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 and
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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,
Pune - 410 022,
Phone: 681 4044
Text: Rahul Surkund