At LVPEI, training and education are recognized as key factors that influence the reach, range and quality of eye health service delivery. Therefore, the institute strives to provide the highest quality of training and education through a committed faculty. Living up to its commitments and standing true to its words, LVPEI did its best to provide education to me and helped me achieve what I wanted to. Let me take you through my journey at LVPEI and how it changed my life!
I have always nurtured big dreams. I wanted to study abroad, and become a famous doctor. But the reality was very different. My father always made it clear that he could not afford higher education like medicine or engineering, or even graduation for that matter. He urged me to look out for early employment.
In 1993, I saw an advertisement about a course in LVPEI in the newspaper. My father wanted me to enroll for the course; therefore he got the application form for me. Though, I was a bit reluctant initially, but then after thinking of the benefits of the course, I applied for the course and I feel I took the right decision. LVPEI gives you the opportunity to grow, which is indeed commendable about the institute. If one works for 5 years, and shows his commitment towards his work, the institute offers the opportunity to pursue higher studies including PhD. This was a great opportunity for me as I could not afford to live my dream. LVPEI gave me the platform and the opportunity to fulfill my dream. This system was unique as you got to work and study simultaneously. Only with the help and constant support from LVPEI, was I able to live my dream. When I expressed my interest in public health to the Chairman in one of the meetings, he gave me a part time position at ICARE to allow me time for study. I went to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, for my higher education in Public Health in eye care. Since then there has been no looking back. It has been a long journey and beyond doubt, this journey would not have been possible without the institute’s support.
Considering the financial background I come from, I could not have accomplished all of this. Being a first generation graduate in my family, hailing from a lower middle class background, and to reach the position that I am in today is a result of my persistent efforts, patience and the support of the institute. “You become more powerful, when you help the helpless in remote rural areas”. “When I started my journey, I was alone, swimming against the tides of the sea to bring quality eye care to India, and thought I will swim as long as I am tired, now 25 years down the line, I have several hands joining me to swim against the tide to make the difference.” These are the few of the many statements of Dr. Rao that gave me inspiration to move on. The satisfaction in everything that I do, and the feeling that I am part of the team that is bringing change among those who are underprivileged, remain my motivating factors.
I am not the only one who was given opportunities by the institute, the only difference is that others who got these opportunities left the institute and I stayed back to reach the position where I am today. One thing that I have learnt at LVPEI is, when you aim to achieve something, you should put in your best, be patient and focused single-mindedly towards achieving that goal.
I am greatly indebted to LVPEI for all the support that I have received over the years. I know it can never be repaid, but I want to do as much as I can and be a torch bearer to take the vision and mission of this institute forward.
As narrated by Dr Srinivas Marmamula who had joined LVPEI after his high school (Plus Two) as a student of the institute’s DOT (Diploma in Ophthalmic Technology) program, and went on to do his Masters in Public Health in eye care from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and then on to obtain his PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Dr Srinivas Marmamula is Associate Optometrist and Public Health Specialist at LVPEI’s International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye care. His study programs abroad were fully sponsored by the Institute, and he was paid his remuneration in full during the entire duration of study so as to facilitate his pursuit of higher education.