The esteemed founder and chairman emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. SS Badrinath, breathed his last on Tuesday, November 21, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and medical excellence. At the age of 83, Dr. Badrinath’s pioneering work in ophthalmology and his dedication to providing free medical care to the underprivileged have left an indelible mark.
Establishing Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai in 1978, Dr. Badrinath forged a path in the medical field that transcended boundaries. His commitment to serving the economically disadvantaged sections of society made Sankara Nethralaya a beacon of hope for those in need of eye care. The hospital, under his guidance, catered to hundreds every day, offering free treatment and becoming a bastion of charitable medical services.
Hailing from a small suburb in Chennai, Dr. SS Badrinath faced early adversity, losing both parents during his teenage years. His determination and resilience propelled him forward. Utilizing the insurance money from his parents’ demise, he pursued his passion for medical sciences, beginning his journey in New York, where he interned in various ophthalmology centers.
The inception of Sankara Nethralaya marked a turning point. Dr. Badrinath, along with a team of dedicated doctors, established the charitable, not-for-profit eye hospital, focusing on providing free treatment to the less fortunate. Today, the hospital treats around 1200 patients daily and conducts approximately 100 surgeries, all at no cost, aiding those who might otherwise lack access to such crucial medical assistance.
Beyond medical care, Dr. Badrinath’s vision encompassed education and training. Sankara Nethralaya became a hub for nurturing aspiring eye specialists, offering comprehensive training programs to shape the future of ophthalmology.
Recognizing his invaluable contributions, the Government of India honored Dr. SS Badrinath with the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards, the third and fourth highest civilian honors in the country, respectively. These accolades underscored his unwavering commitment to humanitarian causes and his exceptional service to society.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined in mourning the loss of Dr. Badrinath, acknowledging his visionary role in the field of ophthalmology. Dr. SS Badrinath’s legacy will continue to shine brightly through the lives he touched, the medical advancements he pioneered, and the enduring spirit of philanthropy he instilled in Sankara Nethralaya.
Sources By Agencies