Sankara Eye Foundation Honors Donors who raised $160,000
Los Angeles, Nov 09, 2013
Photos: Srini Natarajan
Blindness, Darkness, colorless, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Braille, Anne S. Macy, Helen Keller.. the names are familiar, but how many take the first step and all the way up to removing blindness? Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) of USA does that by raising funds for their parent organization in India. SEF, headquartered in Milpitas, Ca held a Dinner in honor of the donors in Southern California on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the Haveli Restaurant in Artesia, California.
An amount exceeding $160,000 was also raised during this event. One donor alone has pledged about $150,000 for its 11th hospital in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, for which SEF is close to buying the land. Their 10th hospital at Kanpur, in the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh is almost complete, and is about to open in April, 2014. Each hospital costs about $ 4 to 5 million to complete, and additional few million dollars for the equipment. Their goal is to eradicate blindness by the year 2020.
Mr. Murali Krishnamurthy, the Chairman and CEO for the US wing of the SEF, in an interview explained their efforts in realizing their goal of 20 hospitals by the year 2020. They are expanding their capacity in few of their existing hospitals. In Guntur, Ahdhra Pradesh, they are adding 100 more beds to the existing 200 bed hospital. They are also building hospitals in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and in the State of Chattisgarh.
They have performed one million eye surgeries by last year. The hospitals sustain on the basis of donation and paid service in the ratio of 80:20 (80% free and 20% paid according to ability). It is possible only by the magnanimity of the donors and volunteers, both medical and non-medical. Their efforts are really Himalayan, considering the facts as follows:
India bears the highest burden of the world’s blind:
- 1/4th of the world's blind live in India
- 45M Indians are visually impaired
- 12M are totally blind
- 4M new cases are added yearly
Fortunately, 80% of them can easily be cured.
Dr. Kaushik, Mr. Bharat Mr. Srivatsan, Mr. Sunder Radhakrishnan, Mr. Jayendra are at the helm steering these operations. The organizers and coordinators of these charitable efforts in Southern California are, Mr. Girish Mehta, Mr. Divyogi Patel, Mr. Surinder Sambhi and Mr. Anil Lal to mention a few.
The banquet included dinner by Haveli and music by Dr. Buchi, Mr. Murali Krishnamoorthy, and other singers from the audience.