To empower the rural poor in India, MSMF supports three initiatives of Sankurathri Foundation – Eye Health Care, Education and Vocational Training, and demand driven Disaster Relief programs.
Sankurathri Foundation (SF) was established in India by Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri in 1989. The foundation is a registered charity in India with objectives to:
- -Eliminate illiteracy and child labour by educating children and their parents in rural areas
- -Eradicate avoidable blindness by providing accessible and affordable eye care to all
- -Provide immediate relief to victims of natural disasters, such as, cyclones, hurricanes and floods
The Foundation’s activities are carried from a center established on a serene three acre plot in a rural area, 10 Km from Kakinada town in Andhra Pradesh state on the southeast coast of India. It is a town of moderate size with a population of 450,000. This town is the head quarters of the East Godavari district, and can be reached either by road, train, or air from Chennai, Hyderabad, or Visakhapatnam. The nearest airport is in Rajahmundry.
Eye Health Care: Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology
Currently, more than one fourth of persons aged 50 years and above are visually impaired in India. The prevalence of blindness among them is 1.99%, and older age and illiteracy are significantly associated with blindness. Major causes of blindness included cataract (66.2%), corneal opacity (CO) (8.2%), cataract surgical complications (7.2%), posterior segment disorders (5.9%) and glaucoma (5.5%). The proportion of blindness and visual impairment that is due to avoidable causes include 92.9% and 97.4% respectively – Blindness and Visual Impairment and their causes in India: Results of a nationally representative survey; Praveen Vashist, Suragj Singh Senjam, et al – July 21, 2022 – https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0271736
Blindness has a great negative impact on the person’s self-esteem and also affects economic productivity. Most of the blindness can be prevented or treated with proven, cost effective interventions. In addition, is a huge population with refractive errors who needs service. This problem is more severe in the rural areas because of lack of awareness about the eye and its problems.
To address this problem on a small scale, Sankurathri Foundation (SF), an NGO in India, started Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology (SIO) in the suburbs of Kakinada, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 1993.
SIO provides outpatient services to 750 people a day and performs about 80 surgeries per day. The Institute provides quality eye care irrespective of their paying capacity and no patient is denied treatment for not being able to pay for treatment. Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology, Kakinada has been working to restore vision to the poor and downtrodden by performing free cataract surgeries. Since its inception in 1993, SIO provided quality eye care services to more than 3.8 million people from Kakinada and its surrounding areas. 65% of this 3.8 million were provided services at no cost to the individuals. during the past 30 years, eyesight was restored by surgical correction to more than 325,000 individuals and, 90% of these surgeries were provided at no cost.
As of now, Srikiran eye hospital is the largest chain of eye hospitals in the region with one tertiary eye care Center, four surgical centers and 10 primary eye care centers, serving a population of 10 million in and around Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
This is only possible because of individuals such as you, many philanthropists and few corporations.
Primary Education: Sarada Vidyalayam
Education is the only gateway to the human development. As such, Sarada Vidyalayam was started in 1992 to provide education to local children. In addition to the regular curriculum, the school focuses on discipline and the overall development of the child.
The school has been providing quality education blended with human values, discipline, exposure to fine arts, crafts, and overall development of the children. In order to provide such education, the school charges a nominal fee from parents. One of the ideals of the school is to ascertain that no one drops out of school. To that end, if any parent of an enrolled child is not able to afford the fee, such children are fully subsidized by the foundation.
Many children who had graduated from this school went on to achieve higher education and commendable employment.
As of today, the school has 234 enrolled children attending from UKG to 10th class and about 60% of them are girls.
Disaster Relief: Spandana
This program was launched in 1998 to provide help to people affected by disasters such as cyclones, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.
The program provides the necessities such as food, drinking water, medications to the displaced persons at times of natural disasters.
All these activities are carried by the Sankurathri Foundation funds, financial support of few philanthropists and the volunteers from Sankurathri Foundation.
This program helps with basic necessities such as food, drinking water, medical aid, medicines and clothes during times of crisis. Every year since its inception, the organization distributes food packages to families evacuated during the cyclone season.
How Can You Help?
A donation of $50 supports one cataract surgery with an Inter-Ocular Lens (IOL) implant.
A donation of $2500 supports one eye camp (50 cataract surgeries).