Dr.Sudhakar Reddy & Mrs.Vanita Reddy from Detroit
Dr.Sudhakar Reddy and Mrs.Vanita Reddy from Detroit, are a well known couple in USA, with their active and constructive participations in several organizations for the past 20years. They have recently visited Denver to plan an upcoming fund raising event for a non-profit organization, Indo-American Eyecare Organization. DesiShades could spend some time chatting with them.
While describing the background for IAEO, Dr.Sudhakar Reddy told, "There is a saying in Sanskrit, 'Sarvendriyaanaam Nayanam Pradhaanam' - which means, of all the sensory organs, eyes are primary. Indo-American Eyecare Organization (IAEO) is a non-profit, fund raising organization for India based Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI), started in 2006. The institute is primarily involved in preventing the curable blindness caused by diabetes in India. Eye care is much less expensive, affordable and reasonable compared to the care for other body parts. Based on this, IAEO has teamed with PVRI to organizing the eye camps and reaching the poor and needy".
"We see children at a young age wearing glasses and hard to read with poor vision. Children nowadays are being affected by vision problems. So we also focus on school children as they are the future nation builders, though our main focus is on conducting eye camps in the villages", described Mrs.Vanita Reddy, who continued, "We started this organization to get 95% of the funds to reach the end cause. India is the fastest growing in diabetic cases, which damages the eye-sight. This can be prevented with some care. When we got this idea, we spoke to our family members who have been supporting this. With some effort and few hurdles, we started an eye camp in our village in Warangal. We could raise over $100,000 in a fundraising event in 2007 in Detroit. That was big success and motivated us. We never had to look back again"
"All the board members are highly committed, medical professionals, community leaders, and entrepreneurs, diversified from California to New York. There is also a six member advisory board. PVRI is unique in managing the funds with transparency, expediency and accountability. It is committed to offer 20-25% of surgeries for charity purpose. They meet their goals to reach the poor and needy and not the corporate world. The expenses and salaries for the staff are minimal. The professionals who work here are very committed to do service. Last year PVRI has screened 20,000 adults and 16,000 school children", told Mr.Reddy while describing about PVRI’s accomplishments.
The statistics say that 8% of the world population is diabetic. India is growing rapidly with diabetic cases. Diabetis is a silent killer that causes eye problems, if care is not taken in the early stage. Most unfortunately 50% of the people don’t even know that they are diabetic. Diabetic retinopathy caused by diabetes can be cured easily if detected in early stages. PVRI and IAEO mainly thrives to reach the medical community who should know about this to organize medical camps and bring awareness among people. In order to succeed in these ventures, they are seeking funds from non government organizations, government organizations and philanthropists. A state government scheme in Andhra Pradesh, ‘ArogyaSree’ is actively involved in providing health care to the poor. In this process the beneficiary is provided all the services with no cost. PVRI in association with IAEO shares 60% and the other 40% is raised from government and non government schemes. Last year they organized eye camps worth of 35 lakh rupees under ArogyaSree scheme.
The inspiring couple Mr. and Mrs. Reddy migrated from India in 1981. Mrs. Vanita Reddy worked as a scientist for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for seven years. She served the Detroit Telugu Association as a President and was involved in focusing on Indian culture. Dr. Sudhakar Reddy held many positions, including the recent board of trustees for American Telugu Association. Currently he is holding a position of administrator in the division of business & finance at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They have two sons, who are in medical school.
Talking about the present generation the couple said "in our Desi families, mother plays a major role in bringing up the kids. A close knit family will always help them to grow in a healthy environment. We should try to give them the best of both cultures. Indian community has grown a lot since 1980’s. Our kids are excelling in many ways, with the hard work. It should grow more and should take more leadership roles".
It was very much motivating to see to the couple like Mr.& Mrs. Sudhakar Reddy to take part in many social welfare organizations and serve the community to their best.
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