Who We are
“Annada, can’t you do anything for these
unfortunate people?” – implored Netaji
to Annada Prasad Chakrabortty (the pre-Sannyas
name of Swami Asimananda
Saraswati), tears rolling down his cheeks, as he picked up and embraced a poor
old blind person who, in deep darkness of the night, had fallen down on the
street in front of their car. The year was 1938. Amidst the ongoing freedom
struggle against the imposing British Rule, Netaji accompanied by Annada Prasad
was moving towards Adra Railways station to get into a Train for Calcutta after
attending a number of political meetings in the then Manbhum District (Purulia)
of West Bengal. And that was the sowing of
seed in the compassionate heart of Annada Prasad (Swami Asimananda
Saraswati in subsequent life), which germinated in 1953 with the organising of
a winter Cataract Eye Operation Camp for 15 days with the help of the then
Bihar Govt. and Patna Medical College when Swamiji was a seating M.L.A. of
Bihar Assembly. Subsequently, he observed that the patients treated &
operated in the camps were not getting
proper after-care medical treatment for which
most of the cases had been getting bad to worse. He lamented to his followers & workers “I have no
right to take away the vision of the poor people on the pretext of restoring
their eye sights”. So he decided to establish a small 10-bedded regular hospital at Ramchandrapur Ashram,
Purulia only for 3 months from January to March in the year 1954 and christened
it as “Netaji Eye Hospital” in revered
memory of the great revolutionary. He organised
weekly camps for treatment of eye and other medical cases. From 1964
this 10 bedded Eye Hospital was transformed into a 100-bedded seasonal Eye
Hospital for 3 months only during winter season i.e. from January to March.
After the demise of Swamiji in 1968, it became a full-fledged Eye hospital in
the year 1970-71 running throughout the year under the aegis of Sri Sri
Bijoykrishna Ashram Relief Society, Regd. Under the Societies Act.
Over and above the family’s of 250 Nos. of employees of the Hospital, more than 1000 people directly or indirectly depend upon this hospital for their livelihood (e.g. rickshaw pullers, hotels & lodges, a large number of suppliers, vendors & day laboures & their families). Netaji Eye Hospital is a Not-for-Profit Eye Hospital providing free check-up & treatment in the general OPD and at minimum charges in its speciality clinics. Surgery is done free of charges & at affordable charges to the economically handicapped rural & urban eye patients. For providing those services we have to depend to a great extent upon the help & support of the benevolent people, Charitable Trusts & various other Organisations, as no Govt. help is forthcoming to such a humanitarian cause.
The Mission of our Society is SERVICE TO MANKIND. The glowing principle guiding the Society is “Service to humanity is Service to God”. It emphasizes upon ameliorating the sufferings of the distressed, the visually impaired and the afflicted rural masses. Swami Asimananda Saraswati, a noble and compassionate soul and penniless mendicant sowed the seed of Sri Sri Bijoykrishna Ashram Relief Society, a philanthropic organisation in 1943, during the period of great famine in Bengal, with a view to mitigating the agonies of the groaning humanity. He said “The more you will sacrifice yourself for the welfare of the universe, the more you will realise the splendour of your own self in the universe”.
The economically handicapped eye patients who cannot afford the costly eye treatment process elsewhere, they come to us as they have the faith that at least treatment will be provided at any cost, no one will be returned untreated. With is faith of the people we are serving for last 65 years with our vision “ More, More and More Vision to All ” The Society has also been rendering its services through Out-Reach Camps in various remote rural areas with a view to extending benefit of modern eye care at their door-steps who otherwise would neither take the pain nor afford to visit a modern eye hospital far away from their areas.