The Journey of Venu
The Journey of Venu
Tanuja Joshi (Managing Director)
Three decades ago a philanthropist and a great visionary laid the seed of what is today known as Venu Eye Institute & Research Centre. Late Dr. R.K. Seth, an eminent ophthalmologist and Founder of the Venu Charitable Society, realised the limitation of a private practice. His desire to spread its reach to the needy, overarching social and economic hurdles, created Venu.
Whilst there were a number of eye camps being conducted in such areas, those referred to the clinic for further surgery or treatment would seldom turn up, the reason being the distance involved and the need for escorts to accompany the patient. Dr. Seth soon realised that if the benefit was to reach to such disadvantaged people, it would not suffice to merely hold eye camps but to take it a step further and create permanent peripheral clinics which would address this felt need of a very deprived section of society.
Thus was born the first clinic – an OPD at Najafgarh - which followed a cyclic pattern to cater for the rush of patients with limited resources. After surgery, the patient had to only report for follow up to the local clinic, on the day of the weekly visit by the Venu team. This approach is being followed by Vision Centres across India, today.
At clinics where the patient load was more than what could be handled by the visiting team, Dr. Seth felt the need to make a permanent surgical centre, and thus evolved the secondary Satellite Hospitals, the first of which was started in 1993.
Today, as we look around, we see a proliferation in health care and related sectors, with the government, the insurance sector, as also the private sector creating a health industry. With our burgeoning population, it is definitely the need of the hour. Most sectors have kept pace with technology and have kept themselves abreast of the best in the world – but unfortunately the availability of services is skewed.
Care is mostly available in the urban centres with the rural areas being largely neglected in spite of the Great Indian Growth Story.
Perhaps, nowhere is it so acutely felt as in the eye care sector. The official census research estimated that there are about 1,200,000 blind people living in India, of which more than 90% live in rural areas. With increasing life expectancy and an exploding population, it is estimated that the blind in India will increase by 20% by 2020.
Despite the tremendous growth in eye care service delivery, the services are limited not just geographically, but also in affordability, to a few. The irony is the needless suffering of the vast majority of patients. It is this gap that Venu seeks to address.
The last decade has seen a drastic change in the causes of blindness in India. While cataract continues to be the major cause of blindness, emerging diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, etc. are adding to the burden of avoidable blindness.
Venu currently has 5 Satellite Hospitals and 13 Vision Centres in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal and Rajasthan. The Base Hospital at New Delhi is a referral and teaching hospital for all cadres of eye care personnel.
Venu Eye Institute & Research Centre is recognised as a leading Eye Hospital in India. It has continued to make quality eye care available, accessible, affordable and sustainable for over three decades.
All this has been possible because of the trust and faith of our patients and donors and the hard work and dedication of our staff.
I sincerely thank all and hope their guidance and support will grow with each passing year and help us realise our Founder, Late Dr. R. K. Seth's dream that no one need go blind because of the lack of quality eye care.