The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively. Bob Marley
This is so true of the incoming President- Prof Dr. S. Natarajan.
Prof. Dr. S. Natarajan, an ophthalmologist who has been honoured by the Government of India with the Padmashree Award, one of the highest civilian awards has dedicated his life towards rendering yeomen service to mankind by treating the vision impaired. Not just a surgeon, he is looked upto as a healer by those shattered by vision loss.
Dr. Natarajan has been globally acclaimed for his precision in vitreoretinal surgery. Born in Madurai, Tamilnadu, Ophthalmology has been his family tradition with 2 generations of Ophthalmologists before him. Dr. Natarajan became a vitreoretinal surgeon at the age of 27 and was fortunate to have the guidance of an Internationally renowned and recognized Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Padmabhushan Dr. S. S. Badrinath, the founder of Sankara Nethralaya.
Today, Prof. Natarajan shares the platform with his Guru as a Charter Inductee in the RETINA HALL OF FAME . Dr. Badrinath and Dr. Natarajan are the only two Indians appearing on that list alongside other pioneers in the field of ophthalmology like Dr Charles Schepens , Relja Zivojnovic (his second Mentor and Father of Modern Vitreo Retinal Surgery), Allvar Gullstrand, a Noble Prize recipient in Ophthalmology, Dr. Jules Gonin, Dr . Von Helmholtz etc (www.retinahalloffame.org)
Dr. Natarajan is a distinguished member of the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Ophthalmology, the parent organisation of all ophthalmic societies of the world. He is also President of the Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society , Sankara Nethralaya Alumni Association, Editor for Eye World India ,Secretary General for Global eye genetics consortium, and the list goes on.
A keen academician, he has made significant contributions to the academic world. He has195 peer reviewed publications, 5 books, 38 book chapters, 62 IJO Editorials and more than 2000 presentations and orations ti his credit. An exponent of VR surgery, he has performed more than 600 live surgeries to teach budding VR surgeons worldwide. He is also a recipient of several National & International awards for his exemplary work in the field which include Senior Achievement Award from AAO, Achievement award from APAO, P Siva Reddy Award from AIOS,1st Bicentenary Medal by Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Govt. Ophthalmology hospital, Chennai and numerous other awards.
Dr. Natarajan’s commitment to AIOS began in 1984. He has slowly and diligently served the various wings of AIOS before ascending the Presidency.
* Served as Chairman Scientific Committee for 6 years
* Served as Chairman ARC for 3 years
* Served as Editor IJO 6 years
* He attended the Leadership Development Program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Las Vegas, USA and graduated in Nov’06 and started the Leadership Development Programs in AIOS in 2007. Today AIOS boasts of a strong cadre of budding leaders who have transformed the face of AIOS.
A man with a sense of purpose and desire to help his fellow beings, Dr. Natarajan established a non-profitable Public Charitable Trust, Aditya Jyot Foundation for Twinkling Little Eyes in 2005. The initiative had its beginnings during the visit of Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India. The Foundation runs outreach programs in rural and urban slums and tribal areas that strive to provide quality eye care for the underprivileged. Aditya Jyot Diabetic Retinopathy Urban Mumbai Slum Study (AJ- DRUMSS) which is funded by the World Diabetic Federation and Sir Dorabji Tata trust has a specific focus to understand the genetic profile of diabetic patients to prevent blindness.
The Foundation has conducted thousands of Diabetic Retinopathy camps and screened over 70,000 diabetics and over 200,000 children in school screening programs. Through the door to door campaign the Foundation has covered over 2,00,000 households in slums and performed over 5000 surgeries. It has touched the lives of 8 million people since its inception. The Aditya Jyot foundation is committed to reduce both avoidable and unavoidable blindness and has also established a Research & Development Unit. It’s vision is to understand the bio-mechanism of eye diseases and to discover novel therapeutic approaches including regenerative medicine.
During the recent spate of pellet injuries in J & K, Dr Natarajan performed more than 200 complicated VR surgeries on pellet injury patients. For his outstanding humanitarian work in J & K the Govt. of JAMMU AND KASHMIR has dedicated a “State Award to Prof Dr. S. Natarajan for his Meritorious Public Service”.
A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. Dr. Natarajan attributes his success to his Mata, Pita, Guru, Mitra and Deva. He salutes them for all that he has achieved and also for the great privilege of becoming the President of AIOS
“A healthy vital Association is not the one in which all agree. It is one in which those who disagree can do so with respect for other people’s opinions….. and an appreciation of our shared humanity” – Marianne Williamson
Dr. Natarajan has a vision for AIOS 2019 – 2020
ONE AIOS – ONE VISION – ONE INDIA”
His desire is to unite the various wings of AIOS towards a common goal. The goal of seeing our country blindness-free, a goal where every individual has access to eye care without any discrimination on caste, creed or wealth.
Prof. Natarajan has immense faith in the human spirit and the power of positive thinking. He has taken up the challenge of completely eradicating diabetic blindness throughout the country through a Nationwide diabetic retinopathy screening program coined as “S.T.O.P Blindness” . Jyot Se Jyot Jalao” will be the theme of this campaign over the next five years implemented through AIOS.