Apart from providing quality eye care, Aravind especially over the past decade has been taking conscious efforts to being socially accountable, by supporting noble causes or efforts. Over time, such acitivities have become regular events. In January, Aravind-Madurai hosted two major events – Vaanavil and Angaadi – both receiving wide response from staff as well as public.

The spirit of sharing is ingrained in the very ethos of the organisation. Education programmes are being organised almost every month touching upon various topics in the field of eye care.

Aravind, ever since inception, focused on community outreach programmes which take eye care service to the doorstep of the needy. Over the years, camps became an integral part of Aravind’s eye care delivery contributing 30% to the total cataract surgeries performed. A meticulous and systematic monitoring mechanism is followed to ensure quality of care at these camps. Outreach departments across the Aravind centres met together as part of their annual planning meet in January.


Advances in Clinical Genomics: Hands-on- workshop on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)

AMRF, January 23-25

As part of the DBT Centre of Excellence programme on “Translational Genomics of Paediatric Eye Diseases”, this three-day workshop was organized by Dr.P.Sundaresan, Dr.A.Vanniarajan and Dr.D.Bharanidharan at Aravind Medical Research Foundation (AMRF), Madurai.

Dr.K.Thangaraj, Centre from Cellular and Molecular Biology gave lectures on basics of NGS and its utility in clinics. Dr.G.Kumaresan, Madurai Kamaraj University elaborated on the genomic approaches in cancer. Dr.P.Sundaresan gave an overview about the usefulness of NGS in eye diseases. Application scientist Mr.Jatesh Sachdeva provided the technical details of NGS.

Eleven participants including faculty and research scholars from colleges and institutions attended the training programme. Dr.A.Vanniarajan and Dr.D.Bharanidharan provided the basics for training and the research scholars handled individual sessions. All the steps involved in NGS right  from sample preparation to report generation were meticulously delivered to the participants. A dedicated half a day session on Bioinformatics helped the participants to gain thorough knowledge on NGS data analysis. In addition, the participants gained knowledge to validate the NGS data by using the gold standard method, Sanger sequencing. Certificates were distributed to the participants on the last day of the workshop.

Aravind Events

AIOS-ARC Symposium on Cataract and Glaucoma

Aravind-Madurai, January 5

The symposium was organised by Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai under the aegis of the Madurai Ophthalmologists Association at Hotel Courtyard Marriott.  Dr P Namperumalsamy, Chairman Emeritus, AECS presided over the inaugural function and stressed the importance of evidence based research in clinical practice, accessible and affordable care, especially in chronic diseases like glaucoma. A total of 177 ophthalmologists and postgraduates participated in the symposium. The symposium shed light on practical challenges in cataract management and basics of diagnosis and therapy of glaucoma, relevant to general ophthalmologists.

PASS 2020

Aravind-Pondicherry, January 4-5

The symposium had didactic lectures covering a wide variety of topics in pediatric ophthalmology. Prof. Dr. Del Monte, Chief, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, Kellogg Eye Centre, University of Michigan;  Dr Pradeep Sharma, Professor and Head, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, Dr RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, New Delhi and Dr P Vijayalakshmi, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai were the esteemed faculty. Wet lab session and a competition on most challenging case presentations were arranged. The best three  presentations were awarded. More than 200 people participated in the symposium. Participants paid  tribute to Dr Vijaylakshmi.

Aravind Alumni celebrated the birthday of Dr. Del Monte with a cultural extravaganza on January 4 at Le Pondy. It was followed by  Bharatnatyam and Odissi Jugalbandi by Anish and Swati Raghavan respectively.

Opening of Aravind's 78th Vision Centre

Omalur, Salem, January 13

The second Vision Centre of Aravind- Salem and 78th for Aravind Eye Care System was opened at Omalur. The centre was inaugurated by Dr.Manivannan Periyasamy, Founder, Manivannan Hospital, Omalur; Mr.Varadharajan, Bussiness Development Manager, LIC India, Omalur region; Mr.Subramanian, President, Rotary Club in the presence of Dr.B.Manohar Babu, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind-Salem and the team.  On the inaugural day, the centre saw 62 patients. Of these, 19 patients were given glass prescriptions; 13 were referred to the hospital and 5 patients were given medicines.

Eye MA 2020

Aravind-Pondicherry, Januray 19

The programme was conducted for the benefit of doctors other than ophthalmologists in Indian Medical Association (IMA). Wide array of interesting topics in eye care – advances in cataract surgeries, refractive surgeries, pediatric eye diseases, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and artificial intelligence – were covered. Participants eagerly participated in the Kahoot quiz. Eye examination was performed  for all the participants. Skills transfer courses were conducted on direct/indirect-ophthalmoscope, fundus photography and virtual reality based perimetry.

Residents Social Responsibility Programme

Aravind-Madurai, January 1

Aravind Eye hospital, Madurai hosted Vaanavil, as part of Residents Social Responsibility programme. The event had an exhibition cum sale of handicrafts made by the visually challenged women from Mannarpuram Rehabilitation centre. The programme received amazing response. A  well organized team effort has resulted in a sale worth 2.75 lakhs

Aravind-Tirunelveli, January 11

Postgraduates of Aravind-Tirunelveli spent a day at Bishop Sargent School for the Mentally Retarded.  The school has been well rated for its quality teaching and infrastructure. Aravind team screened nearly 100 mentally retarded children and provided spectacles for those identified with refractive errors.

Annual Camp Meeting 2020

Aravind-Pondicherry, January 10-11

Nearly 70 staff from Outreach departments across the Aravind centres participated in the two day programme.  The main objective of the meeting was sharing the performance of outreach, cross  learning, creating a platform to come out with new ideas and strategies, standardizing the practices across Aravind’s base hospitals and reinforcing the Aravind’s culture and values in outreach across the system.

Hospital Cornea Retrieval Programme

Sivagangai, January 20

Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank (RAIEB), Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai and Government Sivagangai Medical College and Hospital (GSMCH) organised the programme.  Dr.Venkatesh Prajna, Chief, Cornea and Refractive Surgery Services, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai  was the guest of honour and handed over eye donation awareness boards to GSMCH. Dr.S.Priyadharshini, Asst. Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, GSMCH handled a session on Corneal retrieval and grafting  – A practical overview .  Mr.Saravanan, Manager-RAIEB, Madurai handled a session on eye donation, demand and supply and hospital corneal retrieval programme.

Eye Donation Awareness Programme

Madurai, December 11

Mr.Saravanan, Manager, Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai handled an awareness session for the members of Lions Club. He mentioned the importance of  eye donation, community cornea retrieval programme and creating death notification system as well as touched on the role of Lions club in facilitating eye donation. Around 40 members participated.

Celebrating Valluvar

Aravind-Madurai, January 18-21

January 16 is celebrated as Tiruvalluvar Day all over Tamil Nadu. To commemorate the occasion and to inculcate his thoughts in the present generation, Aravind-Madurai organised a series of competitions – drawing, recitation, quiz, speech, poetry – based on Tiruvalluvar and his most celebrated work, Tirukkural. At the valedictory function, Mr.Siva, Tamil teacher, MC School, Madurai was the chief guest and he gave a motivating talk. Winners of the competitions were awarded prizes.


Aravind, Januray 10-11

The spirit of service at Aravind continues to be fostered not only by the day-to-day work of serving all those in need of eye care but also reaching out to people elsewhere. Every two year, the organisation conducts “Angaadi”, the great charity fest. The event was conceived with the notion of reusing things which people don’t want to use any more.  It provides a platform for the staff to recycle household items, new and old, that would be of value to other staff. Articles ranging from utensils, paintings, artefacts, books, clothes to old electronic gadgets, bags and accessories were sold at the event at a nominal price. Proceeds from the sales are donated to charity.

At Aravind-Madurai, Ms.Premalatha Paneerselvam, Senior Correspondent, Mahatma Schools, Madurai inaugurated Angaadi 2020 in the presence of Dr.G.Natchiar, Director Emeritus, Aravind Eye Care System. Ms.Uma Kannan, Vice President, Thigarajar College, Madurai; Dr.Janet, President – Sorpotimist International; Ms.Jacqueline Verdon, Correspondent, Mahatma School, Ms.Hamsapriya Ganesh, Principal, Mahatma School were also present at the occasion.  At the valedictory function held on January 24 proceeds from Angaadi were donated to three charity institutions – Aishwaryam Trust, Tirunagar; Blessed Kids Special School, Vilangudi; Wish to Help, Tirunagar and a student who is fighting cancer.

Aravind-Pondicherry conducted the event on January 10. Mr.Kanagaraj, Manager – General Administration inaugurated the same.

Evacuation Drill Training

Aravind-Tirunelveli, January 10

Personnel from Usha Fire Safety and Equipment handled the session.  Around 110 staff including doctors, nurses and admin staff participated in the programme.


28th Aurolab Day

Aurolab, January 25

Aurolab celebrated 28 years of service in its journey towards restoring sight. Mr.Venkatesh, Manager – Quality Assurance welcomed the gathering. Dr.S.R.Rathinam, Head,Uveitis Services, Aravind-Madurai was invited as chief guest. She gave an inspiring talk to the audience. Service awards were distributed to employees. Mr.R.D.Sriram, Managing Director presented a report on the last year’s activities.  Mr.R.Krishna Kumar, Sr.Manager-Regulatory Affairs gave an update on the growth of Aurolab and developmental plans.

Pongal Celebration

Aurolab, January 11

Pongal was celebrated with traditional dance forms like Oyilattam, Karagattam, Silambattam and Uriyadithal. Mr.Vasan, Accounts department won Uriyadithal. Pongal was prepared with the newly harvested rice. Pongal pooja was performed and prasadam was distributed to all.

Awareness Session on Snake Bites

Aurolab, January 8

The session was arranged for the staff members. Mr.Vishwanath from Wish to Help trust handled the session. He mentioned about different types of snakes and how to keep ourselves safe from snake bites. He also touched upon the necessary first aid measures in case of a snake bite.

Conferences attended

Symposium on Systemic Disesase and Implications in Eye Care

Chennai, January 19

Dr. R.D Ravindran

  • Perspective and views around implication of systemic diseases in routine eye surgery

Hotspots in ophthalmology research targeting needs in low- and middle-income countries

Zurich, Switzerland, January 15-19

Mr.Thulasiraj Ravilla participated in the plenary session on What is needed for a sustainable change? and provided inputs based on the Aravind model.

AIOS Focus Group meeting

New Delhi, January 12

Dr. R. Kim, Chief Medical Officer, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai attended AIOS Focus Group meeting on diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy screening.

Phaco Festival

Bangalore, January 18

Dr. Haripriya Aravind

  • Challenges in managing spherophakic lens
  • IOL placement in eyes with posterior capsule rupture


Consultancy Visit

Lucknow, January 10-12

Mr.Thulasiraj Ravilla, Executive Director and Mr.Suresh Kumar, Faculty visited Sitapur Eye Hospital to describe LAICO’s capacity building programme and share examples of its impact with District Eye Relief Society Eye Hospitals set up by Sitapur and branches of Sitapur hospital in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The visit also aimed to gauge the willingness of participating hospitals to be a part of LAICO’s Capacity Building initiative to enhance their services.

Management Priorities for Heads of Eye Hospitals

LAICO, January 19-25

LAICO conducted the course for the heads of eye hospitals. A total of 37 participants from eye hospitals in Philippines, Afghanistan, Nepal and India participated. Valedictory function was held on January 25 and the certificates were distributed to all participants.


January 2020

  1. Raj RK, Dhoble P, Anjanamurthy R, Chermakani P, Kumaran M, Devarajan B, Sundaresan P. Genetic characterization of Stargardt clinical phenotype in South Indian patients using sanger and targeted sequencing. Eye Vis (Lond). 2020 Jan 9;7:3. Article View
  2. Rupesh A, Ding J, Sen P, Rousselot A, Chan A, Nivison-Smith L, Wei X, Mahajan S, Kim R, Mishra C, Agarwal M, Suh MH, Luthra S, Munk MR, Cheung CY,  Gupta V. Exploring choroidal angioarchitecture in health and disease using choroidal vascularity index. Prog Ret Eye Res. 2020 Jan 9. [Epub] Article View
  3. Bhalla S, Soni T, Joshi M, Sharma VK, Mishra R, Mohan V, Unnikrishnan R, Kim R, Murthy GVS, Prabhakaran D, Rani PK, Rajalakshmi R. A partnership model for capacity-building of primary care physicians in evidence-based management of diabetic retinopathy in India. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb;68(Supplement):S67-S69. Article View
  4. Ramakrishnan R, Abdul Khadar SM, Srinivasan K, Kumar H, Vijayakumar V. Diabetes mellitus in the Tamil Nadu State-Noncommunicable diseases nurse model in diabetic retinopathy screening. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb;68(Supp):S78-S82. Article View
  5. Olivia J. Killeen, Manju R. Pillai, B. Udayakumar, Sujani Shroff, Menaka Vimalanathan, Juno Cho, Paula Anne Newman-Casey. Understanding Barriers to Glaucoma Treatment Adherence among Participants in South India. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2020 Jan 18. [Epub] Article View
  6. Namperumalsamy P. Maintaining quality in community eye care – The Aravind model. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb;68(2):285-287. Article View
  7. Khanna RC, Sabherwal S, Sil A, Gowth M, Dole K, Kuyyadiyil S, Chase H. Primary eye care in India – The vision center model. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb;68(2):333-339. Article View
  8. Raman R, Krishnan R, Kim R, Natarajan S. Diabetic retinopathy: A right time to intervene. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Feb;68(2):305-306. Article View
  9. Ravilla T. Commentary: When will “Policy framework” catch up to leverage teleophthalmology to realize the holy grail of Universal Eye Health? Indian J Ophthalmol 2020 Feb;68(2):369-70. Article View
  10. MacIntosh PW, Kumar SV, Saravanan VR, Shah VM. Acute changes in ganglion cell layer thickness in ischemic optic neuropathy compared to optic neuritis using optical coherence tomography. Int J Ophthalmol. 2020 Jan 18;13(1):120-123. Article View
  11. Kriegel MF, Huang J, Ashfaq HA, Niziol LM, Preethi M, Tan H, Tuohy MM, Patel TP, Prajna V, Woodward MA. Algorithm variability in quantification of epithelial defect size in microbial keratitis images. Cornea. 2020 Jan 23. [Epub] Article View
  12. Bharat Gurnani, Kirandeep Kaur, Prasanth Gireesh. Rare Coexistence of Bilateral Congenital Sutural and Cortical Blue Dot Cataracts. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismis. 2020;57(1):68. Article View
  13. Wright CB, Uehara H, Kim Y, Yasuma T, Yasuma R, Hirahara S, Makin RD, Apicella I, Pereira F, Nagasaka Y, Narendran S, Fukuda S, Albuquerque R, Fowler BJ, Bastos-Carvalho A, Georgel P, Hatada I, Chang B, Kerur N, Ambati BK, Ambati J, Gelfand BD. Chronic Dicer1 deficiency promotes atrophic and neovascular outer retinal pathologies in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jan 21. [Epub] Article View
  14. Verma A, Alagorie AR, Ramasamy K, van Hemert J, Yadav NK, Pappuru RR, Tufail A, Nittala MG, Sadda SR, Raman R; Indian Retina Research Associates (IRRA). Distribution of peripheral lesions identified by mydriatic ultra-wide field fundus imaging in diabetic retinopathy. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020 Jan 27. [Epub] Article View
  15. Priya Sivakumar, Savithri Palanive, Debasis Gochait. Diagnostic challenges in a case of an isolated third nerve palsy.  Am J Ophthalmol Case Rep. 2020 Jan 30. [Epub] Article View
  16. Bhatta S, Saravanan VR, Kumarswamy KA, Pant N, Thakur A. Outcome of relaxing retinectomies in management of failed rhegmatogenous retinal detachment surgery cases with proliferative vitreoretinopathy changes. Eye 2020 Jan 28. [Epub] Article View
  17. Zhu X, Sun K, Huang L, Ma S, Hao F, Yang Z, Sundaresan P, Zhu X. Identification of Novel Mutations in the FZD4 and NDP Genes in Patients with Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy in South India. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2020 Feb;24(2):92-98. Article View


Patient Monthly Statistics

January- 2019

Paying (New & Review) 52,698 27,046 8,359 30,865 21,960 4,057 6,046 10,733 5,069 3,393 3,413 16,788 7,995 1,822 2,00,244
Free:Direct walk-in (New & Review) 13,440 6,028 1,951 10,270 7,075 1,289 1,612 3,897 1,408 4,348 2,736 377 54,431
Comprehensive Eye Camps 5,573 2,274 1,677 3,956 4,903 410 690 235 289 1,382 854 22,243
Diabetic Retinopathy camps 691 210 124 617 311 1,953
Glaucoma Camps
Refraction Camps 2,061 405 267 1,405 1,111 40 359 651 326 6,625
Mobile Refraction Unit 387 387
School Screening camps 157 768 869 300 2,094
Paediatric Camps 120 120
RoP 202 122 140 432 23 17 936
Vision Centres 24,023 12,952 5,951 4,622 8,064 1,200 465 1,450 58,727
Community Centres / City Centres 8,986 2,599 1,903 2,399 15,887
Total OP Examinations 107,674 51,793 20,372 53,442 46,715 6,996 6,046 13,859 9,201 6,251 3,702 23,186 12,211 2,199 363,647
Total Number of Camps 28 16 9 20 23 1 3 2 1 7 4 114
Service Proportion of Cataract Surgeries
Paying 2,504 1,181 355 1,354 962 171 216 517 166 180 112 814 232 42 8,806
Free (Direct) 1,673 590 210 1,239 592 115 81 194 125 292 328 188 30 5,657
Camp 1,177 459 238 1,210 881 51 148 14 21 187 130 4,516
Total Cataract Surgeries 5,354 2,230 803 3,803 2,435 337 297 859 305 493 112 1,329 550 72 18,979


Enrolments for January 2020

January – 2020

Course title
Training Centre
No. of enrolments
Fellowship in Anterior Segment / Intraocular Lens Surgery
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Pondicherry 1
Tirupati 1
Fellowship in Cornea
Chennai 2
Coimbatore 1
Pondicherry 2
Fellowship in Glaucoma
Tirunelveli 1
Madurai 3
Fellowship in Orbit & Oculoplasty
Madurai 1
Fellowship in Retina Vitreous
Madurai 2
Tirunelveli 1
Pondicherry 2
Coimbatore 1
Chennai 1
Fellowship in Paediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Short term fellowship in Orbit and Oculoplasty
Madurai 1
Lasers in Diabetic Retinopathy
Madurai 1
Coimbatore 1
Coimbatore 2
Neuro Ophthalmology
Madurai 1
Small incision cataract surgery
Madurai 2
Coimbatore 1
Tirunelveli 1
Certificate course in Fundus Fluorescein Angiography and Ultrasonography
Madurai 1
Madurai 2
Management Training for Eye Care Programme Managers
Management Priorities in Eye Care Delivery