“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” It would be fair to say that Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam, Melvin Jones Fellowship does justice to the above phrase. The son of Smt. A. Kameshwari and Late Dr. A. Ramachandran, who served as a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon for 25 years at Sadhuram Eye Hospital, Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam showed interest in public health service even before joining the Hospital. After graduating from Gandhi Medical College, Hyderabad, he completed his Post Graduation M.S. in Ophthalmology from The Prestigious Western Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad with distinction. Before he joined Lions Club of Hyderabad Sadhuram Eye Hospital, he used to accompany his father who used to conduct Surgical Eye Camps on behalf of the Hospital at Miryalguda, Sircilla, Yadagirigutta etc. He worked briefly for a period of one year in 1985-86 as a Junior Ophthalmic Surgeon and joined again in 1991 and has been with the Hospital till date. From a Junior Ophthalmologist to Consultant, Diplomat of National Board In-charge, Chairman Medical Services and Chairman of the Hospital (2000-2001), he has stayed with the Hospital and has completed 25 years of Honorary service as Consultant.
Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam pioneered Intraocular Lenses (IOL) Surgical Camps in 1993-1994 by having more than 50 Intraocular Lenses Surgeries per day. He has performed more than 50,000 Surgeries till date and has conducted outreach programmes locally, nationally and internationally in Philippines. He was instrumental in having a Research programme by way of drug trials first time in Lions Clubs of Hyderabad, Sadhuram Eye Hospital in 2003-2004 with a French Company Thea. He helped to raise funds amounting to Rs. One Crore and to establish the Retinal Department in Lions Clubs of Hyderabad, Sadhuram Eye Hospital. Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam has also been influential in instituting the National Board of Examinations to the Hospital. Many students passed out successfully under his training with flying colors and showed immense promise. He brought out a change in the Hospital by raising academic standard in various Departments. He has published several Research Papers nationally and internationally and has presented papers in Seminars at various National and International forums and won many accolades.
He was invited in the year 2000 by Lions International President, Lion E. Jim Ervin to speak on “Low cost high volume Cataract Surgeries in developing Countries” at Lions International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He was also President of Lions Club of Hyderabad, Zone Chairman, Region Chairman, District Chairman and at present, the Vice District Governor. He has successfully completed Vice District Governor-II and he is now Vice District Governor-I of District 316 B. Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam has been happily married to Lion Lady Dr. A. Bhavana and they are blessed with two sons Dr. A. Sriram and Dr. A. S. Prashanth, who have been supporting him at every juncture. Lion Dr. A. Venkatachalam has dedicated his life to the Lions Clubs philosophy of serving people in need. His dedication towards helping those in need can be seen through his efforts to better medical facilities both by conducting research and by training future doctors. He is indeed a great example of a Lion who selflessly helps the community. A genuinely inspiring personality, Ln. Dr. A. Venkatachalam is indeed a hero in every manner. We at Lions Clubs International salute him for his services.