You are all aware of the wonderful work that Sankara Nethralaya has been doing in the field of affordable eye care. It is truly a centre of excellence and as someone who has undergone treatment there for a major eye ailment, I can vouch for the way they handle patients – from all strata of society, especially those who are less blessed than most of us. Sankara Nethralaya depends on the munificence of donors to remain true to its mission of providing the best eye care for the most disadvantaged members of society.

In these times of COVID, an institution like this needs our support, especially in ensuring that it can give vision to those who cannot afford treatment. I give below an appeal received from Ms Akila Ganesan, who is the Director, Administration, of Sankara Nethralaya. I request you all to read it and contribute what you can. Thanks.

“Sankara Nethralaya, as you would be aware, is a leading eye care charitable institution based out of Chennai. Each year, we see about 100000 patients totally free of cost in our out patient department and we do over 22000 surgeries totally free. The transportation, examination, surgery, food, post-surgical care including medication is all taken care of by the hospital. Society has been kind enough to support our Community work since inception. Individuals, Corporations, Trusts and Foundations have joined hands with us over the last 4 decades to fight against Preventable Blindness. We are the only hospital in India that has a Mobile Surgery Unit to carry out free cataract surgeries in the rural and tribal villages of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand totally free of cost.

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected entire humanity in numerous ways – financial, emotional, health, culture. While all of us are trying to cope with the effects of the pandemic, it is the underprivileged who are most affected. A charitable institution like Sankara Nethralaya, is now caught in a Catch 22 situation – how to balance between our limited resources and still continue to offer free services to those who cannot afford to pay for their treatment including surgery and other treatments.

Each year, about 1000 patients are given Retinal Injections for Complicated Retinal Conditions like Diabetic Macular Edema, Age-related Macular Degeneration, Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion etc totally free of cost (Any patient with a family income of Rs. 12000 or less, is treated totally free of cost at Sankara Nethralaya). The cost of each injection is Rs. 11000. This is given directly into the eye. Without these injections, the probability of the patient losing vision is very high. So far, we have borne the cost of such injections. Today, due to the financial difficulty because of the global pandemic, we need the support of friends and well-wishers to ensure treatment for these patients.

We request you to support us through a donation to purchase the injection for the patients. Your support to these patients would be invaluable as it would prevent them from losing their vision. We will share with you the details of the patients for whom the injections are given. All donations are exempt under 80G of the IT Act. Donations can be sent by cheque in the name of “Medical Research Foundation” to “Ms AkilaGanesan, Director Administration, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Chennai 600006” or online “ Request the donors to share their name, address, amount of donation and PAN number to to facilitate sending of receipt and tax exemption certificate Thank you “