|Founder(s)||Chandra Sekhar Sankurathri|
|Key people||Chandra Sekhar Sankurathri (Executive Trustee)|
|Area served||Andhra Pradesh, INDIA|
|Focus(es)||Education, Eye care and Emergency relief|
|Mission||To eradicate Blindness, Illiteracy and poverty in Andhra Pradesh, INDIA|
|Motto||let's light a lamp in the life of the blind|
Sankurathri Foundation (SF)' was established in 1989 by Dr. Chandra Sekhar Sankurathri in memory of his wife Manjari, son Kiran and daughter Sarada, who died in the bombing of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland on 23 rd June, 1985.
Chandrasekhar Sankurathri was born to Appala Narasayya Naidu Sankurathri and Ramayamma Sankurathri on 20 November 1943 at Singarayakonda, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is the youngest of eight. He attended Municipal High School at Rajahmundry, East Godavari District, Andhra University, Waltair, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and University of Alberta, Canada. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri worked as a visiting scientist for the Ministry of Fisheries, in Canada and a scientific evaluator for Canada's Ministry of Health.
Chandrasekhar Sankurathri married Manjari on 13-05-1975 at Kakinada, India. Together they had a son, Srikiran, and a daughter, Sarada. Manjari, Srikiran and Sarada were killed in the Air India Flight 182 bombing on 23 June 1985 off the coast of Ireland.
Establishment of Foundations
Following the bombing, he resigned his job in Canada and returned to India in 1988. He established the Manjari Sankurathri Memorial Foundation in 1989 in memory of his wife, which is a registered charity in Canada. He established the Sankurathri Foundation in India in memory of his family in 1989. The Foundations' goals are to improve the quality of life of needy people in the rural and remote areas of Andhra Pradesh. Established Sarada Vidyalayam in 1992 on his daughter’s name, which is a High school to provide free education for rural poor children. Sankurathri established Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology in 1993, named after his son.
Origin and objectives
Sankurathri Foundation is working in collaboration with the Manjari Sankurathri Memorial Foundation (MSMF), established in year 1989 at Ottawa, Canada. A board of volunteers, manage and oversee the distribution of all donations for humanitarian projects in India. In 1989, the active implementation of MSMF objectives fused the onset of The Sankurathri Foundation(SF). SF is currently managed by three volunteer trustees. Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri remains the president of the MSMF and Executive Trustee of the SF.
The Sankurathri Foundation was registered as a non-profit organization in India with the purpose of improving the quality of life for destitute and downtrodden in the society. This is planned through education, health care and disaster relief programs. All the activities are being organized from Kakinada, in the East Godavari District of Andhra pradesh, serving a population of over five million. Chandrasekhar lives on site and supervises all internal programs and outreach campaigns.
Sankurathri Foundation is implementing educational programs through Sarada Vidyalayam,health care programs through SriKiran Institute of Ophthalmology and disaster relief programs through Spandana.
Sarada Vidyalayam consists of three schools- Primary, High, and Vocational. While the primary school provides instruction in grades one to five, the High school covers grades six to ten. The vocational School will provide much needed job skills to unemployed youth in the region. Sarada vidyalayam opened its doors in 1992 with 25 children enrolled in grade one. The current enrollment is 158. The school follows the Andhra pradesh State Government syllabus. In addition to the academic subjects, children are encouraged to participate in activities such as gardening, drawing, painting, sewing, embroidery, yoga, dance, drama, and crafts. The children of the school have done very well academically as well as in extra curricular activities. The school has been formally recognized for its achievements and designated as a model school in the district. The primary school is free for all children. The children receive lunch, milk, uniforms, shoes, books, schoolbags, transportation, medical checkups, and medicines free of cost. Sarada Vidyalayam is supported by MSMF, Asha for Education, St.Isidore School, St.Gregory Catholic School and other donors.He was named as Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation, USA for his humanitarian work.
SriKiran Institute of Ophthalmology
SriKiran Institute of Ophthalmology was inaugurated in January, 1993 with a mission to "provide quality eye care with compassion which is accessible, affordable and equitable to all". Its outreach program with a strong awareness component has brought increased demand on SriKiran's resources and services. Today, SriKiran is a very well equipped and provider of modern eye care in the region. The new hospital building has ample waiting areas for out patients, five fully equipped air-conditioned operating theatres, speciality clinics for Cornea, Glaucoma, retina, Pediatric Ophthalmology Microbiology laboratory, Library, low Vision Rehabilitation Center and Auditorium.
SriKiran offers access to affordable eye care to all regardless of their socio-economic status. To those who attend eye screening camps, SriKiran provides free eye examinations, and if a cataract surgery is recommended, provides free transportation, free surgery with an intraocular lens (IOL), free medications, free accommodation and food while they are in the hospital. The other strengths of SriKiran are its training Programs and International Volunteer program. SriKiran has been a leader in setting standards for eye care in the region, and providing training that emphasizes the importance of 'quality care' in delivering eye care services.
SriKiran conducts continuing medical education programs to disseminate current concepts and techniques to local Ophthalmologists. Those programs are organized regularly through visits of volunteer specialists from Canada and the USA.
SriKiran is supported by Canadian International Development Agency, National Program for Control of Blindness(NPCB), Christoffel-Blindenmission(CBM), Sensor Technology Limited], Eye care for the Adirondacks, Eye Foundation of America, District Blindness Control Society(DBCS), Aravind Eye Hospital, University of Ottawa Eye Institute, Wildrose Foundation, Help the Aged Canada, Rotary International, Orbis International, Infosys.
Spandana is a disaster relief program started in 1998. As the region is situated on the coast of Bay of Bengal, disasters are frequent due to cyclones and monsoon rains resulting in floods and considerable damage to property. The program provides to displaced persons basic necessities such as food, drinking water, medications while they are in temporary shelters, and utensils,food, clothing and other needs after they return to their homes.
Awards and recognitions
- 1996- Rotary Club, Pithapuram, AP. India
- 1998- Lions Club, Kakinada, AP. India.
- 1998- Telugu Cultural Society, Houston, Texas, USA.
- 1998- Invited by the World Volunteer Conference, Edmonton, Canada.
- 2000- Certificate of Appreciation by TANA Foundation, USA.
- 2004- Received Service above self award from Rotary District 3020, Rotary International
- 2006- Outstanding Community Achievement Award, India Canada Association of the National Capital Region, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
- 2006 – Received “Sankalp Tara “Award for rendering service to the needy from Raksha International Foundation.
- 2006 – “Mother Teresa Excellence Award” for meritorious accomplishments by Integrated Council for Socio-economic Progress & Front For National Progress, New Delhi.
- 2007 – Award by the District Collector on the occasion of Republic Day for the dedicated community services provided in East Godavari District.
- 2008 – Awarded “Dedicated Community Service Award” by the District Collector on the eve of Republic Day of India on 26 January 2008.
- 2008 - Felicitated by Sri. Paripurnananda Swamy of Sri Peetham, Kakinada in recognition for the dedicated services rendered to the community.
- 2008 – Selected as CNN hero by CNN international. First Indian ever to receive this honor.
- 2008 – Featured in ETV 2 Margadarsi on 4 October 22, 2008.
- 2009 - Selected as “Top 10 Influential Telugu NRIs”.
- 2009 – Featured as one among six people making Canada proud by their work
- 2010 – Awarded Hero of the Year by CNN IBN NEWS CHANNEL. See for details http://realheroes.com/2010-heroes.php
- Arsenault, Adrienne. "Making Canada Proud". CBC News - The National. CBC. Retrieved 11 April 2012.