"Sarvendriyaanaam Nayanam Pradanam" netralaya
(Of All Senses, The sense of Vision is Most Important)
logo As in other part of India, ailments of the eye are prevalent among people in the North Eastern region also. While there are some competent institutions treating eye diseases in the North East, a Center of Excellence has so far not been established to cater to the ever increasing demand for high quality treatment of eye diseases.


In the city of Madras, in South India, an internationally reputed hospital had been setup about 15 years ago, inspired by the Shankaracharya of Kanchi. The institution called the "Shankara Netralaya" has set the standards for one of the country's most advanced facilities for treatment of eye diseases. The institution is run in a spirit of dedication and is headed by Dr. S. S. Badrinath, who has built up an excellent team of highly qualified team of specialists in the field.Dr. Badrinath

Eye care of the North East

Some 16000 patients a year are being treated and cared for by the Shankara Netralaya. Of this, nearly 7000 patients come all the way from North Eastern States, making Madras an important destination for patients seeking advanced eye care in the country.

The best course in the interest of the people of this remote region will be to set up a high tech hospital with devoted doctors and excellent equipments to render best treatment at affordable rates.

His Holiness His Holiness Pujya Shri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Samiji, the Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya of Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram, reverentially referred to as Shri Paramacharya was the divine inspiration for this project. His compassion and concern for the physical and spiritual well being of the entire human race is legendary. The special blessings bestowed by His Holiness at the United Nations General Assembly in the early '60's, fully reflect his compassionate views. Moved and inspired by his thoughts, especially relating to the uplifment of the downtrodden, his illustrious immeadiate successors to the Peetham, Their Holinesses Shri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamiji and Shri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamiji, conceived of the establishment of the Shri Kanchi Shankara Health and Educational Foundation and Shri Shankara Deva Netralaya under the Trust.
The Netralaya was then set up as the state-of-the-art Opthamological medical center in Guwahati, to meet the need for advanced Eye Care facilities in the North East.

Having become aware of the noble activities of the Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Shri Deepankar Chatterjee of Calcutta donated his premises at Beltola, Basistha Road, Guwahati, where the hospital was set up, on land covering approximately 8000 sq. ft. it was named Shri Shankara Deva Netralaya, after a well known Saint of the region. The hospital is functioning since November, 1994.

Within 16 months, the Nethralaya had treated more than 10,000 patients and performed over 2000 complicated operations. There is a waiting period of two months to get an appointment in the out door section. the Netralaya

Dr. S. S. Badrinath, Medical Director, Medical Research Foundation, Madras, recepient of the Padma Bhushan and a personality of world wide repute, has provided his immense expertise in the field of opthamology to this institution. His invaluable contribution, both in the areas of technical knowhow and administration, has been instrumental in bringing the Netralaya at par with International standards.

Shri Kanchi Shankara Health and Educational Foundation, Guwahati, established in 1994, has undertaken the Management of the Netralaya at the behest of His Holinesses, spear headed by the Medical Director, Dr. S. Bhjatacharjee. The Management vests with a dedicated team of senior professionals:

Chief Justice Shri S.N. Phukan, Shri S.V. Subramanian, Shri Ramesh Pasari, Shri D. Borthakur, Shri K. Mathuswamy, Shri K. D. Lahkar, Shri. A. K. Chakravarty.

An excellent team of 5 highly qualified doctors, 15 nurses, and other specialised para-medical staff, trained under Dr. S. S. Bhadrinath at Madras, tirelessly serve patients at the Netralya. Day to day administration is entrusted to a retired Deputy Secretary of the Govt. of Assam and his dedicated staff.

Well known philanthropist of the region, have been kind enough to come forward to support this project with much needed financial aid, amounting to approximate Rs. 10 Million. Further, Grindlays Bank, has given a Term Loan of Rs. 16 Million, which enabled the Netralaya to commence it's services in a record time of 6 months.

The loan with interest amounting in all to Rs. 2 Million has been completely liquidated in a record time of two years, through internal resources generated by optimum utilisation of the equipments, devoted services of the staff and donations from Petroleum, Tea, Banks, financial institutions and philanthropists.

An equipment being used at the Netralaya The Netralya initially commenced operations with just 10 beds. This was augmented bringing the total to 21. In addition to basic equipment, sophisticated eye care instruments have also been imported. These include a wide operating microscope, ethylene sterilisation unit, Humphrey visual field analyser, Yag, Argon laser and fundus camera. The facilities available at the Netralaya are being fully utilised for the treatment of eye diseases.

The Nethralaya provides excellent eye care to all patients, cutting across barriers of religion, caste, agae and income. There is a scheme for giving free treatment to poor patients. The ecnonomically weaker section of the society who come from all the North Eastern States are now not required to travel to Madras and back, thereby saving substantial sums of money, besides the travelling. They enjoy the benefits of these advanced facilities, at affordable costs.

Projects in hand include the setting up of Research and Training Center with adequate hostel facilities, an up to date reference library with access to the latest advancements in medical sciense and an Eye Bank to serve the blind.

Liberal financial aid from state governments, public companies, and charitable institutions is required to expand the hospital, add more blocks and construct new buildings with the requisite infrastructure. Fnance is also needed to purchase additional equipment for supporting the expansion in the services.

The expansion plan involves:

  • Increasing the number of beds to 100
  • Cornea Services including transplantation and refractive laser
  • Upgradation of existing Vitreo retinal services
  • Eyd Bank
  • Laboratory facilities
  • Research Center
  • Optical Center
  • Pharmacy
  • Upgradation of existing teaching facility

The Assam Government has already donated land for construction of a permanent 60-bed hospital to eventually treat over 40,000 patients every year.

The cost of the equipments will be about Rs. 80 Million, construction of additional accommodation Rs. 40 Million, Cornea unit and eye bank Rs. 34 Million, and research project Rs. 49 Million.

An Appeal

Such a huge project which is to run on a no-profit basis with the main aim of service to the poor has to depend on liberal donations from all over the world.

The donations can be sent by Demand Drafts/ Cheque in the name of Sri Kanchi Sankara Health & Educational Foundation,

C/o: Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya,
Basistha Chariali,
Guwahati 781 028
Assam, India

All donations will qualify for Income Tax exemption under 80 G of the said act. The donors will be honoured by conspicuous display of their names, Institutions, etc., so that the poor patients can cherish them with great love and affection.