Dr SS Badrinath, founder of Sankara Nethralaya, aged 83, passed away on Tuesday, November 21. Dr SS Badrinath founded India's largest charitable eye hospital, Sankara Nethralaya, in 1978, and his organisation became the centre of charitable medical treatment for hundreds daily. Dr Badrinath's death was confirmed by Tamil Nadu Congress Vice President Rama Suganthan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed deep grief on the passing away of Dr SS Badrinath. Reacting to the news, PM Modi took to X and said, "Deeply saddened by the passing of Dr SS Badrinath ji, a visionary, expert in ophthalmology and founder of Sankara Nethralaya. His contributions to eye care and relentless service to society have left an indelible mark. His work will continue to inspire generations. Condolences to his family and loved ones. Om Shanti."
Who was Dr SS Badrinath?
Dr Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath was born in the small suburbs of Chennai on February 24, 1940, to SV Srinivasa Rao and Lakshmi Devi. Dr SS Badrinath lost both his parents during his teenage years and paid for his medical education using his father's life insurance policy money. Post-education, Badrinath began his career in New York and interned at numerous ophthalmology centres.
Sankara Nethralaya foundation
In 1978, SS Badrinath and a group of doctors founded the Sankara Nethralaya with three main goals, quality eye care at affordable cost, teaching and training ophthalmologists and paramedical professionals, and vision science research to address India-specific ophthalmologic challenges. Today, Sankara Nethralaya is one of India's largest charitable and non-profit eye care hospitals.
Nearly 1200 patients visit his hospital daily, and numerous surgeries are performed free of charge in the eye hospital. The research institute also provides training programmes for aspiring eye specialists. For his decades of charitable eye care work, Dr SS Badrinath received the Padma Shri in 1983 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1999.
In 1995, he received honorary doctorates from Annamalai University and Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University. Dr Badrinath was an ophthalmic consultant to the Indian Armed Forces and a non-official Armed Forces Medical Research Committee member.