Dr SS Badrinath, founder of Chennai’s Sankara Nethralaya dies at 83
Dr Badrinath had founded Sankara Nethralaya in 1978 to make low-cost and hassle-free health services available to the common man
Dr SS Badrinath, eminent vitreoretinal surgeon and founder of reputed eye hospital Sankara Nethralaya, died on Tuesday (November 21). He was 83.
Reports said Badrinath had been keeping unwell for quite some time.
“Our visionary Founder, a legend and compassionate leader Dr SS Badrinath passed away early this morning. The last rites will be held at 9.30 AM today at the Besant Nagar crematorium. SN is deeply saddened by the demise of our Founder,” Sankara Nethralaya said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Born in Chennai’s Triplicane, Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath lost both his parents as a teenager. The insurance money that he got after his father’s death helped him pursue his medical studies.
An article on Badrinath says that he was inspired to serve the blind from a young age after meeting a blind relative who had come to stay with his family when he was a child.
After graduating from the Madras Medical College in 1962, he pursued a degree in ophthalmology at the Grasslands Hospital, New York University Postgraduate Medical School and Brooklyn Eye and Ear Infirmary in the United States. Badrinath has also worked as a fellow in the vitreoretinal services of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston till 1970.
He worked at Adyar’s Voluntary Health Services (VHS) as a consultant for six years upon his return to India in 1970.
After doing private practice from 1970 to 1978, he founded Sankara Nethralaya in 1978. The hospital is said to be an outcome of his spiritual journey. Badrinath is said to have been inspired to open it after a meeting with then Kanchi math chief Jayendra Saraswathi in 1974, who spoke to a group of doctors on the need to set up hospitals that provide world-class health care to Indian citizens at affordable costs.