A VISIONARY’S MISSION
To ELIMINATE NEEDLESS BLINDNESS
Ahmed Shariq Mamsa PGP-08-095
Santhosh Rathnam PalaniPGP-08-165
1. Brief Introduction3
2. Mission and Vision5
3. MODEL & STRATEGY7
3.1 AECS Model7
3.2 AECS Strategy and Positioning8
4. CATARACT SUGERY – A PROCESS12
5. COSTS AND REVENUES FOR A CATARACT SURGERY17
6. Description of Dr. V’s Operation22
6.1 How Aravind Eye Care contacts patients22
6.2 At Vision Centers22
6.3 On The ‘D’ Day24
6.4 Post Operation Follow Up25
6.5 Benefits of this system25
7. Analysis and Comments on Dr.V’s Operation Model and Strategy27
1. Brief Introduction
Our effort is to make Aravind an instrument of the Divine Will. We strive to forget our limitations and work with the direction of the Divine Will, not in a vain superficial way but with a deep commitment and faith that guidance comes from a higher level of consciousness. Then one is able to work with the great confidence that comes only with that faith and realisation that we are all part of a spiritual capacity or spiritual power. It is then that all of nature works with you. You don't feel that you are a superior being but you are an instrument in the hands of a higher force and it is in that spirit that we meet our day to day struggles and successes. - Dr. G. Venkataswamy
It was year 1976. Padmashree Dr. G. Venkataswamy, popularly referred to as Dr. V., had just retired from the Government Medical College, Madurai as the Head of the Department of Ophthalmology. Rather than settling for a quiet retired life, Dr. V. was determined to continue the work he was doing at the Government Medical College, especially organizing rural eye camps to check sight, prescribe needed corrective glasses, do cataract and other surgeries as needed and advise corrective and preventive measures: in short, providing quality eye care. This was to be provided to the poor and the rich alike. To Dr. V., this was more than a job to spend his time: he was a person seized with a passion to eradicate needless blindness. For an estimated 45 million people worldwide, and ten million in India, the precious gift of sight had been snatched away, most often quite needlessly. His vision was simple yet grand: eradicate needless blindness at least in Tamil Nadu, his home state, if not in the entire India.
With this mission, after his retirement, Dr. V formed a non-profit trust, namely, the Govel Trust with himself as the Chairman and his two brothers, two sisters and their spouses, and an ex officio member, namely, the Madurai Main Rotary President as trust members. In 1976, the Govel Trust began with running a modest 11 bed hospital, named as the Aravind Eye Hospital, in Dr. V.’s brother's house at Madurai, with a mission of serving the poor blind people. In this hospital, five beds were for patients who would pay to get treatment and six were reserved for those who would be offered free treatment.
By 2003, the humble 11 bed hospital had grown into The Aravind Eye Care System. The Aravind Eye Care System was not merely a chain of hospitals, but was an eye care system consisting of a centre for manufacturing synthetic lenses, sutures, and some eye pharmaceuticals, an institute for training, an institute for research, an international eye bank, a women and child care centre, a post graduate institute of ophthalmology awarding M.S. degrees and offering fellowship programmes and a centre for community outreach programs (see Exhibit 1 for the “Aravind Eye Care System”). The Aravind Eye Hospital (AEH) at Madurai had grown to a 1500 bed hospital performing nearly 95,000 eye surgeries every year. In addition to Madurai, there were...