India Post News Service

FREMONT, California: Patrons at a packed house in Paradise Ballrooms in Fremont, California, Nov 9 were all in awe and gave a standing ovation to Dr R.V. Ramani, Padma Shri recipient, when he was felicitated at the Sanakara Eye Foundation (SEF) USA annual banquet.

Philanthropists, business and social leaders, and donors from the Indian-American community came together to celebrate the accomplishment of 1.96 million free eye surgeries through Sankara hospitals and over 80,000 free eye surgeries with partners, and pledged support to fulfill the mission of eradicating curable blindness in India, according to a press statement .

The evening was a mix of fun, great presentations and soulful music by Mandeep Singh, Ritisha Padmanabh and Nishant Bordia. Venkat Maddipati and Sudheer Chemudugunta invited guests and thanked for their support and requested patrons to generously donate for upcoming hospitals in Mumbai, Hyderabad , Indore and Bihar. One of SEF’s largest donors, Dr Yeturu Ahalad, and Subha Ahalad were invited to address the audience. Dr Ahalad spoke from the heart about why he chose SEF to donate. Bill Gorman, another large donor, also shared his thoughts.

Murali Krishnamurthy, executive chairman of SEF USA updated the guests on the progress of various projects, funds to be raised, and the vision for the future. He talked about SEF USA’s efforts to scale up to one million free eye surgeries a year by the year 2030 through partnerships with other organizations and arresting the growth of blindness. He and the SEF board then felicitated Dr Ramani for receiving the coveted Padma Shri award from the government of India and for being selected as the only non-governmental member of the medical board of governors in India.

Dr Ramani gave a moving speech about the movement and the vision. This was followed by a panel discussion conducted by Sridharan Krishnamurthy, president and board member of SEF USA, with Dr Kaushik, president of the medical wing of SEF, India, Bharath, president, SEF India, Dr Janaki Raman, executive council member, SEF India, Sundar Radhakrishnan, executive council member, SEF India, and board member, SEF USA, and Srivatsan, executive council member, SEF India, and board member, SEF USA.

As a non-profit, SEF volunteers have been working tirelessly for two decades to eradicate curable blindness in India. Working on a model of 80:20 free to paid patients ratio, the funds raised through these events are used to further the cause. Over 1.96 million free eye surgeries have already been performed at SEF hospitals and over 80,000 surgeries have been performed at partner hospitals.

SEF India has a success rate of 98.8 per cent and 96 per cent patients have been able to get back to their basic chores. The organization is not just treating people but also training future doctors through Sankara Academy of Vision.

There are nine super specialty SEF hospitals and three new SEF hospitals are coming up in Indore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.