Aravind News Team

Be charitable before wealth makes thee covetous – Sir Thomas Browne


Kolams, decorations, guests, meetings etc… Aravind-Madurai was abuzz with vibrant activities to commemorate several milestones. And the days that followed were truly special! Starting from Dr. V’s centenary, going through Dr. V’s Oration, the celebrations ended with LAICO’s silver jubilee function. Great people never die. They continue to live in the hearts of people. This was again ratified at the function held at Madurai to honour DR. V on his birth centenary. People who were touched by him one way or the other thronged Raja Muthiah Mandram to share their happiness and to celebrate the noble soul on his birth centenary. Most of the guests and friends who visited Aravind on these occasions have left with their hearts and minds content. Dr. V would be smiling from above witnessing all these. 

In this birth centenary year of Dr. V, Prof Fred Munson, long-term friend of the Aravind family was invited to deliver the Dr. G. Venkataswamy Endowment Oration. Prof. Munson with his long-standing association with Aravind delivered an inspiring lecture that was well-received by the audience. 

The month of September witnessed several of Aravind staff coming out in flying colours in various conferences and competitions.

All Aravind centres observed National Eye Donation Fortnight with a variety of awareness creation programmes.

News about these and many more feature in this issue.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Dr. G. Natchiar
New Delhi, September 30
Dr. G. Natchiar was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Neuro-ophthalmology Society at its first annual conference held in New Delhi. Dr. Mahesh Kumar received the award on behalf of her.
AAO Achievement Award for Dr. S.R. Rathinam
Aravind-Madurai, September 10
American Academy of Ophthalmology honoured Dr. S.R. Rathinam with Achievement Award in recognition of her distinguished service in the programmes of the society.
Dr. V. Velayutham Glaucoma Oration Award
Chennai, September 9


Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Tirunelveli was honoured with Prof Dr. V. Velayutham Glaucoma Oration Award at TOSCON 2018 organised by Tambaram Ophthalmic Society on September 9, 2018 at Chennai. 
IAPB Eye Health Hero Award
Hyderabad, September 15-16


Mr B.S Ganesh Babu, Senior Manager, IT and Systems, Aravind Eye Care System was awarded Eye Health Hero Award by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness.
Twin Awards for Dr. Kavitha
Trivandrum, September 14-16
Dr. S. Kavitha, Medical Consultant, Glaucoma Services, Aravind-Pondicherry received award for the Best Video and became the runner up for the Best Paper at annual conference of Glaucoma Society of India held at Trivandrum.
FICCI Award for Aravind-Pondicherry
New Delhi, August 30


Aravind Pondicherry was awarded the FICCI Healthcare Excellence Award 2018 for the Environmental Friendly Hospital. The Award was presented by Smt Tina Ambani, Chairperson of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital, Guest of Honor in presence of Anupriya Patel Union Minister. Certificate was given by Shri Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor Delhi. Mr. Vengadesan received this award at the event that was held at Hotel Le-Meridian, New Delhi.
Rotary Club of Tirunelveli Star Award
Aravind-Tirunelveli, September 10
Mr. C.V. Bremkumar, Telemedicine Technician, Aravind-Tirunelveli was awarded by Rotary Club of Tirunelveli Star in appreciation of his Best Public service.
Best Paper Awards 
At the annual conference of Oculoplastic Association of  India
Jaipur, September 28-30
Dr. R. Jayagayathri, Medical Consultant, Orbit and Oculoplasty Services, Aravind-Pondicherry won the Dr. Raman Mittal Best Paper Award for the paper, Man-made misery. 

At the Neuro-ophthalmology Society Conference
New Delhi, September 30 
Dr. S. Priya, Medical Consultant, Neuro-ophthalmology Services, Aravind-Pondicherry won Best Paper Award for the paper titled, Virtual field perimetry in neuro-ophthalmology. 
Dr. Usha Kim Inducted as OPAI President
Jaipur, September 28-30
Dr. Usha Kim, Chief, Orbit, Oculoplasty and Ocular Oncology Services, Aravind-Madurai was selected as President of Oculoplastic Association of India for a period of two years. 
NBE Award for Excellence in Medical Education
New Delhi, September 21
Aravind Eye Care System was awarded the NBE Award for Excellence in Medical Education. Dr. N. Vekatesh Prahna, Director, Academics received the award from Hon’ble  Vice President of India and Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Health. 
ORBIS Calendar Photo Contest
Photo taken by Mr. Rajkumar, Photographer, Aravind-Madurai was selected for the ORBIS photo calendar and will be featured in the 2019 issue.
A tribute to Light
Madurai, September 30


Aravind Eye Care System was founded by the legendary Dr. G. Venkataswamy (Dr.V), whose service to society has resulted in millions regaining their vision. October 1, 2018 being the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. V, Aravind held a public function at Raja Muthiah Mandram, Madurai to pay tribute to this noble soul. 

The function was graced by dignitaries from various walks of life who shared their thoughts on Dr. V’s life, Aravind’s impact and how the organisation has set a model in eye care delivery.  Speakers included Dr. J. Radhakrishnan IAS, Principal Secretary to Govt., Health and Family Welfare Dept; Tamil Nadu; Ms. Prema Nandakumar from Trichy; Dr. Gullapalli N Rao, Chairman, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad; Mr. Manohar Devadoss, Artist, Chennai; MJF Lion Prof Dr. S.S.Pari  Parameswaran, Givernor, Lions District 324-B3; Dr. Raja Sabapathi, Chairman, Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore; Dr. Asim Sil, Medical Director, VMANNN, West Bengal; Mrs. Elizabeth Kurian, Regional Director, Vision for Mission, India; and Mr. Philip Hoare, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, UK. The function also witnessed the release of two books – A manual on eye donation and Public health perspectives to eye care.

The function closed with a unique and spectacular theatrical representation of Dr. V’s life, directed by Prof. Prabahar Vedamanickam, Professor, American College, Madurai. 
Dr. G. Venkataswamy Endowment Oration and Award Ceremony 2018
LAICO, September 30


In this year of Dr. V’s birth centenary, Aravind honoured Prof Fred C Munson, a retired Professor of Hospital Management, University of Michigan. Fred’s relationship with Aravind has spanned over 35 years. Given his vast experience in the field of hospital administration, and being one who deeply understands the organizational dynamics, Fred is often invited to Aravind for teaching and facilitating planning retreats. His insights have helped Aravind develop its strategic approaches which are now being shared extensively with partner institutions. Fred can be credited with initiating several breakthrough discussions that have led to radical developments at Aravind. At the function held at LAICO auditorium, Mr. G. Srinivasan, President – GOVEL Trust presented the trophy. Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Chairman Emeritus, Aravind Eye Care System presented the citation. Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla, Director Operations, Aravind Eye Care System read out the citation. Prof Fred delivered the Dr. G. Venkataswamy Endowment Oration titled, “Exploring the Edges”.
Observing 33rd National Eye Donation Fortnight 
Aravind, August 25-September 8


All the main centres of Aravind organized several programmes to create awareness amongst the public about eye donation.  These programmes were held in educational institutions, primary health centers, district court, government and private hospitals. Senior ophthalmologists gave awareness talks in radio channels. Awareness exhibitions, bike rally and signature campaigns were conducted. 
Sri Krishna Jeyanthi Celebrations
Aravind-Madurai, September 1


Toddlers at Janakiamma Child Care Centre observed Sri Krishna Jeayanti with special pooja. Kids dressed up as Krishna and Radha were truly a sight to enjoy. 
Graduation Day Ceremony for MLOPs
Aravind-Tirunelveli, September 7


Graduation and lighting the lamp ceremony for the second year MLOPs who successfully completed their two years of training was held. Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Meenakshi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Sr. Arumugam - Deputy Nursing Superintendent, Lakshmi R - Manager HR , Ms. Irene Rajathi Leela, Academic Co-ordinator, all Tutors and senior MLOPs attended the function. A few of the graduating MLOPs shared their experiences of working at Aravind. Ms. Irene Rajathi Leela, Academic Co-ordinator gave a talk about Florence Nightingale. Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Dr. Meenakshi and Sr. Arumugam congratulated all the graduating MLOPs and reiterated the vision and mission of Aravind’s founder, Dr V.
Supporting a Noble Cause
Aravind-Madurai, September 5


Mrs. Kaveri Kalanithimaran of the Sun Foundation group donated amount worth Rs. 25 lakhs to Aravind-Madurai. The amount will be utilized to support people from underprivileged background towards the treatment of ocular cancers.
Parkinsonism Camp
Aravind-Coimbatore, September 9
In order to give more attention to patients with Neuro-Degenerative Disorders, the Neuro-Ophthalmology and Retina Clinics together conducted for the first time a "Parkinsonism Camp" at the base hospital. The day was dedicated for a comprehensive eye check-up, (including OCT to see if it can be used as a biomarker to diagnose Parkinsonism at an early stage); exclusively for Parkinsonism patients. Earlier in the week, the junior MLOPs took part in a poster competition on Parkinsonism Awareness (which were displayed in the hospital) and prizes were awarded by Dr. Saravanan. Though this new initiative got only 14 (already diagnosed and on treatment for 5-10 years) patients, the hospital hopes to continue this camp annually to increase awareness of Parkinsonism (& maybe add Alzheimer's patients also), dedicate some time for them & to encourage and support their care takers & family.
CME on Role of Non Ophthalmologists in Prevention of Blindness
Theni, September 23


On the occasion of Dr. G. Venkataswamy’s  birth centenary, Aravind Eye Hospital, Theni organised the CME at Western Gatz Hotel. The CME was inaugurated by Dr. Pandiarajan – Secretary Finance IMA Cumbum Valley Branch, followed by Dr. Namperumal Samy, Chairman Emeritus explaining about the purpose of the CME.

Speakers included Paediatricians, Cardiologists, and Neurologists & Physicians. Dr. Dipankar Datta gave a talk about the partnership programme of Diabetologists and Primary Health Centres and how technology play can support in prevention of blindness. Vote of thanks was given by Dr. Hema, Aravind Eye Hospital, Theni. 42 persons participated.
New Vision Centres
Ettayapuram, September 10, Bhuvanagiri, September 19


Aravind’s 70th Vision Centre was inaugurated at Ettayapuram by Dr. Usha Kim, MLOP Director and Chief of Orbit and Oculoplasty,   AEH, Madurai in the presence of Dr R Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Tirunelveli.  Several community leaders attended the function. The inaugural day was so encouraging that the VC team screened 57 patients. 

71st Vision Centre for Aravind Eye care System and the 11th centre for Aravind-Pondicherry was inaugurated at Bhuvanagiri by Lions Past District Governor, Ln. R.M. Suvetha Kumar and Lions General Secretary, Ln. A.C.P. Rathina Subramanian in the presence of various community leaders. Dr. R.Venkatesh, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry explained about the purpose of vision centre and its functions to the guests and audience.  On the first day, the centre handled 91 patients. Of these, 9 patients were prescribed glasses. Thirty patients were identified with cataract and 12 patients were referred to base hospital for speciality consultation. 
MLOP Freshers Day
Aravind-Tirunelveli, September 18
Programme started with prayer song, welcoming the gathering and cultural activities. MLOP new recruits were given a topic and asked to develop models based on that. These models were  displayed in  an exhibition conducted as part of the event. Dr. R. Ramakrishnan sir, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Tirunelveli inaugurated the exhibition and appreciated the good work done by new recruits.
Healing the Healer Retreat
Aravind-Chennai, September 28


In a series of novel programs as part of the October summit, on 28th September 2018, AEH Chennai hosted 'Healing the Healer' retreat.  

As the title suggests, 'healer’ i.e. the doctors were the focus of this retreat. Reflection, expression and listening are the key aspects of healing and this event tried to embed all these aspects into the program. Sustainable learning happens when three components combine together- head, heart and hand i.e. providing food for thought for our logical brain, internal reflection (heart) and then putting it to practice (hand). Keeping this in mind all the participants were provided reading material, questions to reflect upon and some activities to do as part of assignment, before they attended the retreat. 

Assuming value everywhere and within all of us, participants discussed the issues they face regularly and also shared how they deal with certain situations.  At the end of the retreat everyone agreed that we all have certain inner social responsibility and need to take care of that. This retreat was facilitated by Dr. Bill Stewart(Cofounder of Institute of Health and Healing) and Ms. Susy Stewart (teacher and Yoga instructor), both long time volunteers at Aravind. Ms. Pavithra Mehta (Service space, USA), Dr. Aravind, Dr. Haripriya, Mr. Gnanasekaran, Ms. Revathi (Chennai), Dr. Annamalai (Pondicherry), Dr. Lavanya and Dr. Devendra (Madurai) were part of the planning team.  
Aravind-Chennai Celebrates its First Annual Day
Chennai, September 29


The programme began with prayer song. A video on the performance during the year was played and  Dr. S.Aravind, Chief Medical Officer welcomed the gathering. Dr.William Stewart,  Dr. Suzanne Gilbert  offered felicitations. Chief guest, Dr. Venkataswami, Stanley Hospital delivered a special address. Dr. G. Natchiar, Director Emeritus, AECS;  Dr. R. Ramakrishnan, Chief Medical officer – Tirunelveli, Mr. G. Srinivasan, Director - Finance, distributed the service awards. Cultural programmes including song, Sloka recital by children, Classical & Folk Dance by doctors & MLOPs, mime on Water conservation by Doctors were staged. Dr. K. Thriuvenkata Krishnan, Head of Cornea Department, delivered aVote of Thanks. Programme came to an end with National Anthem.
Scientific Meeting of Bombay Management Association
Mumbai, September 18


Dr. Kim R
- Use of AI in medical services: A path breaking view of practitioner 

Annual Conference of Eye bank Association of India
Pune, September 8-9


Dr.M. Srinivasan
- Penetrating keratoplasty – has it lost its glory?
- Panelist for the session, Everything you need to know and more 

D. Saravanan
- Challenges during Tissue retrieval in India  

Annual Conference of Glaucoma Society of India
Trivandrum, September 13-15
Dr. Ramakrishnan
- Management of congenital glaucoma -  The surgical approach
- Chaired the session on RCTS in glaucoma 

Dr. Mohideen
- Natural course and staging of Angle closure disease
- Convener for the session, Glaucoma in India - The pubmed picture

Dr. Vasuraj
- Terbutaline induced bilateral angle closure

Dr. Swati Kanduri
- Mid term outcome of MMC Augmented Trabeculectomy in Open angle glaucoma Versus Angle closure glaucoma

Dr. R. Venkatesh
- NPDS with CO2 laser
- Is home perimetry the future of visual field testing
- Moderated the debate, Clash of the titans

Dr. S. Kavitha
- Role of screening in angle closure
She won Best Video Award for the video, Family screening – An effective approach to combat glaucoma blindness.

She was the Runner up for Best Paper Award for her paper titled, Laser peripheral iridotomy location and other predictors of intra ocular pressure lowering after iridotomy: A prospective randomized trial.

Dr. Swati Upadhyaya
- Can GATT be an effective surgical option for POAG in developing countries? (Video)

Dr. P.Sundaresan
- Current trends in molecular genetics of POAG and NTG

Dr. Roopam
- Update on genetics of angle closure glaucoma
Annual Conference of Oculoplastic Association of India
Jaipur, September 28-30


Dr. Usha Kim
- Chaired the session, Provisc Session: Eyelid
- Small incision orbital surgeries
- Live surgery - Suturing & Techniques

Dr. Gunjan Rathi
- Ocular manifestations of Goldenhar syndrome - a rare entity

Dr. Gunja Chowdhury
- Clinical profile of eyelid adnexal lesions in a tertiary eye care system in South India

 Dr. Usha Kim was elected as the President of OPAI. 

IAPB Council of Members Meeting
Hyderabad, September 12-15
LAICO team consisting of R.D. Thulasiraj, B.S Ganesh Babu, D. Yesunesan, A. Syed Ali and Dhivya Ramasamy participated in the IAPB meeting held at Hyderabad.

October Summit: Eye care and Environmental Impact
Aravind-Pondicherry, September 21-22


The workshop was led by experts in the field of environmental sustainability practices. The areas focused were reducing carbon foot print, green building, reducing waste in hospitals, water management, electricity management, and green procurement. Best practices from other organisations were also showcased. Over 60 participants attended including heads of hospitals, doctors, administrators and NGOs.
SCALE Mentors Review Meeting
Hyderabad, September 17-18
Mr Syed ali & D. Yesunesan, Faculty associates attended the SCALE Mentors Year 2 review meeting held at ICARE, Hyderabad after the IAPB council of members meeting. The two day mentors’ review meeting brought real cross learning from sharing of experiences, achievements and challenges faced in this continuous mentoring and capacity building initiative across SCALE mentors. The objective of the meeting was to get a clear understanding of where SCALE is following Year 2 progress towards targets and to formulate strategies to introduce to build upon progress to date. Also, one of the important things discussed was how to do the mentoring activities better or differently in order to achieve the desired impact. As next step, all mentors have agreed to share the corrected performance report to be incorporated in Tableau – a data analysis platform Seva is using to analyse and present project data. AECS had agreed to help in designing the Mid-Point Survey for hospitals. 
Consultancy Visit
September 4-15
Mr.Venkatesh and  Mr.Karthick  visited Tejas Eye Hospital for installing vision centre management software from September 4-15.

Enrolments for September 2018 at Aravind Eye Care System

Course title
Training Centre
Enrolments for September 2018
Long Term Fellowship Programs - For Ophthalmologists
Fellowship in Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Fellowship in Orbit & Oculoplasty
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
Fellowship in Cornea
Fellowship in General Ophthalmology
Short Term Clinical Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Clinical Observership Program In Diagnosis and Management Of Glaucoma  
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity
Small incision cataract surgery
Paramedical Courses
Optical dispensing
Instrument Maintenance courses
Instrument Maintenance - For Ophthalmologists
Eye Bank Courses
Training in Eye Bank Techniques
Management courses
Project Management for Eye Care  
Vaigai dam, September 16


As part of employee welfare activity. Aurolab cleaners were taken on a tour to Suruli Falls, Veerapandi temple, Mullai River and Vaigai dam on September 16. 

Production staff members were taken in two batches to Kanyakumari, Papanasam Falls, Thiruparappu falls, Kanyakumari Beach and Temple and Vivekananda Rock on August 26 and September 9 respectively.

Aravind often gets a steady stream of visitors wanting to know more about the systems and to replicate the best practices here in their respective settings. A unique feeling, often indefinable, brings some of them back to Aravind, helping the organisation in whatever ways they can. Aravind recently had the pleasure of hosting Prof Sachin Gupta from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. In a candid discussion with Dr. Devendra, he recalls his introduction to Aravind, why he felt like visiting the organisation again and about his research interests here..

How did you get introduced to Aravind?
I read Infinite Vision and was completely fascinated by the story. Before that I did not know about Aravind. And then, we had the visitor at the school, from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore and he and I would talk about social strategy. Somehow the conversation turns to Aravind. He said that he was also very interested in the organization and knew Mr. Thulasiraj Ravilla. And I said well, maybe we can do some research in a certain problem. We had a Skype call with Thulsi who was very welcoming and very open to doing research and sharing information about the organization. So, we ended up formulating the problem that we worked on and that resulted in a paper. That paper looks that whether the outreach activities have an impact on the paying patients. And so do the outreach camps act as advertising in some sense. Also, that’s not the intention or the goal. But, when Aravind runs these outreach camps other people get exposed to the camps. They don’t go to the camp. But, they get expose to the camp or hear about it from other patients. Does that actually drive paying patient traffic to the hospital which is a very interesting question, because, there is dependency between the two sides of the organization. The mission side and the revenue side, which has really not been explored before.
But in the process of doing that, I started interacting more and more with Thulsi and other people here and so, we started working on other papers. Now I hold on with several projects, which go well beyond my capability in terms of business and since I also have some training as a statistician, that helps in getting my finger in many parts.

This being your third visit to the organisation, what has made you visit Aravind again and again?
I have to say that, being welcomed very warmly by Thulsi and his family was really perhaps the most important fact in feeling that, I should come back and work more. The second factor; I would say that reading the book infinite vision gave me a certain perception of what this institution was. But coming here really reinforced that was really a true description. The sense of both commitment to patient welfare as well as transparency..that’s been very important part of my experience.. people are very open about what’s happening, the quality parameters, the financial aspects of the operation and that’s been really added to the credibility of the institution on me. This time, I am here for over two weeks, and my wife has come with me. It looks like the entire Gupta family is showing up because my mother is now here, my brother is going to come within a couple of days.

What are the projects currently on your table?
We have been working on the question of follow-up of patients after cataract surgery. And then, I am meeting with several people in LAICO. To talk through new projects, which involve vision centres and their progress over the years; Whether patients who are advised for surgery comply with that advice or not and what are the differences between patients who comply and don’t and many other things.

Prof. Gupta’s wife, Ivy Stevens-Gupta accompanied him on this visit and introduced our staff to the field of colour therapy. She also held a practical session on colour theory which the participants found very interesting.


September - 2018


Udumal pet

Tuti corin
Paying (New & Review) 57,954 8,647 28,793 33,062 25,238 6,427 4,245 11,456 3,759 5,172 3,195 11,981 1,99,929
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 16,428 2,262 7,399 9,718 8,158 NA 1,162 1,756 1,399 962 NA 3,649 52,893
Comprehensive Eye Camps 11,642 2,811 4,223 5,929 6,792 NA 453 1,086 NA 455 NA 1,991 35,382
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 1,255 268 114 1,338 441 NA NA 62 NA NA NA NA 3,478
Refraction Camps 886 466 1,236 702 1,033 NA 50 205 NA NA NA 50 4,628
Mobile Refraction Unit NA NA NA 173 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 173
School Screening camps 596 188 694 1,830 1,274 NA 523 809 609 NA NA NA 6,523
Paediatric Camps NA NA NA 302 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 302
Vision Centres 21,903 5,458 12,079 4,701 6,747 NA 1,132 NA 1,358 NA NA NA 53,378
Community Centres / City Centres 8,518 1,793 2,806 NA 2,664 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 15,781
Total OP Examinations 1,19,182 21,893 57,344 57,755 52,347 6,427 7,565 15,374 7,125 6,589 3,195 17,671 3,72,467
Total Number of Camps 47 12 26 32 29 NA 3 9 NA 3 NA 8 169
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 3,708 415 1,465 1,821 1,600 294 230 732 266 194 117 679 11,521
Free (Direct) 2,861 254 917 1,493 1,224 164 186 264 359 115 NA 209 8,046
Camp 2,664 273 700 1,258 1,273 NA 103 222 39 30 NA 254 6,816
Total Cataract Surgeries 9,233 942 3,082 4,572 4,097 458 519 1,218 664 339 117 1,142 26,383
Note: NA - Not Applicable