Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre
On 3rd July, 2008 L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar (BLVPEI) hosted the inaugural ceremony of the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre.
The speakers included Sri Ajit K Tripathy, Chief Secretary, Govt of Odisha, Mrs Mona Sharma, Commissioner for the Department of Women & Children, Govt of Odisha, Mr Rod Pryde, India Director, British Council and Esther Hyman, MHMT Trustee.
Excerpts from some of the speeches:
Dr Gullapalli N Rao
Chairman of the L V Prasad Eye Institute
When Mavis Hyman contacted LVPEI in November 2007 we were thinking of developing the children’s eye care programme in our Bhubaneswar campus. It was a timely coincidence that the MHMT wanted to partner with us.
It turned out that Mavis was born in Kolkata and spent the first twenty-six years of her life there before migrating to the United Kingdom, so she has a special affinity to this part of India.
Today's inauguration is just the beginning of a long journey. Our vision for the Centre is that in the next five years, every child in Odisha who needs any form of eye care should have access to the highest quality of eye care through the Centre.
Dr Taraprasad Das
Director of the L V Prasad Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar (BLVPEI)
Two years since the inauguration of BLVPEI. When I look back I see barren land and no trees. When I look back I see hundreds of workers working very hard to build the structure. When I look back I see the trust of all our big and small supporters who believed in us.
Two years of a very humbling experience. I recall with nostalgia when a patient said ‘the doctor is busy planting a tree. I am suspicious that this is an eye hospital!’. This was when I was supervising planting the first tree near the front gate on a rainy afternoon.
Dr Siddharth Kesarwani
Head of the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre
To give an analogy, we live in a world of baby soap, baby shampoo, baby oil, so why not paediatric ophthalmology? We understand the need for special products for babies; it's not difficult to understand that their eyes are different.
Paediatric ophthalmology is a relatively new subspeciality in India. It is important to understand the need for a specialised department exclusively dedicated to the paediatric age group.
Representing the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust
I'm going to start with my thanks.
The first one goes to the musician Nitin Sawhney whose piece, “Firmament” we listened to. He very kindly allowed us to use it for this inauguration. My sister, Mim, was a great fan of his. She saw him play live long before he was well known, and she was sure that he would become famous, and she was right! So we are very grateful to him for contributing to this event.
Next I'd like to thank every one of you for coming here this evening. It's delightful to see you all here, and I know that in London my family and some of Miriam's friends are watching on a Skype connection, so welcome to them also.
L V Prasad Eye Institute is a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad. They have two tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatam. The shaded States surrounding Odisha will all eventually be served by the MHCECC.