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Sankara Nethralaya founder Dr SS Badrinath passes away at 83

Dr. SS Badrinath, the founder and emeritus chairman of Sankara Nethralaya, died on Tuesday, November 21. He was 83.

Dr. SS Badrinath founded Sankara Nethralaya, one of India’s largest charitable eye hospitals, in Chennai. After completing his studies and research abroad, Dr. Badrinath founded the organization in 1978.

Tamil Nadu Congress vice president Rama Suganthan confirmed Dr. Badrinath’s death.

Dr. SS Badrinath was regarded as a medical marvel who worked for a noble cause: assisting economically disadvantaged sections of society in obtaining free medical treatment. His organization, Sankara Nethralaya, became a charitable medical treatment center for hundreds of people every day.

Dr. SS Badrinath, who was he?

Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath was born in a small Chennai suburb and lost both of his parents when he was a teenager. He used the insurance proceeds from his parents’ deaths to pursue his lifelong interest in medical sciences.

He began his career in New York, interning at various opthamology centers. Dr. Badrinath and a group of doctors decided to establish Sankara Nethralaya, a charitable not-for-profit eye hospital in Chennai that provides free treatment to the poor, in 1978.

Around 1200 patients pass through the hospital’s doors each day, and 100 surgeries are performed for free in the eye hospital. The institute/hospital also provides training programs for aspiring eye specialists.

Dr. SS Badrinath received the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards from the Government of India for his charitable work over the years.

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