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



Wednesday, July 31, 2013


The mantra “Others before self”

The mantra “Others before self” could have been the apt theme for the recently held Alumni Meet held on Sunday, 21st July 2013 at the Sri V D Swami Auditorium as one witnessed doctors spiritedly seeking and exchanging information for the common good.

The day long meet registered a record attendance of 130 alumni members from all over the country including Dr.SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Dr.T.S.Surendran, Vice Chairman and Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath, Director-Clinical Services, Sankara Nethralaya and notable overseas participants Dr.Surendra Basti and Dr.Vimal Swaroop who had come down all the way from the United States.

The day was packed with vibrant presentations of challenging and complicated cases by experts in their respective specialties of ophthalmology with a lot of informative and intellectual exchange of scientific ideas on a single platform.

The day’s highlight was a special interview with Dr.SS Badrinath, recalling his veteran Guru Dr.Charles Schepens who remarked on a bright morning before the training began “to pick and read the subject book” instead of the day’s newspaper that he was holding. The other most cherished memory was the promise to go back to India, after completion of training, which Dr.Charles Schepens was most insistent upon.

A highly touched and emotional Dr.Badrinath, remarked that he felt very optimistic on the occasion. He reminisced spiritedly and chronologically the watershed events like his meeting with Sri JRD Tata at his institute in Mumbai and Sri.C.U.Shah, the philanthropist entrepreneur who made available the seed capital to Sankara Nethralaya’s genesis at Hotel Savera. He complimented Dr.Alay Banker for his services in retinopathy of pre maturity of the newly born and went on to say, service should be ingrained as a passion by one and all.

Dr.S.Natarajan, from the Aditya Jyot Hospital, Mumbai, who was awarded the highest civilian award – Padmashri, by the Government of India for his yeoman service, motivated by the former president of India, Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, to the underprivileged children living in utter poverty in Dharavi, Mumbai, the biggest slum dwelling in South East Asia, was honoured by Dr.SS.Badrinath, to a thunderous applause of the gathering. Dr.SS Badrinath highlighted that Dr.Natarajan who hailed from a remote village in South India went on to score great success in Mumbai, by his sheer hard work that made him popular across the country.

Humbly acknowledging the honour, Dr.Natarajan quoted Swami Vivekananda’s line “They alone live who live for others”, he attributed all his success to his “Guru” and mentor Dr.S.S.Badrinath for taking him from the “visible to the invisible”, “material to divine”, “ephemeral to eternal”. He thanked the Almighty to have blessed him with such a guru and avowed to dedicate his life for eradicating blindness.

The Dr.Nataraja Pillai best paper presentation saw four paper presentations with Dr.K.S.Kumar, Bangalore bagging the best paper presentation for his excellent presentation on “Computer Simulation of Laser Treatment – Old wine in an animated new bottle”

The enchanting and intellectually invigorating day concluded after the Annual General Body Meeting and some spirited planning for the grand celebration of the Silver Jubilee Alumni meet, falling next year.

The institution which owes its inception and growth to the Mahaperiyava’s benevolence and continued guidance and blessings

The institution which owes its inception and growth to the Mahaperiyava’s benevolence and continued guidance and blessings observed his 120th Jayanthi with great reverence and piety on 19/07/2013 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium

Extending a warm welcome to the gathering Shri S Viswanathan, DGM, Optical Services highlighted the essential qualities to be imbibed by man for his good ‘Lowgika’ or worldly existence by the great spiritual master in very simple terms. He spoke on how the Guru stressed on simple things like learning to do one’s own cooking to washing one’s own vessels, rehabilitating cows through Goshalas and setting a good personal example. On a more personal note he shared his own experience of how the Seer’s advise put an end to all ambiguity on what higher studies he should pursue after his schooling and how the guidance of the Seer made him select Optometry at the ESO, an institution blessed by him and how the wheel has gone a full circle and blessed him with the opportunity of addressing the audience on the Guru’s Jayanthi celebrations. Shri Viswanthan introduced the trio of Shri S.N.Prabhu, Trustee, OM Trust and his daughters, Ms Shruthi Prabhu and Ms Sahana Prabhu, the family’s sterling role in raising significant funds for Sankara Nethralaya in the USA through their mellifluous voice and their devotion to the Mahaperiyava which made them perform at his Jayanthi. Their high devotion to the Sage was apparent in the ensuing vocal presentation by the father and daughters which took the audience to another world with the divine rendition of songs on the Mahaperiyava.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. R. Krishna Kumar another ardent devotee of the Mahaperiyava and Principal of the Elite School of Optometry spoke on the functioning of the ESO as a socially accountable institution producing not only competent but also socially accountable optometry professionals. He highlighted the yeoman community work carried out by the ESO, declaring with pride that the ESO has screened, treated and provided glasses to more than 50, 000 children in the districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram highlighting that a key feature of these camps was the providing of unbreakable glasses to the children. Shri Krishna Kumar had a high word of praise for Professor Santhanam’s role in underlying the importance of occupational optometry and how the ESO was providing specialized eye care needed for different occupations right at their place of work. He commended the role of Shri NDJ.Renganath, Member, TTD Trust and long time well wisher and friend of Sankara Nethralaya in bringing the institutions together and the great work done by the Sri Srinivasa Sankara Nethralaya. He highlighted the high utility value of the LogMar charts installed by the ESO at various temples and parks of the city and its plans to install Bengali LogMar charts at the Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya and other SN Centers at Kolkata to benefit Bengali patients.

The occasion witnessed the recognition and awarding of Optometrists Ms Vijayalakshmi, Ms Rizwana and Ms Anuradha for their high quality work, by Dr T.S. Surendran, Vice-Chairman and the members of the Optical services department adjudged as the best performing department by Dr Kris Vasan, Managing Director, Sankara Nethralaya. The day’s proceedings came to an end with an emphatic appeal by Dr T.S. Surendan to the Almighty “May the Light and Vision Spread far and Wide”, followed by Mangala Aarthi to the Sage and Seer and distribution of Prasadam to all assembled.

Unique and classic workshop on Contact Lens Practice

The unique and classic workshop on Contact lens practice of trouble shooting and solving witnessed a gathering of over 43 enthusiastic participants from all over India including representatives from Optometry colleges, Contact lens specialists and institutions such as Lotus Eye Hospital, Coimbatore, Vasan Eye Hospital, Chennai, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore, Rajan Eye Care, Chennai, converging at the Shri V.D.Swami Auditorium on 14th July 2013, for a day long program.

The workshop started off with a Welcome address, followed by a vibrant presentation by Dr.Rajeswari, In-Charge, Contact Lens Clinic with a walkthrough of the workshop, a brief tour of the Contact lens practices in vogue with an objective of providing a concise clinical guide, to serve as reference for everyday practice.

Ms.Rajni, Senior Optometrist’s elaboration on issues relating to complaints of vision, challenges in trouble shooting and focus on providing solutions was well received by contact lens practitioners, who complimented the workshop to be highly informative.

Following this, Ms.Madhumathi, Senior Optometrist’s, lecture on “Lens, lens fitness related issues” dealt in detail, a customized approach to problem solving both for users and opticians.

Ms.Amudha Oli, Senior Optometrist, touched upon critical areas relating to disorders due inflammation, infection, their control and prevention.

The group discussion and role plays saw overwhelming partaking, the day concluded with the grand finale, the certificate distribution to participants and the absolute satisfaction of the participants who unanimously looked forward for more such workshops that enriched their knowledge and skills.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

BITS Practice School-I Programme conducted under VIBS (a unit of MRF) between 22nd May and 13th July 2013

The BITS Practice School-I Programme was conducted successfully between 22nd May and 13th July 2013 by the Vidyasagar Institute of Bio-Medical Science. A total of 8 students participated in the programme of which 3 students registered at the Information Technology & Systems department, 2 students at the Human Resource Department, 1 student at the R.S.Mehta Jain Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 1 student at the Centre for Bioinformatics and 1 student at the L & T Ocular Pathology department. While two students were from the BITS, Pilani campus, there were three students each from the BITS Hyderabad & Goa. Campuses respectively.

Dr. P.R.Deepa Co-ordinator BITS PS I programme Chennai, Dr. K.Lily Therese Coordinator, VIBS (a unit of Medical Research Foundation) Chennai, faculty and guides from the respective departments, (Dr. N. Angayarkanni, Dr.V.Umashankar, Dr.Nivedita Chatterjee from Basic Medical sciences, Ms. Sudha Mohan, Senior Manager, HRD Mr.Shankar Narayanan from IT Department, attended the final project presentation by the PS1 students, all of them had a high word of appreciation for the enthusiasm and interest evinced by
the students in executing their projects . The completing students gave a good feedback on their learning and experience at the end of the programme. Dr.K.Lily Therese, Programme Co-ordinator (VIBS) and Dr.P.R.Deepa Coordinator PS I BITS, Chennai distributed the certificates to the 8 students.

Dr. K. Lily Therese
Programme Co-ordinator – VIBS

An informal chat with Shri SN.Prabhu, Trustee, OM Trust

Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust member Shri SN. Prabhu more popularly known as Singer Prabhu on a visit to India with family dropped in at Sankara Nethralaya where he would be giving a music performance with daughters Shruthi and Sahana on Mahaperiyava Jayanthi on 19th July 2013. The Corporate Communications department engaged him in a quick Q&A session, which we take pleasure in sharing with our readers.

1. Please give a brief introduction about yourself, how you were drawn to singing and how you came to be known as ‘Singer’ Prabhu?

I am a singer by passion; I did not undergo any formal initiation or training in singing under a guru. My father was a sangeetha vidwan and bhagavathar giving kutcheris at Trichy and Tanjore, I used to accompany him as a toddler and sit on his lap while he performed, I guess this must have been an early influence and inspiration on me. Even in those days he would sing for charitable causes which sowed the seeds that I should use my talent for noble causes. I started singing from the time I was in grade 6 and honed my skills as I moved on to college, as an employee of the external affairs ministry I won the inter ministry competition held in New Delhi.

After moving to the USA I would, as a singer well versed in singing in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada accompany legendary singers like KJ Jesudoss, Shri SPB, and Shri Vaidyanathan etc when they tour the country, which earned me the nickname ‘Singer’ Prabhu.

2. How were you drawn towards Sankara Nethralaya and the OM Trust?

I had, in keeping with my belief of leveraging the power of music as a vehicle to create awareness and raise funds for noble causes been giving charity performances and mobilizing funds for the Cancer Institute and relief organizations like Asha, CRY and the Sankara Eye Foundation. I would say that my daughter Shruti was largely responsible for my association with Sankara Nethralaya. The eye ailments and resultant suffering of my mother and sister had left a deep impact in her and she began to make a quest in right earnest as to how we could serve the visually impaired, especially those who could not afford quality eye care. It was after a lot of research and speaking to people that she decided that Sankara Nethralaya was the right institution through which we could fulfill our promise to the visually impaired and thus began my family and my association with Sankara Nethralaya and the SN OM Trust.

3. Do you have any particular reason to choose to perform at the Mahaperiyava Aradhana?

Well I can only say one thing as an answer to this question, we owe our existence and all that we have to his benevolence, can there be a better reason than that, it is my great privilege, pride and punya that I have been given this opportunity to perform with my daughters in such an auspicious occasion and receive the blessing of the God who lived among us and I express my deep gratitude to Dr SS.Badrinath for this rare opportunity of being a part of this great function.

Docs pledge to prevent blindness in newborns

Two-day course on Clinical Nano Medicine

Sankara Nethralaya Academy and Vision Research Foundation will conduct a two-day course on Clinical Nano Medicine on August 2 and 3, 2013.

It aims at teaching the basics of applying nanotechnology to address medical/ biological problems, and update professionals on the current status of research in application of nanotechnology in medicine, according to a press release. Scientists, research scholars, students pursuing courses in life sciences, professionals from the biotechnology industry and technicians can participate in this course, which comes at a moderate fee. The registration form is available at www.thesnacademy.ac.in

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

79th Avatara Mahotsavam (Jayanthi) of His Holiness Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal at Ved Bhavan,Kolkata

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.

Ved Bhavan Bhajan Samaj will be conducting Sloka Competition for School Children to be held on 18th August, 2013 at VED Bhavan on the Occassion of 79th Avatara Mahotsavam (Jayanthi) of His Holiness Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal - 69th Sankaracharya of Sri Kanch Kamakoti Peetam.

The slokas for competition are as below:

1. Class 1 & 2 - Dainik Prarthana
2. Class 3 & 4 - Totakashtakam
3. Class 5 & 6 - Sri Annapurna Stotram
4. Class 7 & above - Adityahradayam

We are attaching the Slokas herewith.

We have already approached various schools who have confirmed the participation. Over and above the school childrens have started learning. We request you to pass the above message to your near and dear enabling their children to participate and get the maximum benefit.

For further details contact on our mobile Phone: 9830969488

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

‘Certificate Course in Hospital Financial Management (CCHFM)’

The Sankara Nethralaya Academy, the academic arm of Sankara Nethralaya which has carved a niche for itself among Health care and Hospital Management professionals with its trailblazing courses in these subjects like MBA in Hospital & Healthcare Management, Certificate Course in Hospital Management and Post Graduate program in Optical Retail Management, launched the ‘Certificate Course in Hospital Financial Management (CCHFM)’ a highly specialized course to enable finance personnel, administrators and planners of healthcare institutions to better analyze financial data and understand the implications of financial performance of their institutions, the nuances of financial management, ranging from Accounting and Finance to planning and budget reviews and reporting financial outcomes, on the 6th of July 2013 at the Lecture Hall, Sankara Nethralaya main campus. The course was flagged off with a brief introduction to its relevance, scope and the faculty member who would be handling it, by Srimathi Akila Ganesan, Registrar, the Sankara Nethralaya Academy. Speaking on the occasion she observed that Financial Management assumes vital importance in the field of healthcare as it decides the cost of Medicare to the patients and the bottom line to the hospital which delivers it. She added that quite often the management of finance and planning in health care institutions was done arbitrarily by non finance personnel and how the emergence of this sector as a highly competitive one underlined the need for a more professional approach to the subject. She introduced Shri PR. Ravindran, former Chief General Manager, Sankara Nethralaya as a highly experienced and seasoned financial professional with long years of experience in diverse areas of financial management in the manufacturing, service and health care sectors.

The program to be conducted on a weekend pattern on Saturdays between 3:00pm to 6:00pm for a duration of 12 weeks was well received with senior management personnel like Senior Director and Senior Manager from reputed healthcare institutions in the city enrolling in it.

For more details on the course and its scope kindly contact

Shri A Mahalingam
Assistant Registrar
The Sankara Nethralaya Academy
E – Mail : mahali@snmail.org / 097104 85295(M)
Website: www.thesnacademy.ac.in

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


It was a matter of pride and a testimony to the Vision Research Foundation’s dedication to combating prevailing ailments and finding a cure to emerging health challenges that the L& T Microbiology Research Centre, Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya was chosen for the second time in succession to host the highly prestigious “REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON LABORATORY SURVEILLANCE OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE” the highly critical study on the changing impact of antibiotics across nations, conducted by the WHO and to conduct the WHONET training programme under the aegis of Vidyasagar Institute of Biomedical Technology and Science (VIBS) a unit of Medical Research Foundation.

Participants to the training programme included Dr.Aparna Singh Shah, Regional Advisor WHO SEARO, New Delhi, Dr.Sangeeta Joshi of Manipal Hospital, Dr Kuldeep Sharma, Senior Secretary, WHO SEARO, Dr.H.N.Madhavan, Director, L&T Microbiology Centre &Vidyasagar Institute for Bio-Medical Sciences, Dr.K.Lily Therese, Head of the Department, L&T Microbiology Centre, Dr.J.Malathi, Dr.B.Mahalakshmi, Dr. R. Gayathri , Post Doctoral Fellow Dr.M.Sowmiya, Senior Research Fellow and 7 Research Scientists from the L & T Microbiology Research Centre who acted as facilitators for conducting the Laboratory methods of testing antimicrobial resistance.

The WHONET training programme was inaugurated with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp on17th June 2013 at the V.D.Swami Auditorium. Dr. H.N.Madhavan, Director, L & T Microbiology department delivered the welcome address. Chief Guests Dr.S.S Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus and Dr. S.Bhaskaran Chairman, MRF felicitated Dr.Aparna Singh Shah, Regional Advisor WHO SEARO office and Dr. Sangeetha Joshi, faculty of the program. Dr. Aparna Singh Shah delivered the keynote address. Nineteen Microbiologists from 10 countries occupying significant positions such as Regional Administrator, Director clinical Laboratory, Lab In-charge and Laboratory technician participated in the WHONET training programme.

The sessions were highly interactive and vibrant and packed with in-depth lectures by the members of the L&T Microbiology team. Dr.Sangeetha Joshi and Dr.Aparna Singh Shah conducted the hands on training for WHONET software program for analyzing the antibiotic data. Skillfully guided by the L&T Microbiology Research Centre faculty and Research scientists the enthusiastic participants were grouped as four teams to undergo demonstration and hands on training laboratory techniques for testing the antimicrobial susceptibility, demonstration on molecular techniques for detection of Methicillin resistance. Dr.K.Lily Therese gave an insight and a presentation on EQAS programme, upon request by Dr.Aparna Singh Shah, for the benefit of the participants who showed keen interest and eagerness on the same.

The participants recorded their utmost satisfaction at the end of the training programme, they were highly appreciative of the faculty and facilitators who contributed to effectively learn the techniques of Antibiotic susceptibility testing, phenotypic (Hands on training) and genotypic methods (demonstration) to detect antibiotic resistance. The faculty from WHO SEARO office commended highly about the excellent facilities that were available at Vision Research Foundation and the quality of the facilitators. The prestigious international WHONET training program, conducted by the L& T Microbiology Research Centre for the second time, concluded with a warm vote of Thanks by Dr. K.Lily Therese, HOD, L&T Microbiology Department on 21st June 2013

The Lion’s club and Sankara Nethralaya, two institutions working at the forefront of banishing blindness

The Lion’s club and Sankara Nethralaya, two institutions working at the forefront of banishing blindness and providing vision to millions, celebrated the memory of two great women whose personal example would continue to ignite their passion for service to the blind in the years to come. The spirit of courage and service of the lady who defied darkness to become the greatest ambassador and a beacon of hope to the blind and the memory of a brilliant, passionate and dedicated doctor who brought the latest techniques with a human touch to her patients were recalled. Members and office bearers of the Lions Club of Central Madras spoke in length on the significant contributions of Helen Keller, the role of Lions clubs worldwide in combating blindness and the successful partnership between the Lions Club of Central Madras and Sankara Nethralaya in this noble initiative. Delivering the Chief Guests address Lion Sangeeta Jatia, Director, Lions Clubs International hailed Dr SS.Badrinath as a ‘Living God’, she emphasized that the best things in life cannot be seen or heard but felt and his service to the blind is one of them. She emphasized that while no one can do everything everybody could certainly do something adding that every one of us should learn a lesson in advocacy from Helen Keller.

Speaking on the occasion Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya expressed that it was most heartening and inspiring to note that such great work is being carried out in the field of eye care and providing of vision by the Lion’s Club and young and motivated people from across the country. He expressed his deep gratitude to the Lions Club of Central Madras for their continued support and encouragement and had a special word of praise for Lion Harinarayanan whom he described as an ‘Ambassador of Vision’, Dr SS.Badrinath recalled Dr Sitalakshmi as a great surgeon and a wonderful person with an unshakeable involvement in the institution she served and her work and a spirit to do more and more for her patients, a quality which everyone of us should imbibe.

The day witnessed the awarding of the I(Eye) Care, Young achiever and Knight of the blind awards as follows
(I) I(Eye) care awards
a. Sri Sai Lions Netralaya, Patna, Bihar
b. Nethrodhaya, Muggapair, Chennai.

(II) Knight of the Blind Award
Dr. Amarnath Choudhary, Chief Eye Surgeon, SSLN, Patna
Mr. Babu Vijayakumar, ML, Chennai (Born Blind)

(III) Dr. G. Sitalakshmi Gift of Sight Award
Dr. Arundhathi Tamuli, Chief Medical Officer, Lion K K Saharia Eye Hospital, Dibrugarh, Assam

(IV) Young Achiever Award
R. Swarnalakshmi, 10th Std Student of Little Flower Higher Sec. School for the Blind, She was invited to address at United Nations, New York in March 2013.

The day ended with the presenting of a special mirror as a Low Vision Care device to people affected by partial blindness.

Sankara Nethralaya - Spreading the Light of Vision