SSM Eye Research Foundation has been promoted by Giridhar Eye Institute in October 2005, as a registered charitable trust with the objective of eradication of avoidable blindness. This trust (SUBRAMANIA SHARMA MEMORIAL EYE RESEARCH FOUNDATION) was formed in memory of Shri. Ayalur Harihara Iyer Subramania Sharma, the great grandfather of Dr A Giridhar. The trust has been focusing on community-centric activities by conducting eye screening programs for the underserved and has been working towards the eradication of avoidable blindness for all these years by launching community interventions that were relevant for society from time to time. This includes simple eye screening programs to large population-based surveys and training of health care professionals throughout the state. Community ophthalmic care can be encompassed into six working strata namely, (1) Identify the target population (2) Screening (3) Clinical diagnosis (4) Investigations (5) Management (6) Awareness creation. The conventional screening programs like camps and mass awareness programs cover only 2 or 3 levels of the strata. We have been constantly developing effective eye care screening models for different target populations by scientific outcome measurements of all our community interventions.
Free cataract Surgeries
This trust (Subramania Sharma Memorial Eye Research Foundation) was formed in memory of Shri. Ayalur Harihara Iyer Subramania Sharma. He lived in an age when agriculture was considered a profitable profession, and Gandhiji’s words “India lives in her villages” still held true. He was born a good 16 years before the Mahatma wrote that inspired line in an essay in 1921. After completing his school education from the Nenmara Government High School, near his native village of Ayalur, Sharma did his intermediate from the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam.
Ayalur, 25 km off Palakkad town, was known for its temples and colourful festivals, but Sharma was drawn to one particular colour – green. Not really surprising because Palakkad, along with Kuttanad, was known for its paddy cultivation till the workforce disappeared, making agriculture cost-intensive. Sharma enrolled at the Agricultural College and Research Institute in Coimbatore, one of the oldest agricultural education institutes in India, in the 1920s, when the institute started a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Upon graduation, he entered the agricultural service of the Madras Presidency as a demonstrator, and by the time he retired in 1962, he was professor of agronomy and director of agriculture. He inspired generations of agriculture students, but one of his biggest contributions in the field was not academic. Sharma, along with his father, pioneered rubber cultivation in the Nelliampathy Hills in Palakkad. Today, rubber is one of the major cash crops of Kerala. Till his death in 1989 of natural causes, Sharma was very active in the Planters’ Association, and always went out of his way to help people in need. He was a generous Philanthropist and helped many in employment, education and religious functions. He died in the year 1989, at Coimbatore.
The trust has been doing charitable activities since last 16 years specially concentrating on eye care. The trust also conducts every year CME (Continuous Medical Education) programs on different topics, inviting doctors (eye specialists) and medical students to participate, thus enhancing their knowledge in their field of profession. The trust conducts free eye camp in remote areas and villages, examine people, identify the eye problems and do surgical procedures either free or at concessional rates without any profit motive.
To conduct CME (Continuous Medical Education) Program every year
To encourage education among poor people by extending financial help to bright students
School Screening programme, a project for vision testing in primary school children.
Conducting Diabetic Retinopathy awareness and Screening camps
To provide a fully equipped Mobile Eye Unit to go to the villages & remote areas for a comprehensive eye examination.
Center for Rehabilitation of the Visually Handicapped