About SANKARA RATNA AWARD:
The Sankara Ratna Award was instituted in the year 2002 – 2003 in the Silver Jubilee year of Sankara Nethralaya. The award was instituted to recognize and honour an individual or an institution that has empathized, supported and contributed to Sankara Nethralaya’s cause and philosophy. The award is a salutation to those individuals or institutions that have been a source of inspiration, encouragement, support and guidance to Sankara Nethralaya in its mission of eradicating blindness though clinical care, teaching and training initiatives, research and community care.
The award has been conferred on an annual basis since 2002-03. A high level selection committee comprising of eminent personalities outside of Sankara Nethralaya does the selection of the awardees. The recipient should not be a member of the Board or an employee of the organization. The past awardees of the Sankara Ratna Award are:
2003 – Sri V. Shankar, Chairman, South Indian Educational Society, Mumbai
2004 – Sri Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons
2005 – Sri A. M. Naik, Chairman & Managing Director, Larsen & Toubro Ltd
2006 – Mr. S. V. Acharya, Honorary Treasurer, SN OM Trust, USA
2007 – Dr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO
2008 – Mr. Hanuman Prasad Agarwal, Industrialist and Philanthropist
2010- Mr S.P.Muthuraman, Film and Literary personality.
2012- Mr. T.V Subramanian & Mr. M.S. Jayaraman, Total Quality Management Gurus
2014- Mr. VV.Ranganathan, friend, well wisher and author of ‘Insight’ SN’s biography
About this year’s Sankara Ratna awardee
This year’s Sankara Ratna Award recipient Shri Deepak V. Parekh is the iconic head of HDFC, the nation’s most well known housing finance company, a company which could be justifiably credited for having fulfilled the common man’s dream of owning a house. Shri Deepak Parekh is not only a stalwart in the banking sector but also an entrepreneur and thought leader who holds senior advisory and executive roles in some of the biggest multinational corporations across diverse fields. The Sankara Ratna award is being conferred on Shri
Deepak Parekh for his consistent and generous monetary support to the institution in the form of personal donations, loans from his institution, grants from the many trusts run by his family and being Sankara Nethralaya’s goodwill ambassador and bridge between the leaders of business and commerce in Mumbai, which resulted in significant funding to the institution and his sage guidance to Sankara Nethralaya. It would be noteworthy to add here that the Parekh family’s support to Sankara Nethralaya dates back to Shri HT Parekh the illustrious founder of HDFC and his uncle in whose honour and memory the institution has dedicated an entire block.
About the Smt. MS.Subbulakshmi Award
The Smt.MS.Subbulakshmi Award was instituted in the year 2012 to commemorate Sankara Nethralaya’s 35th year of service, to recognize individuals who exhibited an undying spirit in serving the institution and supporting its service initiatives. The award is named in honour of a musical legend a friend of the Badrinaths and great supporter of Sankara Nethralaya who gave melody a divine and service interpretation, a “Voice for Vision” a virtuoso performer who raised huge funds through her concerts in India and abroad and continues to raise significant funds for indigent eye care initiatives through her immortal voice, by bequeathing the royalty accruing to her records to the institution she admired and adored.
The first Smt M.S Subbulakshmi Award was presented to two individuals in year 2012, they are Shri Manohar Devadas, Artist and Founder “Mahima Endowment’ and Smt Kausalya Appukutty, Volunteer, Sankara Nethralaya Women’s Auxiliary (SWAN) and to Shri KS Jayaraman and S.Rajarathinam, Directors, Autotech industries who are great supporters and generous donors to Sankara Nethralaya’s community service initiatives in year 2013
About this year’s awardee
This year’s Dr. MS.Subbulakshmi award is being conferred on Srimathi Vani Jairam a most versatile vocalist who has carved a niche for herself with her multilingual renditions in all genres of music. Srimathi Vani Jairam is a great friend and well wisher of Sankara Nethralaya, a person who wholeheartedly empathizes with its cause and holds its founder in the highest esteem. Srimathi Vani Jairam has added great sanctity and life to many functions in the institution she cherishes by rendering the invocation.
The Sankara Ratna and Dr MS Subbulakshmi awards for year 2018 will be presented by Shri AM Naik, Group Chairman, L&T who is a great friend and supporter of Sankara Nethralaya and whose organization has consistently supported Sankara Nethralaya with generous grants both as donations and as part of discharging their corporate social responsibility. The L&T Microbiology centre at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Centre for research in ophthalmology and vision, Sankara Nethralaya’s research wing is a standing example of the institution’s support for its research endeavors. It is noteworthy to add here that L&T’s construction wing executed the construction of some of the institution’s major buildings and these were done at actual cost without any profit margins.
This year’s Sankara Ratna and Dr MS Subbulakshmi awards assumes special significance as it will also witness the dedication of the ‘Dr BR.Barwale center for technology and innovation’. This major research initiative is being funded by the Barwale family and will engage in the development of technologies to improve the quality and reach of ophthalmic care to the masses. Late Dr BR. Barwale founder and former chairman of Maharashtra hybrid seeds corporation’(MAHYCO) was among the earliest supporters of Sankara Nethralaya and the imposing ‘MAHYCO block’ housing the clinical care of Sankara Nethralaya’s main centre is a testimony to the generous donation made by him.