First of all, let me thank each one of you for your generous contributions and continued support to Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust, Inc.,
My involvement with Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India came about due to a series of happenstance events, which now I feel extremely blessed to have occurred. In 1987, I visited India when my 77-year-old father was suffering from a serious eye infection, which needed immediate care. It was then, I visited Sankara Nethralaya for the first time and one that paved the way for my deep-rooted long lasting relationship with the Institution. I came in contact with Dr. Badrinath, Chairman of Sankara Nethralaya who treated my father. In the course of our conversations, Dr. Badrinath shared his dream of "mission for vision" and the need for funds to support such a program. Realizing my background as a Certified Public Accountant, he requested if I could help him and spearhead in starting a non-profit organization in USA to raise funds for Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai.
During my visits I gathered information on Sankara Nethralaya and was highly impressed by this hospital that had even then over 30 well-trained ophthalmic consultants working as a team for a salary, forsaking private practice. Coming from a humble background myself, I was very moved when I found that the less privileged visually impaired were not only treated free of cost, but also had access to the state-of-the-art equipment, highly advanced technology and qualified, experienced doctors in every ophthalmic specialty that was available to the privileged. What moved me further was the same single standard of care that was being provided for both the rich and the poor. Life's socio-economic inequalities did not exist in Sankara Nethralaya. The hospital was run with a missionary spirit and the revenues forgone for treating the poor runs into millions of U.S dollars every year.
During the visit of Dr. Badrinath and Dr.Vasanthi Badrinath in 1987 to the US, I started working closely with them. In June 1988, I drafted the bylaws for Opthlamic Mission Trust, Inc., submitted the paperwork to the IRS and received our 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status within six months. Thus came into being the Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust, Inc., a non-profit organization with the sole objective of collecting contributions in the U.S. for helping Sankara Nethralaya treat poor patients. Since the inception of the Sankara Nethralaya OM Trust, I have been associated with this noble cause as the honorary Secretary and Treasurer.
Over these years, the commitment of the Sankara Nethralaya team in their zeal to eradicate blindness has amazed me. I am proud of my involvement in this worthy cause. For what started out with humble expectations has now grown in proportion due to the generous contributions from people all over the world. From a humble beginning, Sankara Nethralaya today has around 1000 employees with a common goal providing comprehensive world class eye care to all. Sankara Nethralaya continues its journey in pursuing this goal with untiring zeal.