L V P E I Experience - L V Prasad Eye Institute

His hallmark is passion - passion for businesses that have a global impact, young people whom he believes are the pioneers of the future, and social responsibility in the form of philanthropy.

It was this same passion that motivated Mr Tej Kohli, along with his wife Ms Wendy Kohli, to set up the Tej Kohli Foundation in 2002. The Foundation currently operates in India, Costa Rica and Africa, whilst constantly exploring new countries. An ardent philanthropist, he believes that success should not be celebrated in isolation, but by supporting those who are less fortunate.

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His hallmark is passion - passion for businesses that have a global impact, young people whom he believes are the pioneers of the future, and social responsibility in the form of philanthropy.

It was this same passion that motivated Mr Tej Kohli, along with his wife Ms Wendy Kohli, to set up the Tej Kohli Foundation in 2002. The Foundation currently operates in India, Costa Rica and Africa, whilst constantly exploring new countries. An ardent philanthropist, he believes that success should not be celebrated in isolation, but by supporting those who are less fortunate.

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Mr Devidas N Budhrani, Founder Trustee of Naraindas Morbai Budhrani Trust (NMBT) and his family firmly believe in serving the poor and the underprivileged.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

How accessible do you think are the eye care services in India?

Access to healthcare is a general concern in India. Specialized services like eye care are even more inaccessible.

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Aurobindo Pharma Limited partners with LVPEI

With the aim to provide quality eye care to the elderly population, especially to those who cannot afford it, Hyderabad based pharmaceutical giant Aurobindo Pharma Limited, have extended their generous support to develop a Geriatric Eye Care Centre, at LVPEI’s GMR Varalakshmi Campus in Visakhapatnam. The centre named Aurobindo Geriatric Eye Care (AGE) will be the first of its kind in the world. Aurobindo Pharma Vice-Chairman K Nityananda Reddy and Director Sarat Chandra Reddy, in the presence of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, presented the donation cheque for this centre to LVPEI on 23 February 2015.

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Cyient Limited has been instrumental in helping and supporting Srujana, LVPEI’s Innovation Centre launched on 25 October 2013 by former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam (for more details refer page 16). The following are extracts from an interesting interaction we had with Mr B V Mohan Reddy regarding the LVPEI-CYIENT collaboration.

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15th December 2013 marked the augmentation of LVPEI’s services in the state of Odisha with the foundation laying ceremony of the OCL Eye Centre, a secondary centre at Rajgangpur. Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik unveiled the plaque and planted a sapling.

The Rajgangpur centre is supported by a generous donation from OCL India Ltd, the flagship company of the Dalmia Group of companies that operates from eastern India. Behind this effort and closely associated with LVPEI is Mr M H Dalmia, President of OCL India Limited, the son of one of the leading industrialists and philanthropists of India, Sri Jaidayal Dalmia.

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GE Volunteers is a global network comprising employees, retirees, affinity groups, friends and family supported by GE businesses and corporate resources with a global mission to facilitate and support volunteering activities that improve life in the communities.

GE Volunteers Foundation helped set up the digital audio library in Hyderabad in 2010. The first of its kind library where audio cassettes are converted to digital mode, this pioneering effort involves use of the sophisticated Daisy software.

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SK Pathak, the charismatic businessman behind the highly reputed UAE-based engineering and construction conglomerate, Al Basti & Muktha (ABM) Group, was among the early entrepreneurs from India to set up a business in Dubai.

Through the ABM group, Mr Pathak was involved in ventures as diverse as hotels, tea plantations, healthcare and publication all over the world. He has served on the Dubai Advisory Board of Coutts & Co, one of the world’s leading private banks.

Mr Pathak studied Economics from the University of Allahabad. He evinced keen interest in education, endowing a permanent scholarship fund and financing the redeveloped graduate accommodation, now known as ‘SKP House’ in Exeter College, Oxford University. The scholarship supports outstanding Indian students, pursuing graduate studies at Oxford University in subjects linked to the economic development of India. In 2011, Mr Pathak received the highest honor bestowed by the Oxford University, UK. He was inducted by Lord Patten, Chancellor of Oxford University, into the prestigious Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors which is bestowed on those who have shown outstanding leadership in philanthropy.

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Founder and Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Dr Kallam Anji Reddy was an Indian entrepreneur in the global pharmaceutical industry. Education and career were all home-grown options for this son of the soil who single-handedly turned the Indian bulk drug industry from dependence on imports to self-reliance, eventually making it the emerging export-oriented industry that it is today.

Equipped with a razor sharp memory, his main tenets were humility and the ability to trust. He believed in the power of good intention, and was particularly sensitive that people should be treated with dignity. Calculated risk is what he prescribed, thus making risk taking easy. An eternal optimist, he combined both passion and professionalism in his work-life. When faced with difficult situations, his famous adage was, “Everything cannot fail”

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This is an inspiring story of how a businessman from a middle-class family stepped forward to support the provision of eye care services by L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), to ensure the eye health of the people in his hometown.

Mr Kollipara Srinivas Rao and his two brothers donated space in a busy locality of Peddanandipadu near Guntur, in memory of their late parents Mr Kollipara Seshagiri Rao and Mrs Rohini. Speaking of his involvement in extending eye care in the area, he said, "Authorities at L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad were making enquiries at the Karamchedu base centre, seeking local donors in Peddanandipadu. When they approached me I spoke to my brothers and we readily agreed to provide built space for a Vision Centre. We set up the Vision Centre (VC) at a crucial junction – the crossroads of Peddanandipadu and Nagulapadu. We believe that LVPEI's name and fame precedes it and it will surely fulfill its promise to provide medical support to people."

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February 13, 2013 marked the launch of LVPEI’s services in the state of Karnataka. The institute’s 11thsecondary care service centre, the Y Mahabaleshwarappa Memorial Eye Centre in Bellary, launched its outpatient services. Built on 3.5 acres of land, the 20,000 sq ft facility is located on the outskirts of Bellary, and is funded by a generous donation from M/S Y Mahabaleshwarappa & Sons. The plan is to make this a tertiary centre in a few years from now.

Mr Satish Yeachareddy, a co-owner of the iron ore mining company, says the family has long been involved in philanthropic activities thanks to the inspiration of his grandfather Sri Y Mahabaleshwarappa. Sri Mahabaleshwarappa was an active politician-philanthropist who was instrumental in forming the Akhanda Bellary Zilla Kriya Samithi which resisted the division of Bellary district from the state of Karnataka. He also had the distinction of being the youngest District Board President in the erstwhile Madras Presidency, at the age of 25, a position to which he was elected three times.

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Mr VC Janardan Rao's interest in eye care began many, many years ago, when he noticed his daughter, who was around 5 years old at that time, peering very closely at books, etc. On consulting an ophthalmologist he learnt that his child was highly myopic.

So, from a very young age, his daughter was wearing thick glasses. When she was in her 20s, he read an article in an international magazine about laser refractive surgical correction performed by an ophthalmologist in Chicago, USA. Those were early days for LASIK, as it is now called, but he decided to take his daughter to Chicago and meet the doctor.

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Mr S K Pathak is one of the early entrepreneurs who went from India to set up a business in Dubai. He is the founder, major shareholder and Chairman of ABM Group, Dubai, consisting of Al Basti and Mukhta LLC, Bilt Middle East LLC, Al Basti Inks Industry LLC and Ductfab LLC companies. The ABM Group has contributed to the rapidly changing face of Dubai and has earned a reputation of delivering high quality projects, ranking among the top engineering and construction establishments in the region.

Mr Pathak obtained his BA and MA in Economics from the University of Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He has been involved in ventures worldwide in areas as diverse as hotels, tea plantations, healthcare and publication, among others. He has also served on the Dubai Advisory Board of Coutts & Co, one of the world's leading private banks.

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Dr Krupakar Paul Thadikonda is the Executive Director of Thadikonda Research Foundation – a private, non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of children, adolescents, and adults who are touched by rare disorders. The organization's objectives are "To provide awareness, education and training facilities for children and families with special needs" and "To promote pharmaceutical and medical research and training in underdeveloped communities around the world" with specific reference to rare disorders such as cerebral palsy and autism.

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Mr Kode Satyanarayana, a successful industrialist and a true philanthropist says, "Providing a person the financial means to educate his/her children is one of the best ways you can help someone." He adds, "Considering the present state of health care in the country and the way some private hospitals drain the resources of families in the event of sickness, it has also been a policy in our organizations to defray some of the medical expenses for the needy and deserving cases, whenever possible."

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Nava Bharat Ventures Limited (formerly Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Limited) is a business conglomerate with interests in power generation, ferro alloys, mining and sugar with multinational operations spread over India, South East Asia and Africa. Over the past three decades, the organization has won numerous accolades, each a testimony to its all-round performance in energy management, safety, work place excellence, environment protection, exports, productivity, industrial relations, labour welfare, rural development, etc.

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In 1977 I was working in France as an expatriate employee of the Paris subsidiary of a large American multinational. When David came into our lives in March of that year and joined Soona, our daughter Shirin and me, our life was transformed. The next two years were wonderful; we thought we had everything. Apart from this superb addition to the family, I had a very good job at a senior level. Soona did occasional translations from home, but her main function was looking after the kids. And Shirin was doing very well at the British School of Paris, handily located in a town a few miles from the green and pleasant one where we lived. The latter was itself a 20-minute train ride to my workplace at La Defense, the then new Paris business centre full of skyscrapers, located just outside the city.

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Mr Vikram M Thapar, grandson of the late Mr Karam Chand Thapar joined his father Mr Inder Mohan Thapar as Vice Chairman and Managing Director to direct the affairs of the very profi table KCT (Coal Sales) Ltd (Karam Chand Thapar and Bros Ltd) — the largest coal logistics fi rm in the country. Owners of the largest number of coal mines in the country till their nationalization in the 1970s, the company has expanded into the areas of manufacture of mining, material handling and general engineering equipment and now plans to return to the coal mining business in India and abroad.

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The two Founding Organisations of L V Prasad Eye Institute were the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Indo American Eye Care Society. The Founding Governing Board of Hyderabad Eye Institute included Mr A Ramesh Prasad, Prof V Ramalingaswami, Dr Narla Tata Rao, Mr K Rama Rao, Mr K P Prasad and Dr Gullapalli N Rao. The Founding Governing Board of Indo American Eye Care Society included Prof Brijen Gupta, Dr H Janardhan, Dr Y M Jay and Dr Gullapalli N Rao.

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Mr L B Deshpande retired from Osmania University in 1972 as its Registrar, continuing to work as Registrar of the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad. Later, he volunteered his services to Hyderabad Public School and as the Honorary Secretary of the Andhra Mahila Sabha’s colleges for women. During his 40 years as an administrator in higher education, he earned a reputation of a hard working executive who strived to cut the red tape. He always conveyed a tremendous sense of optimism and energy and had a great sense of humour. His wife Mrs. Meera Deshpande meanwhile built a network of social and family relationships with her signature kindness and smiling face.

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On January 30, 2008, the Champalimaud Translational Centre of Eye Research (C-TRACER) was inaugurated at L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. A world class translational research facility for the analysis, management and treatment of selected eye disorders, C-TRACER symbolizes the partnership between Champalimaud Foundation and LVPEI. LVPEI has been conducting vision related translational research and has utilised stem cells for the treatment of eye diseases. The agreement with Champalimaud Foundation formalized a link between the scientific communities of Portugal, Africa and Asia, allowing for the creation of programs specific to the Lusophone countries of Africa, allowing Portuguese scientists to participate in research activities at LVPEI, Hyderabad. The Champalimaud Foundation, based in Lisbon, Portugal, was created on the bequest of the late Portuguese industrialist and entrepreneur, António de Sommer Champalimaud. The Foundation has a long-term commitment to support medical research, particularly in the fields of neuroscience, cancer and vision sciences.

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It was in early November 2007 that Mavis and John Hyman from London contacted Dr Gullapalli N Rao (Chairman, LVPEI group) about the possibility of a private donation. They had in mind a grant for a pediatric unit. It was just 16 months since the L V Prasad Eye Institute at Bhubaneswar had been set up. The children’s eye care centre had yet to take off – the Institute was in search of a philanthropic offer. The enquiry was a godsend.

John and Mavis Hyman, both in their 70s, had two daughters – Esther and Miriam. In July 2005, Miriam, just 32, was killed in the London bombings of 7/7. Warm-hearted, generous, and talented, Miriam had touched many hearts in her short life. Seeking to do something meaningful in her name, the Hyman family set up a restricted fund within ORBIS, UK, and with the help of friends, organized a series of fund-raising events (www.miriam-hyman.com).

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Eyesight International (Canada) is dedicated to eliminating blindness and bringing self-sustaining eye care to rural communities in the developing world. Founded in 1994 by cornea specialist Dr Paul Dubord, Eyesight International (ESI) works with partners in Canada and internationally, introducing initiatives and building resources and skills through locally sustainable programs, for effective long-term solutions to blindness and visual impairment. How did the partnership between ESI and LVPEI begin? Looking back Dr Paul Dubord, Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, says, “The adventure began in 1989, in Karachi, Pakistan, when Dr Nag Rao from the L V Prasad Eye Institute asked me if I would work with him to establish an eye banking and corneal transplantation program in India. From the humble beginnings of this partnership, with 25 transplants performed at LVPEI in the early 1990s, a great program has emerged.”

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One day in 1998 Praveen K Gottipalli, an NRI from San Fransisco, California, was driving past L V Prasad Eye Institute. He had heard a lot about the Institute's work and was searching for a deserving organization to help and support. Impulsively he decided to walk in, without any references or contacts.

Mr Gottipalli asked how he could help, and was immediately taken to meet Dr G N Rao. Dr Rao showed him around the Institute and asked him to choose an area of Eye care that he felt strongly about and wished to support.

Mr Gottipalli's wife Sunita had worked as a teacher, and the couple were particularly interested in helping children with eye problems. They wanted to make a commitment to provide underprivileged children with sight-enhancing devices to enable them to pursue an education and realize their full potential.

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