Earlier this month, we had the privilege of hosting Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao (center), Founder and Chairman of the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), and Dr. Taraprasad Das, Vice-Chairman of LVPEI (right), in Calgary.
LVPEI has been our partner for the last 17 years. Together we’ve made eye care possible in some of the poorest communities in India. Over coffee and donuts (from the very Canadian Tim Hortons, of course), our Calgary staff heard more about Dr. Rao’s and Dr. Das’s professional experiences, values and hopes for the future. Naturally, the quality of eye care was a recurring point in our discussion.
When Dr. Rao left the United States after 12 years of studies and practice as an ophthalmologist, he returned to India with the dream of making quality eye care a reality for the common people. In 1987, his efforts gave way to the renowned LVPEI, situated in the city of Hyderabad. During the organization’s first five years, Dr. Rao noticed an increasing number of economically underprivileged people suffering from avoidable blindness – mostly cataract. This led to the development of the community eye care model in which vision centres were established in rural or economically disadvantaged communities and quality eye care was made accessible for everyone regardless of their financial status.
“It has been a glorious journey,” says Dr. Rao. “The hospital thus far has touched millions of lives through quality eye care and careers, and continues to have dedicated partners, donors and volunteers. It gives me immense satisfaction to witness the transformations in the lives of our patients and employees, and the contributions from people around the world in terms of their time, talent and treasure.”
In addition to making quality eye care accessible for rural communities in India, with the help of a generous donor family, we opened the Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer at LVPEI’s Hyderabad campus in 2015. To combat the growing number of eye cancer incidences in India, the facility provides cancer treatment for children and adults, all at low or no cost.
“It is the insistence on quality that sets Operation Eyesight apart from other organizations,” says Dr. Rao.
Thank you, Dr. Rao and Dr. Das, for spending time in Calgary and sharing your experiences with us! It was an honor to host you both. We’re proud to call LVPEI our partner, and we look forward to transforming many more lives together in the years to come – For All The World To See!