The graduation ceremony of the 3rd batch of Master's in Community Eye Health (MCEH), 11th batch of Diploma in Community Eye Health (DCEH) and 6th batch of the Program Management and Evaluation programs was held on December 17, 2011. Dr M Mohan Rao,
The graduating DCEH students with the external and internal faculty
Additional Director, Medical Education, Dr G Chandra Sekhar, Director, LVPEI, Hyderabad and Dr Prashant Garg, Head, MVT Center for Eye Care Education, LVPEI presented certificates to the outgoing students. Dr Mohan Rao, Dr R Pararajasegaram from Geneva (recorded message), Dr Geeta K Vemuganti from Central University, Hyderabad, Dr G V S Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, and Dr Catherine Suttle from UNSW, Sydney (recorded message) delivered graduation messages on the occasion.
Seven long-term fellows also graduated the same day, including the first one from Bhubaneswar campus. The program began with the faculty re-introducing the fellows in a light-hearted fashion, taking us down memory lane. Chief Guest Prof Deborah Sweeney from Vision CRC, Australia shared her experiences with the outgoing fellows.
Towards blindness-free villages:The XII Partners & Village Vision Complex Vision Health Team Meet was held on December 17, 2011, with a universal pledge to make all villages blindness free. About 70 representatives from our partner centres and Village Vision Complexes participated, including administrators, Vision Centre coordinators, community eye care program supervisors, vision health guardians, as well as consultants, public health specialists, executives, directors of ICARE and the Chairman of LVPEI.
By Vanita Ganesh, now in her 25th year of service at LVPEI
25 years of struggle, happiness, commitment and enjoyment! When I joined this organization in September 1987 as a nursing assistant, my daughters were 5 and 2. I had never seen such a hospital in Hyderabad with a modern and clean building. I live in Malkajgiri, 14 km away. I had to change 2 buses and then take the institute vehicle. For 7 'o' clock shifts, I had to catch a train at 5 am, wait at Secunderabad from 5.15 am to 6 am to catch a bus to Punjagutta and then catch the institute vehicle at 6.40 am.
Vanita undergoing an eye examination
Managing both home and work was challenging. My late father-in-law was very strict — I had to be home by 6.15 pm. Even if I was 5-10 minutes late, he would ask, “Are you doing a PM's job?” In the morning, Dr Rao would set my time and in the evening my father-in-law! For 22 years, I never reached the institute late. Only in the past 2-3 years, I have been late twice or thrice a year.
When I joined LVPEI, I did not know anything. My aim was to work hard and be truthful. I respect and admire the rules of the organization. Not to call anybody Sir/Madam, except patients. Non-paying patients were to be treated equally with respect. If Dr Rao/Mrs Ramam came by, I knew I should not stop working and get up; I was expected to continue my work. LVPEI encourages the staff and recognizes them by giving monthly and yearly awards; I am proud to say that I was the 2nd employee to receive the award. Outside the Institute too, if we tell anyone that we work at LVPEI, we receive a lot of respect.
I have worked in most departments. Mrs Vijaya L Ramam, Administrator was very supportive and encouraging. Dr Das was my guru. It was a turning point for me and the work was challenging. Working with him, I rose to the position of Supervisor, Jr Administrator and now Associate Administrator. I learnt a lot from him and he supported me in many ways.
I believe in and practice being truthful to one's work and home — that will give you the best returns. Do good and it will come back to you. From a nursing assistant, I became an Associate Administrator and from a mother, a grandmother! Today, my daughters have grown up and are married. I have a 3-year-old granddaughter, Kartavya. I thank the organization for giving me an opportunity to serve the people and grow personally and professionally.