In May 1977, inspired by the Sankaracharyas of Kanchi, Dr.R.V. Ramani and his wife, Dr. Radha Ramani set up a Primary Health Care Centre for the needy at Coimbatore. With the help of Best Eye Doctors In India offering voluntary services and the support of Coimbatore’s Resident Community, the service grew to 12 Medical Centres in 9 states serving 1000 patients every day.
In 1985, Dr. Ramani’s attention was drawn to the tangible difference the “Gift of Vision” could make. More than 80% of blindness is preventable and curable. Sankara Eye Hospital was started with the mission to eradicate needless blindness. Under the aegis of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Trust. In keeping with Mahatma Gandhi’s dictum, ‘India lives in the villages’, in 1990, Dr. R.V. Ramani launched Gift of Vision – High quality, cost effective, readily available eye care at the doorsteps of Rural India. With the support of Rotary International and Rotary Coimbatore Central, through a Health, Hunger and Humanity Grant for the first time in India the “Gift of Vision” programme was initiated. The Model aims at providing World Class eye care totally free of cost to 80 % of the population and through paid services for 20 % which in turn subsidises the total cost of treatment.
Replicating the sustainable Model was the next big dream of Dr R.V. Ramani. In 2002 a grand vision of replicating the sustainable eye care model across the country was envisaged. His relentless pursuit towards enabling sight for the less-fortunate brought International support: Sankara Eye Foundation established in USA became an integral part of the Sankara’s vision for National replication and that led to the first replication outside Coimbatore in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. Today with the strong commitment towards eradicating curable blindness 12 Super Speciality Sankara Eye Hospitals have been set up across 9 states of the country.
JOURNEY OF A MILLION SMILES & BEYOND
Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Centre, a Primary Health Care Initiative at Coimbatore.
Expanding reach – 9 such Medical Centres, in and around Coimbatore treating around 1000 patients every day.
Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Trust was formalised with 3 Founder Trustees to carry forward the vision of Sankara.
Pioneered Eye Banking with Sankara Eye Bank established at Rao Hospital, Coimbatore.
Sankara Eye Centre, Coimbatore: The utopia of establishing a speciality hospital became a reality on a land gifted by Sri. N. Nataraj.
Sankara Eye Foundation – USA established by like-minded Visionaries.
“Krishna Arpanam” – Sankara Eye Hospital, Krishnankovil.
First replication in Andhra Pradesh – 225 bed Sankara Eye Hospital, Guntur.
First foray into a metro – Sankara Eye Hospital, Bangalore, a 225-bed hospital and training centre at Bangalore, Karnataka.
40 families from Shimoga gift land towards Sankara Eye Hospital, Shimoga: A 225-bed hospital to serve central and coastal Karnataka.
Sankara Eye Hospital, Anand: A 225 bed hospital in the state of Gujarat
Sankara Eye Hospital, Ludhiana: The largest eye hospital in Punjab is inaugurated.
Year of the Millionth Eye Surgery: Sankara completes its millionth free eye surgery with Shanthi, a 35 year old weaver.
Sankara Eye Hospital, Kanpur – established to serve the needy State of Uttar Pradesh.
Sankara Eye Hospital, Jaipur – the magic of light touches the State of Rajasthan.
Sankara Eye Centre, Indore – established to serve the needy State of Madhya Pradesh.
RJ Sankara Eye Hospital – established to serve the needy State of Maharashtra.
Each of the Board of Trustees shares a special bond with Sankara’s vision and brings with him/her rich years of experience in their respective fields. They are an integral part of Sankara’s movement to bring world-class eye care to everyone across India. Learn more about their history and role at Sankara below.
DR. S.V. BALASUBRAMANIAM, CHAIRMAN
Mentor, friend, guide, visionary…he has played each of these roles at Sankara and continues to steer it towards realising its vision. Dr. S.V.B. joined the Board of Trustees in 1984 and has been a pivotal force of support for the movement. A qualified Chartered Accountant, S.V.B. as he is known, heads a diverse group of industrial establishments – Bannariamman Sugars and Group of Companies. SVB is also Managing Trustee of various other social bodies, including Siruthuli, a citizens’ movement to promote and preserve ecological conservation.
DR. R.V. RAMANI, FOUNDER AND MANAGING TRUSTEE
Dr. Ramani along with his wife, Dr. Radha Ramani started a private practice in the memory of his late father, Dr. A. Ramanathan in the year 1972 in Coimbatore. A passion for service led them to found Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Centre in the year 1977, a clinic that provided subsidised health care to the poor. This dream led to another – the founding of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Trust 1982 and Sankara Eye Hospitals in 1985. The rest is history. His unstinted commitment to the cause and devotion to Sankara has created an enduring legacy.
DR. P.G. VISVANATHAN
Dr. P.G. VIshwanathan is a renowned ENT surgeon and is the founder of Vikram ENT Hospitals. One of the earliest to join the board of Trustees at Sankara, he has pioneered several techniques in auditory surgery and specialises in microsurgery. He is deeply passionate about social service and care and runs a school for the hearing impaired; with his humility and ever-helpful nature. It is only natural that people from all walks of life are drawn to him.
DR. S.R. RAO
Dr. S.R. Rao heads Rao Hospitals and specialises in laparoscopic surgery and is actively involved in a host of social activities. He carries forward the legacy of his father, Dr. Major R.S. Rao, one of the founding trustees of Sankara. It was at Rao Hospital that the surgical activities of the Sankara Movement and the Sankara Eye Bank were functioning in the earlier years.
DR. S. BALASUBRAMANIAM
One of India’s foremost eye surgeons, Dr. S. Balasubramaniam looks at serving people as a divine calling. A close friend of the Sankara Movement, he was instrumental for Sankara to branch of into the field of Ophthalmology. He was the one who persuaded Dr. R.V. Ramani to initiate eye banking activities in Coimbatore. Dr. Balu as he is fondly known hails from a family of eye surgeons and has been a pillar of strength and support to the movement.
SHRI. JAGDISH M CHANRAI
The Chanrai family is among the most pre-eminent in Nigeria. A chance meeting between Shri Jagdish Chanrai and Dr. Ramani was the beginning of a firm friendship. At the 50th wedding anniversary of his parents, Shri JMC told a very moved Dr. Ramani about his concept of caring capitalism: “I looked for my God, the God I could not see, I looked for my soul, my soul eluded me and then I looked at my brothers in poverty and….. I found all the three.” His support to the Sankara Movement through the Mission for Vision remains invaluable.
SHRI. MURALI KRISHNAMURTHY
Urged by their uncle Late Sri. P. Balasubramaniam, who was a longtime friend and associate of the Sankara Movement, brothers, Murali and Sridharan initiated Sankara Eye Foundation in USA in the year 1998. SEF, USA is entirely run by volunteers and works to make Sankara’s mission towards eradicating preventable blindness a reality. Murali & SEF are integral parts of the Sankara Movement, both in US and in India.
Mr M.N.Padmanaban a renowned Agriculturist & industrialist, Son of our patron Mr M.Narataj has joined as trustee in Sankara Movement on 2016. He is also Managing Director in M/s Veeramaasthi Tex Fabs Private Limited, Coimbatore & Bangalore, Proprietor for M/s Veeramaasthiamman silk Textiles, Bangalore and M/s Managing Director in Madhava Lakshmi Mills Private Limited, Coimbatore. He also holds various positions like Member in Indian chamber of commerce, Coimbatore, Member in Apparel Export promotion Council, Governor General Member in lndo_American Chamber of Commerce – Tamil Nadu & Secretary, Lead India 2020, Coimbatore Chapter.
Mrs. SEETHA CHANDRASEKAR
Mrs Seetha Chandrasekar has been inducted as a Trustee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Trust in the year 2017. She is a Chartered Accountant by profession. She was inspired by the movement started by Dr R V Ramani and Dr Radha Ramani serving the less privileged sections of society. She joined the Sankara Movement in 2003 and has served as both the Director Finance and as the Hon. Director Partner Relations & Foundation. Her financial expertise & problem solving skills have been invaluable assets to the organization.
MR. C. N. SRIVATSAN
A Chartered Accountant and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) with over 35 years of consulting experience in handling Indian & Overseas assignments. He founded Astral Consulting Limited and has been involved with the Sankara Movement since the early 90’s. He continues to mentor and guide the next generation of leaders at Sankara to achieve Strategic Excellence.
MR. SUNDAR RADHAKRISHNAN
Mr. Sundar Radhakrishnan is the Co-Founder of Mastek Limited and served as its Director of Strategy. An M.B.A in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM, Ahmedabad). He is on the Board of Sankara Eye Foundation U.S.A. and for the Sankara Movement provides Strategic direction to the Management.
MR. P. JAYENDRA
A Creative Consultant since 1985 and Founder of Real Image Media Technologies, providing end to end digital cinema solution called Qube. He is also associated with various Social Organizations and has helped the Sankara Movement by voluntarily creating Films to bring awareness and funding for the Social Impact.
MR. S.G. MURALI
He serves as Chief Financial Officer of T.V.S. Motor Company Limited. A Chartered Accountant having over 40 years of professional experience, has been involved on a voluntary basis with the Sankara Movement since it’s inception. His financial competence provided significant support to the Management.
DR. ARUN MADHAVAN
Dr.Arun Madhavan, a M.B.A graduate from IIM Ahmedabad, started his professional career in the field of banking and gave 27 years of uninterrupted services to Standard Chartered Bank in India and overseas. He currently serves as Founder & Trustee of Vyakti Vikas Kendra India, the flagship organization of The Art of Living. His mentorship provides significant support to the Management.
Mr. BHASKAR BHAT
Mr. Bhaskar Bhat is an ardent supporter of the Sankara Movement and he has been helping our Bangalore Hospital ever since its inception in the year 2008. When Dr. Ramani approached him with a request to join the Steering Council, in spite of his professional and business commitment, he readily agreed, since the cause of Sankara is close to his heart. Mr. Bhaskar Bhat is the Managing Director of Titan Company Limited and a Board Member of Tata Sons Trust. He is an Alumnus of IIT – Madras and IIM – Ahmedabad. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Madras in 2008 . Since 1983 Mr. Bhaskar has been associated with Tatas and he is acclaimed nationally and internationally for his Business Acumen and farsightedness. Bhaskar is a member of the Governing Council at the T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal and the SDM Institute of Management and Development, Mysore. He was very close to our Patron Late Dr. Bhagilthaya. His involvement in the Steering Council will be a great booster to the growth of our Movement
DR. P. JANAKIRAMAN
An Eye Surgeon specialized in Vitreo Retina Surgeries, Dr. P. Janakiraman has been an integral part of the Sankara Movement. He is involved in mentoring the clinical and surgical teams.
DR KAUSHIK MURALI (D.N.B.,M.B.B.S)
Dr Kaushik Murali has been with Sankara since 2001. He is a Trained Paediatric Ophthalmologist and heads the Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus. He is responsible for uniformity of Care, maintaining the quality of Medical Services across Sankara. He also serves as the Head of Sankara Academy of Vision and is in-charge of the Medical & Paramedical Training.
BHARATH BALASUBRAMANIAM (M.SC., M.HA, M.C.A)
Bharath has been with Sankara since 2006. He is a trained Hospital Administrator and heads the Operations of the Sankara Group. He is actively engaged in Social impact programme Development, Business Development, Innovation & Technology Development. He is focused towards automating each step of eye care and service delivery across the network of Eye Care Hospitals.
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