Global eye health giants at landmark symposium

To mark our 25th Foundation Day, a day-long symposium was organized on "Health Systems, Eye Health and Non Communicable Diseases" on
17th October 2011. LVPEI was proud to host some of the giants who influenced community eye health over the past three decades. Stimulating talks, inspiring lectures and interactive panel discussions after each session made it a landmark symposium. Among several others, the following global leaders graced the event:

Prof Serge Resnikoff

Prof Mala Rao

Prof Jill Keeffe

Prof Serge Resnikoff, international authority on public health, ophthalmology and eye health and former Head, Non Communicable Diseases Prevention and Management Unit, WHO

Dr R Pararajasegaram, former WHO Regional Adviser and Consultant and former President, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Prof Mala Rao, Professor, International Health, University of East London and Public Health Adviser, Administrative Staff College of India

Prof Jill Keeffe, Head, Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness at CERA

Prof Allen Foster, President, CBM and Co-director, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Prof Hugh Taylor, Melbourne Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne and Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health

Dr R Kim, Chief Consultant & Professor of Ophthalmology, Aravind Eye Hospital and Postgraduate Institute of Ophthalmology

Prof Kovin Naidoo, Global Programs Director, International Centre for Eyecare Education

Dr G V S Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health & South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development & Research

Prof Hugh Taylor

Dr R Kim

Prof Kovin Naidoo

Dr G V S Murthy

Prof Allen Foster, Dr Gullapalli N Rao & Mrs Penelope Foster

The same day, the community eye health education component of LVPEI's International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye care (ICARE) was named the "Dr R Pararajasegram Community Eye Health Education Centre" and the research component was named the "Dr Allen Foster Community Eye Research Centre", in honour of the two giants who have been an inspirational force for the Institute's rural outreach programs.

Ms P Sreedevi presents a memento
to Dr R Pararajasegaram

LVPEI family pays tribute to its supporters

October 17, 2011: The LVPEI family paid a moving tribute to their supporters on the landmark occasion of their 25th Foundation Day celebrations. The well-orchestrated presentation saw a mélange of anecdotal speeches that refreshed precious memories, video footage that brought back fond nostalgia of so many exciting beginnings, photographs that re-introduced persons who are virtually part of the brick and mortar of this great institution, some fun and jest being poked at people who had "matured" over the years, along with a great deal of camaraderie, laughter and good-natured banter.

It was the story of the birth and growth of an institution, one that has blazed a trail of its own in growing from a single location to a 100 over a span of 25 years, and yet zealously continues to safeguard its founding principles of excellence, equity and efficiency, touching millions of lives along the way, giving sight and vision to hundreds and thousands of people, upholding and honouring its pledge not to refuse care to anyone – however costly or complicated – and no matter what, steadfastly refusing kickbacks, tips and shortcuts to success.

Shri L V Prasad, Mr N T Rama Rao and Dr Gullapalli N Rao at the foundation stone laying ceremony
on October 17, 1986

Excellence • Equity • Efficiency


Dr Y Mruthyunjay

And what a success! The saga of hard work and contribution was anchored by Dr Pravin V Krishna with panache, upping the emotional quotient of the special evening, telling the LVPEI story with sepia images and videos. Many valued friends and supporters, as well as faculty, helped the story along with their reminiscences.

It was in the mid eighties that Dr Gullapalli N Rao and Mrs Pratibha Rao made the decision to move from Rochester, USA to Hyderabad, India, to set up a world-class eye hospital in their home state. They then pledged and donated their entire savings to the project over the next 4 years, until their return to India, before asking others to support the start-up enterprise.

Present especially for the occasion, Dr Y Mruthyunjay, Founding Member, Indo American Eye Care Society, recalled thinking, "He won't be able to do it ... We had great reservations about his decision," he admitted, but along with Prof Brijen Gupta

and several close friends, he extended unstinting support for the project.
Prof Brijen Gupta single-handedly set up and secured all legal clearances

Dr Pravin V Krishna

Mr Ramesh Prasad presents a cheque to Dr Rao

for the Indo American Eye Care Society to raise funds in the USA, and ran it for 25 years. In India, a charitable trust, the Hyderabad Eye Institute was created with Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Mr K P Prasad,
Dr Narla Tata Rao, Dr V Ramalingaswami and Mr K Rama Rao as founding trustees in 1985. The Government of Andhra Pradesh allocated 7.5 acres of land in Kismatpur on the outskirts of Hyderabad where the Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry and the International Centre for Advancement of
Rural Eye care are currently located.

The initial dream to set up a single hospital transformed into a much bigger vision, when Shri L V Prasad offered a significant donation and 5 acres of land in Banjara Hills. The foundation stone for the Institute was laid on October 17, 1986 and it was named after him in grateful acknowledgement. His son, Mr Ramesh-Prasad spoke of the quarter-century-old association, and renewed his father's commitment by presenting a large-hearted cheque to Dr Rao, affirming, "The Institute has brought us a lot of credit and happiness.
LVP, jai ho!"

Some early supporters acknowledged in the narrative were Mrs Pratibha Rao, Prof James Aquavella, Dr Sriram Sonty, Carl Zeiss, Bausch & Lomb,
Mr Subbarao Makineni, Mrs and Mr Steve Jenner, though the valued list of supporters and patrons includes many, many more. Present

on the occasion, Ms Katherine Dhanani, US Consul General in Hyderabad, spoke of the close ties between organizations in the US and LVPEI, while Mr David Holly, Australia's Consul General for South India, highlighted the Institute's robust research program that works in collaboration with several Australian centers.

Ms K Dhanani

Among other eminent guests who spoke warmly and evocatively of their association with the Institute were Dr Allen Foster, President of CBM and Co-Director of the International Centre for Eye Health, UK, and Dr R Pararajasegaram, Founding Member of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness and the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. Dr Foster traced CBM's 20-year-old partnership with LVPEI, adding, "We receive more than we give." Dr Pararajasegaram commended LVPEI's high standards as a Centre of Excellence. "I learn more than and beyond what I can teach on my visits,"
he said.


Mr David Holly

Prof Hugh Taylor

Prof Hugh Taylor, Melbourne Laureate Professor and Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health at the University of Melbourne, who had played a key role in the landmark epidemiological APEDS study led by LVPEI and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, also spoke of his association with the Institute. Several major donors had earlier recorded their messages: Mr Ashok Devineni (Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd), Dr Kallam Anji Reddy (Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd), Dr B R Barwale (Mahyco), Prof Brien Holden (Brien Holden Vision Institute), Dr Leonor Beleza (Champalimaud Foundation), Ms Pat Ferguson (Operation Eyesight Universal), Dr Paul J Dubord (Eyesight International), Mr G Mallikarjuna Rao (GMR Group), Mr Kode Satyanarayana (Spectra Group), and
Mr V C Janardan Rao (Veljan Hydrair Ltd).

Dr G Chandra Sekhar

Dr Savitri Sharma

Among the LVPEI faculty who recounted their experiences were Dr G Chandra Sekhar who talked about "The Beginning", Dr Savitri Sharma spoke of "The Growth", Dr Merle Fernandes focused on "Contemporary LVPEI" and Dr Shrikant Bhardawaj gave "A Glimpse into the Future."

Finally, Founder Chairman Dr Gullapalli N Rao stepped up to the podium to a standing ovation. He quoted William Owen Jr and how he was inspired to "Tear down the walls... We have shown that this model is possible in every sector of health care.

Dr Merle Fernandes

Dr Shrikant Bhardawaj

Lots of people trusted in us and invested in us and the scorecard isn't too bad…with 14 million people served, over 50% of them free." He summed up the LVPEI family's 'Tribute to Supporters' in these words: "How can we adequately thank all of you? People gave us from a bag of lemons in gratitude for our services, to millions of dollars in donation. Some of you were acknowledged today, but for some others, it is impossible to recount all your names here. To all of you, we owe a great degree of indebtedness. And we hope we have lived up to your expectations, for this is only the beginning, yet."

The evening closed with Dr Anthony Vipin Das' keyboard performance of his own musical composition "Soaring High."

Dinner on the lawns

Excellence • Equity • Efficiency


Rehab services at KVC campus

LVPEI's Kode Venkatadri Chowdary campus' Centre for Sight Enhancement and Visual Rehabilitation was inaugurated by Mr Vijaykumar (IAS, Urban Development Authority, Vijayawada) on World Sight Day, October 13, 2011. The state-of-the-art facility for patients with incurable vision loss is unique in this area. Mr Vijaykumar expressed his appreciation for the services and overall activities of the institute. This was followed by a press meet, detailing the importance of low vision services to increase awareness among the general public.

Optometrist Narsaiah talks about the rehab services to Mr Vijaykumar

World Sight Day celebrated in style

World Sight Day 2011 was celebrated on October 13, 2011 in style by over 400 students, staff and alumni of LVPEI's Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry (BLSO) with a walk near the KBR park area of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.

The 300 plus group mostly comprised optometry staff and students of LVPEI and BLSO alumni, ophthalmology faculty, fellows and staff. Eminent celebrities who led the walk were Mr Akineni Nageswar Rao,
Mr Ramesh Prasad, Commissioner of Police Mr A K Khan and film actors Lakshmi Manchu and Dil Raju. The group also pledged to donate their eyes. The walk was supported by Essilor.

India Vision Institute to address the
needs of 100 million Indians

India Vision Institute (IVI), a product of the partnership between the Brien Holden Vision Institute (Sydney, Australia) and L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) is an initiative to address the needs of over 100 million Indians who suffer from uncorrected refractive error. IVI was launched on October 18, 2011 in the presence of Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr Daggubati Purandareswari and Australian Consul-General for South India Mr David Holly. IVI is co-chaired by two eminent visionaries in the blindness prevention arena: CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute Prof Brien Holden and Chairman of LVPEI Dr Gullapalli N Rao.

IVI will serve as a platform for the development of the Indian vision care industry, supporting research, education and technological development in vision correction, eye disease and blindness prevention. Mr Vinod Daniel, CEO and managing trustee of IVI said, "IVI will develop capacity within the optometry sector in India to address the needs of uncorrected refractive error, which would save India billions of dollars of lost productivity. IVI will

work with all major eye care providers and establish strong industry partnerships to support this important public health need".

Dr D Purandareswari, Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Mr David Holly, Ms K Dhanani, Prof Brien Holden and Mr Vinod Daniel at the launch

Awards and Honors

Harsha B L Rao was awarded the young researcher award at the XXI annual meeting of the Glaucoma Society of India, Mumbai. October 7-9, 2011

Sirisha Senthil received the best video award for Ahmed Glaucoma Valve (AGV) with Boston Keratoprosthesis at the XXI annual meeting of the Glaucoma Society of India, Mumbai. October 7-9, 2011

Virender S Sangwan awarded Best Original Cornea Paper of the day at 115th annual meeting of American Academy of Ophthalmology, Orlando, Fl, USA. October 22-25, 2011

Avinash Pathengay received International Scholar Plaque in recognition for outstanding research, teaching and invaluable service to patients from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fl, USA


CME on Contact Lenses

LVPEI Bhubaneswar organized a continuous medical education (CME) for optometrists on Rose K contact lens on October 15, 2011. Prof Paul Rose, designer of the Rose K lens, was the resource person. Delegates enjoyed the hands-on training

session. Topics like advanced conditions of keratoconous, PMCD, post-penetrating keratoplasty and its management with Rose K, semi scleral lenses were discussed. The program was coordinated by Mr Santanu Jana, senior optometrist, LVPEI Bhubaneswar.


WSD programs at Vizag campus

On the occasion of World Sight Day 2011, the GMR Varalakshmi campus' community eye care team conducted large-scale eye screening programs for communities and

schools in the neighboring villages over a period of 10 days. In the 4 villages covered, 545 persons were screened, while 1047 children were screened in 2 schools.

Dr D Purandareswari, Minister of State, HRD, is felicitated by (from left) Dr M Mohan Rao, Superintendent, Regional Eye Hospital, Mr Kasim S Mehdi, Chairman, Mohsin Eye Bank and Mr D V Subbbarao, former Mayor of Visakhapatnam

  Mohsin Eye Bank anniversary

Mohsin Eye Bank celebrated its 10th anniversary and conducted a symposium, focusing upon the present eye donation scenario in the country and

the need to improve and coordinate eye donation efforts, as well as the need for multi organ and blood donations.

Excellence • Equity • Efficiency


The Institute's 25th Foundation Day staff celebrations were held on the evening of October 18, 2011, with a variety of cultural programs by the LVPEI family including BLSO (Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry) students. The program started with Dr G Chandra Sekhar's address, followed by distribution of certificates to the staff who have completed 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 years of service. Prizes were distributed to all those who had actively participated in the sports activities conducted during the earlier weeks. All the staff and their families enjoyed a rainbow of cultural programs, with music, lights and colour.

'Once she can see, other development will follow'

Her head covered with tiny tight curls, little Ofure Shalom clings to her daddy's neck, lost in a world of her own. She is thousands of miles away from her mother and sister and her home in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria — coping with strange faces and unfamiliar food. Her thick glasses and an ear (cochlear) implant tug at your heartstrings.

For 2½-year-old Ofure, Hyderabad has become almost a second home. Her parents first brought her here in 2009 as a baby, seeking treatment for her opaque corneas (congenital corneal opacity) and a hole in her heart. It was a hard time when the parents discovered that newborn Ofure needed specialized care. There were no easy solutions, no simple answers…where should they go for treatment for her multiple problems? Doctors in Nigeria would not perform a corneal transplant on a baby with a heart condition.

A glimmer of hope came in the form of a Nigerian doctor who had trained at L V Prasad Eye Institute. The parents anxiously travelled 7 hours to meet her. She suggested they rush to Hyderabad — the baby was already 5 months old and time was of the essence…they had to move fast. But a trip to India was far beyond their means. Family, friends and the church helped, the couple also approached banks for loans. Just when things were falling in place, little Ofure suffered a congestive heart failure and was hospitalized for 2-3 weeks. Finally, armed with oxygen on the flight, they arrived in Hyderabad in September 2009.

Ofure would need cardiac surgery, but she was too small, recalls her father Martin Okhawere, a public health physician in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. They tried to feed the baby as much as possible and prayed and finally she gained a kilo! "It was a miracle, you must have faith in God," says Martin. The doctors were amazed and Little Ofure, now 4.5 kilos, underwent the life-saving surgery at a specialty hospital in Hyderabad.

At L V Prasad Eye Institute, it was a challenge for surgeons to perform corneal transplants in the baby's eyes. After a careful examination and review by the doctors, Ofure successfully underwent corneal transplants in both her eyes, opening her windows to the world. Back home in Nigeria after 4 months, she remained under the care of an ophthalmologist, formerly trained at LVPEI.

In 2011 Martin returned to Hyderabad to have laser treatment for Ofure's eyes and a cochlear implant at another hospital. She also underwent cognitive therapy at LVPEI's Vision Rehabilitation Centres. Martin says, "The only way out was to give her an opportunity to see; once she can see everything, the rest of the development will happen. Dr Pravin gave her the best cornea and has followed her progress patiently."

As Martin headed home to his family, he had another reason to be happy…he is awaiting the birth of his third child!

Our Support in October


Mr Ajay Bansal


Dr Soumyava Basu

Mr Subash Chandra Jena

Mr Kshitish Chandra Mohanty

Mr Bigyan Bhusan Nanda

Mr T Suresh Rao

Ms Kirteemayee Roul

Mr Swachha Sisir Samantray

Ms Sudha Sundarrajan

Appasamy Associates


Ms Aayushi Badami


Mr Aravind

Mr Shirish & Ms Anu Dubey

Ms Meera Nawal Garia

Dr I Hanumayamma

Mr B Anil Kumar

Ms Sreedevi Penmetcha

Prof P K Sai Prakash

Mr Nimmagadda Prasad

Mr V C Janardan Rao

Dr G Chandra Sekhar

Mr Suppiah Subramanian

Ms Padmaja Vedula

Prasad Productions Pvt Ltd


Mr Hari Om Shrivastava


Mr ER Kola Anna Reddy

New Delhi

Mr Jorge Roza de Oliveira


Mr Firojali Habibo Sanji


Kallam Anji Reddy Campus Patia, Bhubaneswar GMR Varalakshmi Campus Kode Venkatadri Chowdary Campus
Visakhapatnam Tadigadapa
Tel: 91 040 30612020 Tel: 91 0674 39892020 Tel: 91 0891 39892020 Vijayawada
Fax: 91 040 23548271 Fax: 91 0674 3987130 Fax: 91 0891 3984444 Tel: 91 0866 3062020
E-mail: E-mail:
E-mail: E-mail: