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HV Desai Eye Hospital

H V Desai Eye Hospital

In 1965, Mr Niranjan Pandya lost his eyesight after a cricket ball hit him. The event changed his life. He completed his studies aJust operated Cataract patients restingnd soon after, dedicated his life to the rehabilitation of the blind. Among the projects he has started in Pune are a home for   aged blind women, a Braille printing press and a technical training institute for the blind.

Mr Pandya's latest project is a hospital for the blind. According to him, the latest world bank figures show that the number of people going blind every year is one and a half million. However, the combined effort of the government, the NGOs and the medical fraternity succeed in performing only half a million operations. "It was to improve this situation that I took on the hospital project," enlightens Mr Pandya.

A patient being examined for GlaucomaTen years ago, Mr Pandya helped start mobile clinics which performed innumerable surgeries and gave back sight to hundreds of poor people. Inspired by the success, he had been nurturing the dream of a bigger complex, which could cater to larger number of people with eyesight problems.

The hospital project was conceived seven years ago by Mr Pandya and built at a cost of seven crores. Conceptualized by Hafeez Contractor and designed by Y S Sane, the 100-bed hospital is spread over 45,000 sq. ft.

The hospital boasts of four operation theatres with the latest equipment, specially designed and commissioned for the most modern microsurgery.  Routine operations that the hospital handles include squint correction, cataract surgery, lens implant, glaucoma, retinal detachment, vitrectomy, oculoplastic surgery (lid surgery) and Lachrymal Sac surgery to name a few.

A Doctor Checking the eye of an elderly manThe hospital also possesses a modern laboratory with the latest computerized data-processing facilities, an eye bank and a corneal transplant unit. Regular workshops and symposia will be held with provision for special closed-circuit TV monitors, so that surgeries taking place in the operation theatre can be viewed from the outside.

The OPD has a team of ten qualified ophthalmologists headed by Medical Director,
Col (retd) M Deshpande,
who will be remembered by many Puneites for his yeoman service in conducting Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) camps while at AFMC.

If this ultra-modern hospital has seen the light of day, it is due in no small measure to the dedication of Pandya, who prefers to remain modestly in the background, while giving the credit to the help rendered by many others. The Maharashtra government donated the land, Hafeez Contractor and Y S Sane provided their services free and a friend, who is an expert in hospital management, helped him prepare the 100-page project report. The cement, steel and stones were provided by a well-wisher
at subsidized rates, as were the tiles.

The main thrust of the hospital is to provide quality treatment at low costs. Explains Pandya, "Our modern equipment is to serve the poorer classes at minimal rates. An IOL cataract surgery which could cost around Rs 15,000 at a good private hospital, is available for only Rs 500."

On a visit to the hospital, one comes across several patients who have come from surrounding villages or from different districts of Maharashtra. Most of the patients had heard about the reputed hospital from friends and relatives. In fact, informs
Mr Pandya with pride, the District Surgeons of Solapur and Kolhapur refer patients from their district to the hospital directly.

Mr. Niranjan Pandya( in Dark Glasses), and Medical Director Col (retd) M Deshpande with some newly operated patientsThe Hospital has performed 10,000 operations last year and they hope to increase the number to 12,000 this year. 80% of the operations have been performed free of cost. Boosted by the success of the first phase of the project, Mr Pandya and his team are building another 100-bed extension to the hospital.

The Germany based Christoffel Blinden Mission has rated the hospital as one of the best eye care centres in the country and has deemed it fit for performing 2500 surgeries a year. Mr Pandya, however, is not resting on his laurels and has plans to open an Institute of Ophthalmology soon.

The earnestness with which Mr Pandya pursues his goals, the Ophthalmology institute is a Mission, very much possible for him.

Address: HV Desai Eye Hospital, Mohammedwadi, Hadapsar,
Pune - 410 022,
Phone: 681 4044

Text: Rahul Surkund
Photos: Harikrishna


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