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History of Sankara Ratna and Shrimathi M.S. Subbulakshmi Awards
The Sankara Ratna and Shrimathi M.S. Subbulakshmi Awards

As an eye care institution founded on the noble principle of ‘Service to Mankind,’ and with the avowed objective of eradicating blindness from the face of the earth and bringing in the light of vision and joy into the face of the visually impaired, Sankara Nethralaya values only one thing perhaps even more than dispensing quality eye care - the wholehearted support and constant encouragement! that it has received in its pursuit from great and noble individuals. These compassionate and noble people shared its ideals and identified with its philosophy, helped in fulfilling its dreams, they cheered the institution in its long run and ran along with it as it crossed impressive milestones and celebrated its achievements as their own. While Sankara Nethralaya was the dream of a young idealist doctor with a passion to serve the underprivileged, driven by the words of a Seer and Saint, the dream became a reality thanks to the unconditional support and encouragement he received from these great individuals, generous and passionate men and women who subscribed to his views and empathized with his cause. Support from them came in the form of monetary assistance, guidance through sage counsel, creating awareness and winning support from like-minded individuals and volunteering their assistance in its various endeavours.

Sankara Nethralaya continues to receive such valuable support for its noble cause with the blessings of the Almighty to this day, while the noble gestures of its well wishers are selfless and come with no strings attached, a highly moved and grateful institution decided that such acts of sacrifice and charity should not go unrecognized and deserve the highest honours. The Sankara Ratna and the Shrimathi M.S.Subbulakshmi awards were instituted as a high recognition of individuals who have contributed to the success and glory of the instution.

The Sankara Ratna Award was instituted in the year 2002 – 2003, the Silver Jubilee year of Sankara Nethralaya, it was instituted to recognize and honour an individual or an institution for its/their strong empathy towards its cause and sterling contribution to its growth and success. 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.

The award has been conferred on an annual basis since 2002-03 on individuals from a diverse background. An independent selection committee finalizes the selection of the awardee, employees of Sankara Nethralaya and members of the board are however not eligible for consideration for the award.

The Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi Award was instituted in the year 2013 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. This award is named in honour of a musical legend, a family friend of the Badrinaths and great supporter of Sankara Nethralaya and its philosophy 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 Sankara Nethralaya’s indigent eye care initiatives through her immortal voice, by bequeathing the royalty accruing to her records to the institution she admired and adored.

We take pleasure in sharing some glorious glimpses of the awards conferred so far.

Sankara Ratna Award Time Line
Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi Award Time Line

Sankara Ratna Award
Shri V.V.Ranganathan being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2013 by Shri Bharath Joshi,
Deputy British Consul General at Chennai
Shri V.V.Ranganathan
Eminent writer, Financial and Management Consultant and Social Entrepreneur Shri V.V. Ranganathan, was awarded the Sankara Ratna in recognition of his sage counsel to Sankara Nethralaya in diverse and critical areas, winning friends and supporters for its cause and Co-authoring the colossal biography of the institution pro bono

Dr T.V. Subramanian being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2012 by His Excellency Shri K.Rosaiah,
Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu
Dr T.V. Subramanian
Shri M.S.Jayaraman being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2012 by His Excellency Shri K.Rosaiah,
Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu
Shri M.S.Jayaraman
Sankara Ratna Award for the year 2012 was jointly conferred on Dr.T.V.Subramanian and Shri M.S.Jayaraman, eminent total quality management (TQM) gurus and Management Pundits, for their ceaseless efforts in streamlining and enhancing the systems and processes at Sankara Nethralaya, resulting in greater individual and institutional efficiency, leading to its accreditation by the NABH (National Accreditation body for Hospitals and Health care providers), the highest recognition for hospitals and health care providers in the country.

Shri S.P. Muthuraman being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2011 by Shri RM.Veerappan,
former HR&CE Minister and religious and literary figure.
Shri S.P. Muthuraman
Shri S.P. Muthuraman, eminent film and literary personality and long time friend of the institution was conferred the Sankara Ratna award for year 2011 for his immense contribution towards spreading awareness on the institution, through a high degree of professionalism, creativity and dedication, which resulted in Sankara Nethralaya achieving massive outreach, winning friends and supporters for its cause and monetary support.

Shri Hanuman Prasad Agarwala being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2008 by Swami Prabhananda Ji
(General Secretary Ramakrishna Math and Mission, Belur).
Shri Hanuman Prasad Agarwala
Shri. Hanuman Prasad Agarwala, leading Industrialist and philanthropist was conferred the Sankara Ratna Award for his generous and outstanding support of Sankara Nethralaya’s Kolkata operations and distinguished services, at a function held in Kolkata on August 16, 2009.

Sankara Ratna Award for year 2007 being conferred on Sri. G. Madhavan Nair CMD (ISRO)
by Honourable Minister of Finance, Shri P.Chidambaram
Sri. G. Madhavan Nair
Shri Madhavan Nair was awarded the Sankara Ratna for his deep empathy towards Sankara Nethralaya’s cause leading to the ISRO extending critical satellite support for its outdoor community services.

Shri S.V Acharya, being conferred the Sankara Ratna for year 2006 by US Consul General David T. Hopper
Shri S.V Acharya
Shri S.V. Acharya Founder&President, Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust Inc, USA was conferred the Sankara Ratna award in 2006, for his pioneering, dedicated and outstanding work towards winning support for Sankara Nethralaya in the USA, through the Sankara Nethralaya Ophthalmic Mission Trust Inc, USA, resulting in spreading awareness about Sankara Nethralaya, winning friends and significant monetary support from Indians living there.

Shri A. M. Naik, Chairman & Managing Director, Larson & Toubro, being conferred the Sankara Ratna Award for year 2005, By His Excellency Shri Surjith Singh Barnala, Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu
Shri A. M. Naik
Shri A.M.Naik was conferred the Sankara Ratna in recognition of L &T’s support towards the construction of the massive 8 storied research block and research initiatives at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

Chairman of the Tata group Shri Ratan Tata being conferred the 'Sankara Ratna‘ for year 2003 by Shri B. R. Barwale, Chairman of Mahyco, at Mumbai
Shri Ratan Tata
Shri Ratan Tata was awarded the Sankara Ratna for his deep involvement and encouragement towards Sankara Nethralaya’s research and community service initiatives and significant monetary support for the same by his institution.

Shri V.Shankar Trustee, South Indian Education Society (SIES) was conferred with the first Sankara Ratna award in year 2002 by His Holiness Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the Pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
Shri V.Shankar

Shri V. Shankar being conferred the Sankara Ratna by His Holiness Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal

Shri V.Shankar was awarded the Sankara Ratna award for his high degree of dedication to the cause of education and his identification to its philosophy, humility, compassion and readiness to support a noble cause.


Shrimathi M.S. Subbulakshmi Awards
Shri S.Rajarathinam and Shri K.S Jayaraman, Directors of Autotech Industries and long time friends and supporters of Sankara Nethralaya were conferred with the Smt M.S. Subbulakshmi Award for year 2013.
Shri S.Rajarathinam receiving the Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi Award from eminent Carnatic Vocalist Shrimathi Bombay Jayashri
Shri S.Rajarathinam
Shri K.S Jayaraman receiving the Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi Award from eminent Carnatic Vocalist Shrimathi Bombay Jayashri
Shri K.S Jayaraman
Shri K.S, Jayaraman and Shri S.Rajarathinam were awarded the Smt M.S. Subbulakshmi Award for their consistent and generous support of Sankara Nethralaya’s cost free community services and in recognition of their most humble and unassuming philanthropy and boundless compassion and their charity and generosity which epitomize the biblical saying ‘Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing’.

The Shrimathi M.S. Subbulakshmi Award for year 2012 was conferred
on Shri Manohar Devadas and Shrimathi Kausalya Appukutty.
Eminent Artist Shri Manohar Devadas receiving the Smt M.S Subbulakshmi Award from His Excellency Shri K.Rosaiah,
Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu
Shri Manohar Devadas
Shri Manohar Das was awarded the Smt M.S. Subbulakshmi Award for dedicating his exemplary works of art to raise funds for Sankara Nethralaya’s cause and instituting the Mahima Foundation to support cost free eye care to children in his wife’s memory
SWAN Founder Trustee Shrimathi Kausalya Appukutty receiving the Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi Award from His Excellency Shri K.Rosaiah,
Honourable Governor of Tamil Nadu
Shrimathi Kausalya Appukutty
Smt.Kausalya Appukutty was awarded the Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi award in high recognition of her tireless services to the cause of Sankara Nethralaya through the Sankara Nethralaya Women’s Auxiliary of which she is a founder and trustee.