Lion S. N. Harinarayanan – leading the fight against blindness across Southern India

A dedicated Lion, a devoted father, a loving husband and a humble human being, Lion S. N. Harinarayanan has devoted his life to making the lives of the less fortunate better. He joined Lions Club of Central Madras in 1986, with the sole objective of serving his community and reaching out to as many people as possible.

Under his leadership, the Lions Club of Central Madras championed the cause of fighting blindness, in 1998. Little did he know then, that working to control blindness would become his purpose of life and ‘Labour of Love’. Having started with upgrading the facilities of the Community wing at Sankara Nethralaya, to increase the number of free Cataract surgeries performed under their ‘Reach Out program’, he was instrumental in increasing the number of surgeries being performed from 4,500 to 10,000 over a period of 24 months. This was made possible with the help of the first SightFirst grant of US $91,375/-.

Seeing the impact the project had on the lives of the people, cemented Lion S. N. Harinarayanan’s resolve to dedicate his life to fighting blindness across the South of India - Playing a critical role on both sides of the fence; working with Sankara Nethralaya to finalize equipment and facilitating funds.

Not one to lose touch with ground work, Lion S. N. Harinarayanan was responsible for organizing eye screening camps in Chennai and neighbouring villages, to identify those suffering from vision problems, particularly those from economically backward sections of society - bringing them to the base Hospital for a comprehensive examination, arranging the required treatment and facilitating their return journey. What started in 1998 as screening camps continue to be conducted even today, and have helped thousands of underprivileged who would have lived a life of darkness, had it not been for the noble work of Lion S. N. Harinarayanan.

In 2003, his passion and dedication to SightFirst got him involved in a three-year project for Screening & Treating of Diabetic Retinopathy, for which Lions Clubs International Foundation funded a grant of US $270,689. Spread over six districts of Tamil Nadu, namely, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Villuppuram and Tiruvannamalai, the project is responsible for creating awareness on Diabetic Retinopathy, screening camp for detection and treatment either by Laser or in some cases surgical procedures to avoid further loss of vision. Today, Lion S. N. Harinarayanan is responsible for organizing over 800 camps, facilitating 12,500 cataract surgeries and more than 1,500 other eye surgeries.

Lion S. N. Harinarayanan has not gone unnoticed and has been awarded by:

  • The Diabetic Association of India, Southern Chapter, honoured him for his work in Creating Awareness and screening camps for Diabetes.
  • Sankara Nethralaya award for propagating the need and necessity for eye donation and also for motivating many, to donate their Cornea at the time of death.
  • ‘Friend of Humanity’ Award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation in 2008-2009.
  • ‘Helping Hands’ Award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation in 2009-2010.

A true Lion, dedicated to the cause of SightFirst, Lion S. N. Harinarayanan is known for providing sight to the sightless across Southern India.

Lion S. N. Harinarayanan’s continues his quest to impact society.
With the “Rs. 1/- campaign to decrease the dropout rate of underprivileged children from school”, Lions S. N. Harinarayan is undeterred in his mission to make a difference.

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