Aravind News Team

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go Green has become a topic of serious discussion now. Everywhere we can see slogans or public awareness materials to promote the concept. But how many of us actually understand its significance and take active steps to lead an eco-friendly life is still a matter of concern. Aravind has always been conscious of this serious problem and have invested in several eco-friendly measures from time to time. Recently, various centres of Aravind have installed solar panels for power generation thereby taking a humble step towards reducing the carbon footprint.

Old pictures, videos or any artifact for that matter always interest people. A museum of eye care was opened at Aravind – Madurai that houses the various episodes in the organization’s journey through rare, old pictures, videos as well as displays outdated diagnostic instruments and equipment in ophthalmology. The center is given a befitting name, "Prayana" which translated to Footprints.

With a view to update ophthalmologists on the latest trends in the treatment of cataract, Aravind hosted a medical education programme at Tirunelveli. The sessions focused on femto laser assisted cataract surgery. A major portion of Aravind’s patients are still brought through free eye camps. Proper planning is essential to ensure the smooth organizing of eye camps and related activities. Outreach staff belonging to the different Aravind centres were brought together at Madurai for their annual planning meeting.

News about these and many more feature in this issue.

Aravind News Team

Awards and Accolades
Dr. V. Narendran Bestowed with Icon of Coimbatore Award
Coimbatore, January 22
Dr. V. Narendran, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind- Coimbatore was bestowed with the Icon of Coimbatore award for his contribution towards the betterment of the society. Icons of Coimbatore award ceremony 2015 was organised by Rathinam College of Arts and Science, Eachanari to recognise people who were instrumental in raising Coimbatore in the path of economy and development.
Special Events
Inauguration of Prayana
Aravind – Madurai, January 9
Library Musium
Prayana – A Museum of Eye Care at Aravind was inaugurated in the premises of Aravind Library and Information Centre. The centre was inaugurated by Pamela C Sieving, Former Biomedical librarian/Informationist, NIH Library Bethesda, and Bette Anton, Librarian Emerita, University of California, Berkeley in the presence of senior leadership team of Aravind. The museum holds rare pictures and videos right from the beginning of Aravind Eye Care System, manuscripts, old and outdated ophthalmic equipment and instruments used for diagnostic and treatment purposes.

At a time when the state is reeling under extreme power crisis, Aravind invests in eco-friendly power – generating measures that promise an everlasting and incessant supply.

Of all the renewable energy sources, solar panels have the least environmental impacts. Electricity produced from these cells does not result in air or water pollution, deplete natural resources, or endanger animal or human health.With the ever rising conventional energy costs and the impact of carbon dioxide on global warming, worldwide focus is now being shifted to harnessing solar energy.

It is said that the earth receives more energy from the Sun in just one hour than the world's population uses in a whole year. In India, the daily solar energy incidence varies from 4 – 7 kilowatts hour per square meter and many regions in the country enjoy 250 to 300 sunny days annually. To make the best use of this, various centres of Aravind including Aurolab have now installed solar panels amounting to a capacity of 400KW altogether – 100KW each in Coimbatore and Aurolab; 80KW each in Madurai OP Block and Tirunelveli and 20KW each in Dr. G. Venkataswamy Eye Research Institute and IP Block, Madurai. The set up cost per kilowatt was around Rs. 75,000 (inclusive of all taxes and duties) and the total project value came to around 2.225 crores. The system became functional from 14th January 2015 and so far 52,826 units were harvested from these solar panels (as of February 22, 2015).

A 100KW system can produce averagely 450 to 500 units of electricity per day, which makes it 13,500 units for a month. Given the fact that the cost per unit of electricity is Rs. 10, a solid of 1.35 lakh is saved per month per system. Even though the initial investment is high for the project, as years pass we will appreciate having lower electric bills as we harvest free electricity.

CME held at Aravind Eye Hospital
CME on Lids and Lacrimal System
Aravind – Salem, January 4
Aravind – Salem organized the CME which was headed by a team  consisting of Dr.William.B.Stewart, Oculoplastic surgeon and Former Chairman, California Pacific Medical Centre and Dr.Usha Kim, Chief, Department of Orbit and Oculoplasty, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai at Hotel Chenneys Gateway, Salem. Close to 45 participants from in and around Salem attended the CME.
Phaco Excel 2015
Aravind – Tirunelveli, January 10-11
The two-day CME Phaco Excel 2015 was organized at Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli in the second week of January. The field of Cataract and IOL Services has undergone revolutionary changes and the main purpose of this CME was to familiarize the participants with the changes and update themselves. International and national faculty were invited to discuss the recent advances and developments at length. xperts representing various states of the country, fellows and postgraduates attended the CME.
News and Events
Short Course in Yoga
Aravind – Madurai, January 5-9
  Ms. Susy Stewart, an eminent Yoga teacher and disciple of BKS Iyengar from San Francisco offered a short course in yoga for Aravind staff and employees. Participants found the simple yoga postures that she shared extremely useful and easily practised.
Elsevier Project Evaluation Meeting
Madurai, January 5-9
Ms. Pamela C sieving and Ms. Bette Anton were at Aravind Library and Information Centre to review and analyse the assessment reports for the year 2012 and 2014 from six of the eight resource centres. Future plans on the development of the resource centres were discussed. Both viewed the new Library server, new computer and Library webpage. Apart from that, both presented two talks, to groups of residents and basic researchers at Aravind.
Vision 2015 Conclave
Gujarat, January 7
Dr. D. Datta and Mr. Mohammed Gowth gave a  comprehensive presentation on Aravind at the Vision 2015 Conclave jointly organized by Polio Foundation and State Blindness Society, Gujarat State, Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Gujarat organized at Polio Foundation Hospital.
Annual Planning Meeting of Outreach Department
Aravind – Madurai, January 8-9
Annual planning meeting for the staff of outreach departments across the Aravind centres was held at Aravind – Madurai. Around 45 participants attended the programme. Discussions revolved on strengthening the outreach activities and the participants came up with a concrete action plan for the year 2015.
Workshop for Staff of Stores Department
Aravind – Madurai, January 9-10
Stores teams from across the Aravind centres were called in for a two-day workshop at Aravind – Madurai. The goal of the workshop was to come up with ideas that would ensure the smooth functioning of the Stores department.
Pongal Celebrations
Aravind, January 12
Pongal was celebrated with great enthusiasm in all the Aravind centres. Doctors, nurses and Admin staff participated in the celebrations and all had a great time. Various competitions and culturals were arranged as part of the celebrations.
Pragathi 2015
Aurolab, January 12
Pragathi was a session for all heads of the departments to reflect back upon challenges faced and to develop a concrete plan for the future developmental activities. It was an attempt to bring all HODs together and make them realize their role as a leader. Prof Fred Munson facilitated the programme.
Fire Safety Training Programme
Aravind – Madurai, January 25
The programme was arranged for the staff and employees of Aravind – Madurai. Mr. M. Radhakrishnan, Ex Deputy Commandant, CSF, Mr. P.Rajagopal, Deputy General Manager, Security, Sanmar Engineering Technologies Ltd, and Mr M.K Unnikrishnan Ex CSF International Trainer for Fire safety handled the sessions. Close to 110 staff attended the programme.
Republic Day Celebrations
January 26
  Indian Republic Day was celebrated with great patriotic fervor across the various centres of Aravind. National Flag was hoisted and sweets were distributed to all. Patriotic songs were sung to mark the occasion.
Inauguration of Renovated Eye Bank
Aravind – Tirunelveli, January 30
Eye Bank with newer facilities like Sterile Laminar Air flow and separate Serology Laboratory was inaugurated by Dr R D Ravindran. The new eye bank with these facilities is located close to the operation theatre facilitates easy for accessibility of tissues.
Hospital Day Celebrations
Aravind – Coimbatore, January 31
Aravind- Coimbatore completed eighteen years of service towards restoring sight. The celebrations began with prayer song. Dr. Anita Ragavan, Medical consultant, Cornea Services welcomed the gathering. Dr. V.Narendran presented the Annual Report for the year 2014. Dr.R.D.Ravindran, Chairman, Aravind Eye Care System gave the felicitation address. In his speech, he highlighted the keys behind the hospital’s success as each employee's hard work, commitment, honesty, and teamwork. He also appreciated the staff of Aravind Coimbatore for their successful journey for past 18 years. Chief Guest Dr. Raja Sabapathy, Director, Ganaga Hospital, Coimbatore gave an inspirational speech. Vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Mangala, Consultant – Cornea Clinic. All the cultural programmes organized were very entertaining for the audience.
Total Quality Management in Laboratory Medicine
Chennai, January 31
  Ms. V Sornaparvathi, and Ms G Umarani, Lab technicians at Aravind - Tirunelveli attended the one day CME programme at Madras Medical Mission, Chennai.
Motivational Guest Lecture
Aurolab, February 11-12
Padmashree Ms. Krishnammal Jagannathan, noted activist visited Aurolab and delivered a motivational lecture for the production and admin staff. The audience was deeply impressed by her talk and they found it really inspirational.

Krishnammal Jagannathan, the famous activist had along with her husband, Sankaralingam Jagannathan protested against various social injustices and they both are well known followers of Gandhiji. Her work included upliftment of Dalits, the landless, and the poor; she has sometimes fought against governments as well as big industries. She has received several awards and recently has been listed for Right Livelihood Award for 2008, which she would share with four others, including her husband. Experiences shared by Padmashree Ms. Krishnammal Jegannathan on her visit to Aurolab
Conferences Attended Elsewhere
Genetics Symposium on Sanger to Next Generation Sequencing – The Genomics Era
Chennai, January 30-31, organized by Vision Research Foundation, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
Prof. K. Dharmalingam
- Understanding eye diseases
- Identification of Genes/mutations causing eye diseases using next generation sequencing
LAICO Happenings
Needs Assessment Visit to DORD Eye Hospital
Daudnagar, Bihar, January 11-14
Dr. Ashok Vardhan and Mr. Sanil Joseph made a Needs Assessment visit to DORD Eye Hospital as part of the So-Hum capacity building project. The team had a detailed tour of the facility and gave necessary recommendations to improve the services of the hospital.
Management Priorities in Eye Care Delivery
LAICO, January 18-25
LAICO hosted the course which is mainly intended for the senior level official of eye hospitals.14 participants from  countries such as Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, India, Bangladesh and USA participated in the course.
Training Programmes

Training Programmes Enrollments for February 2015 at Aravind Eye Care System

Course title
Training Centre
Enrollments for February 2015
Total number trained till
January 2015
Long Term Fellowship Programmes - For Ophthalmologists
Fellowship in General Ophthalmology
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
Fellowship in Retina
Short Term Courses - For Ophthalmologists
Diagnosis and Management of Glaucoma
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Small Incision Cataract Surgery
Management of ROP
Short Term Courses - Paramedicals
Refraction Techniques
Short Term Courses - Non Clinical Courses
Instrument Maintenance Course
  • Dubey SK, Mahalaxmi N, Vijayalakshmi P, Sundaresan P.
    - Mutational analysis and genotype-phenotype correlations in southern Indian patients with sporadic and familial aniridia.
    Mol Vis. 2015 Jan 27;21:88-97. eCollection 2015. Article View

  • Alan N Baer, Mara McAdams DeMarco, Stephen C Shiboski, Mi Y Lam, Stephen Challacombe, Troy E Daniels, Yi Dong, John S Greenspan, Bruce W Kirkham, Hector E Lanfranchi, Morten Schiødt, Muthiah Srinivasan, Hisanori Umehara, Frederick B Vivino, Cristina F Vollenweider, Yan Zhao, Lindsey A Criswell, Caroline H Shiboski, for the Sjögren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance (SICCA) Research Groups
    - The SSB-positive/SSA-negative antibody profile is not associated with key phenotypic features of Sjögren’s syndrome
    Ann Rheum Dis 2015;0:1–5 More

  • Santhi R, Adulkar NG, Rangarajan V.
    - Eosinophilic angiocentric fibrosis of the orbit: A case report and review of literature.
    Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2015 Jan-Mar;58(1):77-9. Article View
Aurolab News
Pongal at Aurolab
Aurolab, January 10
The Pongal Celebration in Aurolab was organized at Aurofarm. The programme began with a brief narration on the significance of Pongal. Production staff performed a folk dance which comprised Kollattam, Karagattam, Oyilattam etc. Aravind MLOPs performed a folk dance on Madurai and its heritage. The sanitary staff of Aurolab performed Mullapari Kummi which was joined by the female staff members and the visitors to Aravind. The Admin staff members performed Silambattam and finally the Pot Breaking Competition was organized. Pongal pooja was performed and the holy prasadam was distributed to all.
23rd Aurolab Day Celebrations
January 24
The function began with a prayer song. Mr. Krishnakumar, Manager – Regulatory Affairs welcomed the gathering. Senior leadership team of Aravind presented service awards for the employees. Dr. R. Ramakrishnan–Chief Medical Officer, Aravind - Tirunelveli was invited as chief guest and gave a special address. Dr. P. Balakrishnan presented the annual report of the year. Mr. Sriram –Joint Managing Director shared the future growth plans of Aurolab. Cultural programmes were performed by the staff members. Mr. Sivakumar proposed a vote of thanks.
Republic Day in Aurolab
Aurolab, January 26
Managing Director Dr. P. Balakrishnan hoisted the National Flag. Patriotic songs were sung and chocolates were distributed to all staff members.
Monthly Patient Statistics

January - 2015

Paying (New & Review) 44,890 6,632 22,203 28,687 19,162 5,237 3,238 8,651 2,284 4,497 145,481
Free (Direct walk-in) 10,630 1,678 5,422 7,968 5,618 18 503 274 708 427 33,246
Regular Eye Camps 5,905 2,029 3,840 4,484 3,766 - - 757 - 421 21,202
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 854 56 - 681 229 - - - - - 1,820
Refraction Camps 950 420 176 1,941 1,063 - - - - - 4,550
Mobile Refraction Unit - - - - - - - 179 - - 179
School Screening camps - - 485 - 1,206 - - 154 - - 1,845
Paediatric Camps - - - - 140 - - - - - 140
Vision Centres 12,794 4,620 6,501 2,387 3,171 - 706 - 506 - 30,685
Community Eye Clinics 3,466 1,629 2,143 - - - - - - - 7,238
Total OP Examinations 79,489 17,064 40,770 46,148 34,355 5,255 4,447 10,015 3,498 5,345 246,386
Paying 2,178 314 1,816 1,056 716 148 100 365 96 109 6,898
Free (Direct) 1,572 186 1,044 1,020 449 55 69 66 71 37 4,569
Camp 1,202 248 652 951 703 - 27 107 7 28 3,925
Total Surgeries 4,952 748 3,512 3,027 1,868 203 196 538 174 174 15,392