline ‘Wonder surgeries for Children’ was particularly impressed by the exclusive status that pediatric surgery received at Sankara Nethralaya and the significant work done in the field of child eye care, from simple squint correction to research and treatment in retinoblastoma, which resulted in a generous donation to Sankara Nethralaya through the good offices of the SN OM Trust USA.

A grateful Sankara Nethralaya family extended a warm welcome to Ms Delois Greenwood, Senior Advisor, Global Programs, Wonder Work on a visit to its centers to gain a firsthand knowledge and feel of the institution, so thoughtfully supported by her organization. After a tour of the Jaslok Community Ophthalmic Center (JCOC), Jagadguru Kanchi Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Nethra Nilayam (JKCN), Ms. Delois was taken around the various blocks of Sankara Nethralaya Main including the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institution for Research in vision and ophthalmology before joining senior members of the Sankara Nethralaya family including Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Dr Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Laboratory Services and Ms Akila Ganesan, Senior General Manager for an informal chat at the board room. The meeting started with a briefing on the community services being carried out by Sankara Nethralaya especially in the area of child eye care in terms of creating awareness and educating school teachers by Ms Akila Ganesan. Ms Delois gave an interesting brief on the inception of Wonder Work in year 1987 and its growth, its highly professional and enterprising CEO and Co-founder Mr. Brian Mullaney who leveraged his considerable skills in PR and advertising skills for a non-profit and noble cause, she explained that Wonder Work was started primarily to provide surgical relief and care to children as most charities focused on programmes like polio eradication and other ailments and the area of child surgery remained largely unserved. Ms Delois highlighted that Wonder Work was funding surgeries for cataract, club foot, treatment of burns and hydrocephalitis and USD – a condition where a hole is formed in the heart. Showering praise on Sankara Nethralaya as a “Place of Hope” she observed that Wonder Work chose to partner with Sankara Nethralaya on account of its

• Being extremely well qualified to provide service
• Vast outreach capability
• Follow up care
• Education and training initiatives

Ms Delois was thoroughly briefed on the work done by Sankara Nethralaya in the area of retinopathy of prematurity, research in the early detection of retinoblastoma, Elsemia, research towards immunization against cataract, free outdoor eye camps, on the spot spectacle dispensing, assistance received from Orbis and Mahima Foundation for pediatric ophthalmology, Education and training of African Doctors, eye care campaigns in Botswana, Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya, by Dr. SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr. S.Bhaskaran, Chairman, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. Sheila John, Dr. Krishna Kumar and Dr. Vikas Khaitan.

The significant all round advancements made by Sankara Nethralaya and the audio visual presentation of the twin surgical bus campaign and other eye care camps made a deep impression on Ms Delois Greenwood. She expressed that the purpose of her visit was to introduce her organization, learn more about Sankara Nethralaya and explore new areas of support and assistance that Wonder Work could extend in the years to come and she was highly satisfied with the visit and interactions at different levels.

Elite School of Optometry installed its fifth Tamil logmAR chart

The Elite School of Optometry installed its fifth Tamil logmAR chart in the Lakshmi Narsimha Navaneethakrishnan temple in Nanganallur on 13th May 2013 between 10.00 am and 11.00 am on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Trithiya.

The chart was inaugurated by the Councillor, 167th Ward, Nanganallur Ms.Hema and Mr Bharaniprasad, Social activist. Mr Raghavan, Secretary of the temple graced the occasion. Mr Bakthavatchalam, Father of Ms Malini, Intern helped in installing the chart in the temple. Archaeologists estimate that this temple belongs to the the eighth century and the foundation of the gopuram was laid in 1998 by the seer of Ahobila Mutt.

The local residents who gathered during the occasion expressed their happiness and appreciated the effort of the institution in raising awareness about eye care among the public through innovative methods. Few of them also recalled with admiration the door to door awareness session conducted recently by the ESO on World optometry Day. The logMAR chart drew instant and enthusiastic response and a good number of attendees to the inaugural started testing their vision right away with the help of the instructions printed in the chart.

It would be noteworthy to add at this point that the ESO has also installed its logMARcharts at the Anjaneya temple in Ashok Nagar, Anjaneya temple in Nanganallur, Jeeva park in T Nagar and a marriage hall in Bodi which are rendering good service to the locals by enabling them to check their eye sight in a simple way.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata a preferred destination for a highly successful career in Optometry for Optometrists from Eastern India

It was in 1976 when addressing a group of doctors, His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam spoke of the need to create a hospital with a missionary spirit.

His words marked the beginning of a long journey to do God's own work.

On the command of His Holiness, Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, along with a group of philanthropists founded a charitable not-for-profit eye hospital...

One that would bring world-class eye care to the people of India. One that would adopt a single standard of care for all, rich or poor. One that would share the fruits of its knowledge and spread its concept of care to distant parts of this country.

In a solemn function held at the premises of the Vijaya Hospital with Semmangudi Srinivasa Aiyer offering the prayer, Mrs (Dr) T Agarwal inaugurated the project.

On the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturthi, the sixth day of September in the year 1978, the hospital came into existence.

It was named Sankara Nethralaya, which means "The Temple of the Eye". The long journey for vision with a mission began.

Sankara Nethralaya today has grown into a super specialty institution for ophthalmic care and receives patients from all over the country and abroad. It has gained international excellence and is acclaimed for its quality care and compassion. The Sankara Nethralaya family today has over 1400 individuals with one vision – to propagate the Nethralaya philosophy; the place of our work is an Alaya and Work will be our worship, which we shall do with sincerity, dedication and utmost love with a missionary spirit.

Sankara Nethralaya has been described by Shri Nani A. Palkivala, an eminent legal expert and former Indian Ambassador to USA, as the "Best Managed Charitable Organization in India". Sir Ratan Tata Trust has observed Sankara Nethralaya as a High Performing Knowledge Institution – mission driven, a proven track record, acknowledged nationally and internationally for its expertise and excellence in Ophthalmic care with almost all eye sub-specialties, good management systems, a vibrant set of human resources and a participative system of decision-making.

On an average, 1200 patients walk through our doors and 100 surgeries are performed every day. In our journey for excellence, we have received many awards and appreciation of our efforts. And we still have a long way to go…

Sankara Nethralaya in the city of joy

Since its inception in 1978, Sankara Nethralaya, a unit of Medical Research Foundation, Chennai, has been receiving patients from the Eastern and North Eastern Region of India, seeking treatment and management for Ophthalmic conditions. While the hospital in Chennai received over 300 patients from this region every day, there were many more who could not travel the distance and avail the treatment facilities in Chennai.

To serve more people from eastern and north eastern India, Sankara Nethralaya began offering its services, through collaboration, in Kolkata in December 2002, serving about 200 patients a day. In July 2007, with the idea of expanding and offering more comprehensive care, it moved to an independent interim location at Raja Subodh Mullick Square. While at the interim location, Sankara Nethralaya with the support of the Paschim Banga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilini, constructed its own eye hospital, built on a 0.55 acre of land in Mukundapur.

The new hospital was commissioned on January 21, 2009 by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Shri. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Lead by Dr. Sujata Guha, a dedicated team of 11 consultants caters to the needs of at least 500-600 patients a day in all sub-specialities of ophthalmology. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art investigational facilities. The centre is a dedicated superspeciality eye hospital and peripheral referral centre for the entire eastern region of the country and neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal.

Keeping with the Sankara Nethralaya philosophy of Community Service, the new hospital at Kolkata has an entire floor dedicated to Community Service. Two state-of-the-art operation theatres and 24 beds have been specifically earmarked for indigent patients who receive treatment free-of-cost. The hospital also has a Teleophthalmology and Mobile Refraction Van that takes quality eye care to the doorsteps of people living in rural and semi-urban West Bengal.


Sankara Nethralaya offers not mere jobs but exciting and satisfying careers. A premier Institution in eye care, Sankara Nethralaya offers a friendly work environment, rich culture and an opportunity to work in state of the art technologies. Candidates willing to be part of our Mission for Vision and have a caring attitude in whatever they do, are welcome to forward their CVs to snk@snmail.org or rvr@snmail.org

Job Vacancies @ Sankara Nethralaya,Kolkata

Friday, May 10, 2013

Are we dreaming? No, just paying a tribute to the poet on his 139th birth anniversary - Boria Majumdar

Are we dreaming? No, just paying a tribute to the poet on his 139th birth anniversary.
Boria Majumdar
A British friend of mine, more passionate about Rabindranath Tagore than most of us Indians here at Oxford, asked me recently, "Is there any sphere in India where this legend has not left his mark?"
"I am sure Tagore had nothing to do with cricket", another one piped up, seeing me (a cricket historian and a Bengali to boot) around.
Cricket, he assumed, may well be that 'outcaste', one left untouched by Tagore.
Reminded me of a story I'd read many years back, a story in an unpublished essay on the genesis of sports journalism which I'd like to narrate here, as a humble tribute to the legend, in commemoration of his 139th birth anniversary today.
Brajaranjan Ray, the pioneer of sports journalism in Bengali, recounts his experience after having met the proprietors of the Ananda Bazar Patrika and having convinced them of the necessity of sports journalism (without pay, however) in this unpublished essay I had the fortune of having read. Apparently, he was at a loss for Bengali equivalents of English terms in describing/reporting cricket matches. And who else to turn to but Tagore?
Tagore, of course, was encouraging as ever and asked him to go ahead without fear, inventing terminology. He guessed it right that whatever Ray coined and persisted with, would, with the passage of time, become standard usage. Roy of course was free to turn to him for advice and corrections.
So, there.
It is not for nothing that we Bengalis think that there ain't no sphere the legend left untouched.
Not just that. Apart from this Ray-Tagore encounter of the 30s, there is also an imaginary match apparently played sometime in the 30s (fascinatingly described in a piece -- loosely translated as Rabindranath and Cricket -- sometime in the 50s in Dainik Basumati, a Bengali journal, and later reprinted in some collections) that I was and am reminded of..
The setting of the match is Gomoh, a small town near Dhanbad, Bihar, more famous for its railway station from which Subhash Chandra Bose took his train towards Europe. Tagore apparently had gone there for a brief visit and had decided to organise the match is what the writer of the piece wants us to believe.
The players who played against Tagore's team included such luminaries as Vizzy, the Maharjkumar of Vizianagram; The Maharaja of Patiala, Pataudi Senior; The Maharja of Cooch Bihar and Duleep Sinhji. They apparently all come in their private aeroplanes, a point much emphasised in the piece.
That they spent to play the game, rather than playing to earn, does not need to be emphasised, but another interesting sidelight of the described match was the bit about ads. Now in the 30s, advertising was still in its infancy, but not apparently for this match. The leading sports goods dealers from Bengal -- S.Ray and Co., Uberoi et al -- had all seemingly assembled in Gomoh with a range of their products.
The inaugural ceremony of the match was initiated by a shenai recital, though the Maharja of Patiala had also, it seems, arranged for a band to perform on the occasion. Two players from Tagore's side, Professor Kshiti Mohan Sen (father of our Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen) and Acharya Bidhusekhar Shastri recited vedic mantras to start off the proceedings. The stadium, a temporary arrangement for the match (typical of modern one-day internationals) was packed to capacity.
Another key aspect of the match, one typical of modern cricket, was the presence of women spectators. They were all dressed in saris worn the Maharastrian way. (It is worth mentioning in this context that women in the 1930s played cricket in saris and there was a regular tradition of cricket between men vs. women in Kathiawar.)
Also present for this match, were the great dancer Mani Behn, Rajkumari Sharmila, the famous motor racing specialist, the daughters of the Gaekwad family, the Rajkumari of Burdwan and sundry other who's who.
Needless to mention, it had to have nationalist overtones. So Rabindranath, inspired by swadeshi, played with a bat made from local wood, wore a toka (a headdress worn by peasants) made of palm-leaves and was dressed in a dhoti. Now this is not just the anonymous writer's imagination for cricket in dhotis was very much in vogue in the 1930s and may well be perceived as an attempt by the Indians to appropriate cricket for nationalist purposes. (The Mohun Bagan Club did this in 1930 in a match against the Governors XI, and upon being reprimanded by R.B.Lagden for their dress refused to play. The match was eventually abandoned when Lagden refused to tender the apology demanded by Mohun Bagan. Six months later, a similar thing happened in a match between the Vidyasagar College and the Calcutta Cricket Club.)
So you see, whether or not Tagore had much to do with cricket, we Bengalis definitely think -- and have evidence too -- that not only was he involved with the genesis of cricket journalism in Bengali, but that he also was a pioneer in the commercialisation of the game. After all, the various dynamics of commercialisation are very much in evidence in the imagination of the author of the above story, aren't they?
His internationalism in all spheres of public life was based on a strong grasp of and love for local realities, even if we may not want to start playing in dhotis again (but those are the local realities today). A realisation/acceptance of this message will be our best tribute to him on his 139th birth anniversary.

Highly successful mission for the Mobile Surgical Bus of Sankara Nethralaya

The Sankara Nethralaya mobile surgical bus engineered to take top quality eye care to the most inaccessible regions, especially regions not served by a health care facility in the neighbourhood received a call to fulfill its avowed mission when the Sankara Nethralaya Community services team decided to reach out quality eye care to ‘Chunampet’ a remote hamlet about 140 kilometers away from Chennai, on the Madurantakam -Pondicherry route. The location of the camp was chosen on the basis of non-availability of quality eye care in the region and in deference to the wish of Shri C.Ramakrishna, Member of the Board, Medical Research Foundation who has his roots in this village. Shri Ramakrishna had most thoughtfully arranged for the food, refreshments to the patients and the outdoor team involved in the operation including the stay of the outdoor team during the 5 days of the camp. Shri C.Ramakrishna had also coordinated with the Dr Mohan’s diabetes hospital to use the premises of the ‘Sri Sai Rural Diabetes Centre’ their community health initiative in Chunampet as an assembling and waiting point for the patients and to park the Mobile surgical units.

The outdoor team consisting of Consultants Dr S.Sudarhsan and Dr Sridhar Baratan and the paramedical teams reached Chunampet on the morning of 22nd April and the eye screening camp was conducted on 22nd and 23rd of April. There was a good turnout of 259 people mainly landless farm labourers and small farmers from Chunampet and surrounding villages who had no access or wherewithal to go to an eye care centre. A total of 26 patients were diagnosed with cataract at varying stages and needing surgical intervention, pre-operative tests were carried out to ascertain that they were fit for surgery and they were asked to report to the same venue on the 27th and 28th in batches of 13 each day, to undergo surgery. The patients were again subjected to surgery fitness tests on the day of the surgery and cataract surgery was carried out successfully at the operation theatre on wheels, after which they could return to their homes.

A post operative camp was conducted on the 30th of April to thoroughly examine if the patients were progressing well, if their vision had improved and to rule out any post operative complication. All the 26 patients were found to be normal and had responded well to the surgery and expressed their happiness at gaining back their eyesight. A highlight of the camp was the visit and participation of Dr SS. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus and Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath, Director, Clinical Services, Sankara Nethralaya. They had come with a view of assessing the quality and efficacy of the mobile surgical camps at the clinical level and their cost and benefit. The head of Sankara Nethralaya studied the case reports at random, interacted with the Consultants and their support team members and picked up a conversation with the beneficiaries to gauge the impact of the camp and their experience.

The Chunampet camp turned out to be a highly successful mission for the Mobile Surgical Bus and also a learning session for future camps.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Optometry & Ophthalmology are as inseparable as a word and it's meaning

Sankara Nethralaya and its associate institutions, it would seem have a magical quality about them, traveling back in time and taking a close look at their inception and growth one is truly amazed by the magic which drew the right people into their fold to make the dream and passion of the young vitreo retinal surgeon from the US a reality. He had a vision and foresight and the right men and women simply joined him as people join a great movement. Sankara Nethralaya was recently honoured by the visit of one such stalwart, a man who was part of this great movement, a man who shared the founder’s passion and dream and the man who laid a strong foundation to the Elite School of Optometry (ESO). The young at heart Septuagenarian Professor Dr.PP.Santanam who served as the ESO’s first Principal and a man who continues to offer weekly lectures at the place where his heart is, paid a visit to Sankara Nethralaya accompanied by Dr R.Krishna Kumar, the current Principal to meet his old friend and colleague Dr SS.Badrinath, to share his thoughts and most importantly to make a huge donation to the ESO, to quote his own words “a donation towards the cause of progress of optometry and to keep the ESO the Numero Uno optometry institution in the country”.

Professor PP.Santnam attributed Dr SS.Badrinath’s foresight and vision as the most important factors in the development of optometry as an important science in the country, getting it its due pride of place among other health sciences and its role in overall ophthalmic care. He gave a most absorbing account of how he became the first Principal of the ESO on his return from the Barbados, West Indies although he was neither an optometrist nor an ophthalmologist but a specialist in occupational health medicine and safety, as Dr SS. Badrinath wanted the new institution to be headed by man who would set a great personal example. He took an interesting walk back into the past when he was advisor to the government of Barbados on occupational health, adding with a twinkle in his eye that he was a neighbor during those years to none other than the cricketing legend Sir Garfield St.Aubrun Sobers and how he would serve the spinning legend Venkataraghavan his favourite curd rice when he toured the Barbados, West Indies.

It was amazing to note that this great educationist had emphasized on the need to develop soft skills, general language, societal commitment need for lateral thinking and usage of computers among the students of the ESO way back in 1985 when these things were unheard of. No wonder that the ESO remains a first in its class institution to this day.

Dr PP.Santanam presented a cheque for a significant sum of rupees thirty lakhs to be converted into two equal corpus funds, in honour of his parents Former Judge Shri P.V.Parameswara Iyer and Srimathi Kamala Bai and his parents’ in-law Dr S.Ramakrishnan and Srimathi Bhagavathi, to meet the cost towards research, training, education, development of Occupational Optometry and other community activities of the ESO.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sankara Jayanthi @ Sikkim

Sankara Jayanthi @Kanchi Srimatam Samasthanam

Hanuman Chalisa Chanting

na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate |

न हि ज्ञानेना सदृशम पवित्रमिह विद्यते |

Gita Ch. 4, Sloka No. 38

Certainly, there is no purifier in this world like knowledge.

Hanuman Chalisa Chanting - 108 times tomorrow i.e 1st May 2013 at Ved Bhavan, 50 Lake Avenue from 4 p.m onwards.

All are invited to attend the function.​

50, Lake Avenue, Kolkata - 700 026.
Email: vedbhavankolkata@gmail.com