Presidential Address

Dr. Rajendra Prasad

President, Delhi Ophthalmological Society


Respected Dr. Pawan Goel, the outgoing president, Dr. J S Bhalla Secretary, Dr. Alkesh Chaudhery Treasurer, Dr. Kirti Singh DJO Editor, Dr. Bali Library Officer, members of the executive committee; past Presidents and Secretaries of this association; my teachers, senior colleagues, invited guests; faculty; delegates; friends, ladies and gentlemen. I deem it my genuine pleasure to address this gathering of my learned and esteemed colleagues with great degree

Ladies and Gentlemen, first of all I must thank you for placing your trust and confidence in me by unanimously electing me as your vice president in 2021, which lead me to assume the prestigious presidency of this august association that is Delhi Ophthalmological Society. It is my honour and privilege to accept this position. I know it is a significant commitment, but I am prepared to contribute along with the elected executive members to build upon the successes of the past and to fulfill the society's mission to support, promote and protect your interests and the wider community.

I offer my humble salutations to all our Past Presidents, Secretaries, office bearers and executive members, for their great and incessant work over the past many years in the field of redefining the science, education and enormously contributing towards brightening the image of the DOS across the Globe, in an enviable manner. I can only assure you and promise that I will make my humble efforts to raise the status and prestige of our Society to the highest level with your help, guidance and co-operation.

As is characteristic of Indians, we have made a lot of progress in not only on the national but also on the international scene. We have now reached a stage where we can put forward our views and experiences with confidence and authenticity and can be sure that ophthalmic surgeons across the globe listen to us with conviction.

We are proud that many of our fellow members and past Presidents of DOS have taken the highest position in the national and international ophthalmological arena. Dr. A K Grover is presently President of the OPSSA , OTSI, and Councilor APAO. Dr. J S Titiyal is currently president of ISKRS and chief of RPC. Dr. Lalit verma has taken over presidential post of AIOS. Dr. Namrata Sharma is general secretary of AIOS. Dr. Subhash Dadeya is general secretary of SAOPOSA. I had the honor and privilege to work with all of them, in RP Centre and in DOS executive functioning.

For me it has been a humble journey, which began with DOS executive member way back in the year 2005. I still remember the early - 80's when I first joined R P Centre as a junior resident and became the life member of Delhi ophthalmological society. Ultimately this journey shaped itself one step at a time bringing me to the ascendency of assuming charge as the guardian of this respected body of great intellectuals and scientists.

I didn't have any dream for my life until I was 15 years old. I started to think about my dream when I first wore a white lab coat and holding brightly colored jars of chemicals in chemistry research lab of my remotely placed school in the state of Uttarakhand. But when I joined medicine in 1975 came to know that being a researcher is much more than just working with chemicals in a research lab, your work shouldn't only affect your future, but it should also affect the lives of hundreds and thousands of people around the world. It was that dream that propelled me through the darkest times in my life. It is that dream that continues to push me forward even today.

From now on, my new journey is going to start and I will try my best to reach the pinnacle of this journey. In all seriousness, I am really honored to follow the line up of people who have provided guidance for our society in the past; each of our past Presidents has brought a different vision with them and all have proven to have different strengths. From my perspective it is not just a changeover but is a transfer of responsibility and accountability in a continuum towards the progress of our society with highest level of sprits and commitment.

It's been now more than two years since the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its disease, were declared a global public health emergency. During this period, there have been over 6 million deaths, reported to the World Health organization. The pandemic changed life across the globe, through lockdowns, sickness and lives lost.

The year gone by has been shocking for our association also, in that we lost our past presidents and great teachers Dr. G Mukherjee, Prof Madan Mohan and Prof Sood. All of them were dynamic, efficient and highly respected teachers and had set high goals for the betterment and progress of DOS during their tenure. They showed us light and guide towards the destination of our success, and left a good and great imprint in our hearts with their kindness and love . Thank you for living a great and fulfilled life.

Post COVID-19 has also permanently transformed the way people work the way we think about work and have started focusing on re-architecting work by using technology to elevate human capabilities. During this unprecedented time, there has also been a lot of exchange of knowledge and clinical experience in the form of webinars, seminars, and workshops across the country. Over and above in all these scientific programs, many state chapters and subchapters have been diligent and have carried out their academic activities with precision.

Now, two years later, the origin of the pandemic is still unknown and SARS-CoV-2 has shown many faces and we still do not know the future course of this disease. This has also given the opportunity with endless possibilities of what humans working productively with technology can achieve, unlocking aspirations and outcomes that have never before been possible.

Although the widespread prominence of society and scientific benchmark created by the predecessors is difficult to meet, but as your newly elected president, I promise to take into account each of your interests and your voice on the many issues we will face during the upcoming year. I also promise to push through all the plans we have presented to you specifically the topics I addressed in my election manifesto and I am ready to deliver on those promises I made to you.

I suppose I am no different in that I have some ideas for changes I would like to see within the society and I will try my best to fulfill this responsibility. Trust me, I will forever work for the betterment of the society and will work sincerely and lead by example. I'm really ready for that and hoping for the strong support from my executive team and of course help from my seniors and colleagues. So, I request all to please guide and support me in this journey.

Over the next one year we will, continue to build on our strengths, but also take on new directions. Of course there are many challenges ahead mainly difficult financial constraints, we are currently facing that affect our ability to achieve our potential. But let's not forget we are a global organisation united by our values and rich with talent. If each of us puts in effort what we can, we will find that we can get back what we need.

My vision is very clear “advancing science” and serving society with inclusive culture. I believe in DOS and believe in collective work of the executive committee to continue with the great progress that the DOS is already making. I will make sure that the executive board works for the betterment of society and strengthen the welfare offered to the members and also to ensure that member's voices are heard. My intention would be to create more opportunities for the members to interact and obtain these experiences.

We will continue our programs that strengthen our professionalism through education, training and resources. We will also retain our commitment to solidarity, ensuring that our members that are less resourced can have more opportunities and assistance to develop the skills, the methods and operating frameworks required of a modern accounts.

We have a strategic priority and plan to position action as essential for good quality scientific programs, administrative and financial transparency and democratic accountability. We need to influence and ensure that decisions are taken in a proper account of the constitutional value. On this occasion, it is essential to highlight certain important issues, which we all will consider seriously and implement with a sense of skilled determination.

Inclusive society

One of the key goals of my tenure would be to establish the concept of social integration to create an inclusive society, "a society for all". It is going to be a multi-dimensional process aimed at creating conditions, which enable full and active participation of every member of the society with equal opportunity in all aspects of DOS activity. This will create togetherness between various ophthalmic professional and to work for a common goal.

Bridge the gap

We will work to dynamically collaborate with state and international societies for exchange of scientific knowledge and technology and support the promotion of scientific research and professional refinement to our members. We will reach out and enter into the meetings of other societies with networking and by organising joint meetings. We will send our young aspiring ophthal-mologists to affiliated centres within the country and also to some international centres for observational fellowships in sub specialty and award fel-lowships.

Widen academic platform

High quality of academic activities pursued by DOS has been the hallmark of our society. To maintain its premier position and ongoing medical education we need to continue our CMEs, workshops and scientific meetings to keep abreast with the current concepts in Ophthalmology. The fact that DOS has ex- celled in the field of academics and that our members have represented with distinction at various State, National and International conferences, should continue and no complacency should creep in. Let us also en-courage younger generations to involve in research activities as future of DOS rests squarely on their shoulders for its sustained growth and excellence.

Increasing the DOS membership

The 'representative character' of the DOS must be such, that it should be recognized as representing the true and genuine voice of the entire Globe. This can be achieved only by our committed and collective efforts towards increasing DOS membership strength. This reality brings to the fore that the representation of the members needs to be increased. Delhi Ophthalmic Society, started with 20 - 30 members in seventies and today DOS stands tallest amongst all state societies of Ophthalmology in the country. We achieved this by virtue of very hard work of all past treasurers, secretaries ably guided by past presidents, and active participation from all members from time to time.

Social security

The aggression, violence and assault on Doctor's, which has become a matter of routine, is definitely a matter of great concern. It compels us to ponder and introspect and understand as to what has gone wrong. This also necessitates DOS to have a meaningful dialogue with all the specialty associations in the country and IMA, so as to bring all of them on to a common plank of understanding in the interest of ensuring safety to all our members. I know for certain that the path is tough and difficult. I promise that DOS will take these concerns and challenges seriously with the leadership of the IMA and other societies in an exemplary manner, which would definitely bring success.

Accelerate member welfare

We plan to start Members' Welfare Scheme' and for this purpose it will constitute a fund called "Members' Welfare Fund" to promote the basic physical and material wellbeing of the members in need with the approval of the General Body. Over time, enacting a social welfare system has been regarded as one of the societies key responsibilities. The consensus in is that social welfare should be awarded to all members who cannot care for, themselves for one Practicing ophthalmologists

Practicing ophthalmologists

The practicing ophthalmologists are the backbone of ophthalmic healthcare facility in our country. They consistently play an increasingly large role, not just in providing eye care but also in the administrative side of essential and effective health care system. The biggest challenges practicing ophthalmologists are facing today, is costs and transparency, data and analytics, privacy and security, healthcare policy, accreditation, medicolegal issues, accessible points of care. DOS can initiate suitable measures to turn these challenges into opportunities. Some of the important issues which greatly concern our practicing members will be our focus of executive committee

  • Registration of Eye Centre as day care centre
  • Insurance, TPA standardized price system
  • Uniform pricing system of devices and equipment to the surgeon
  • Address to simplify accreditation issues

Day care centre act, registration committee

In Delhi, health care facilities are being provided by both Government & Non-Government Organizations. Among the Government Organizations, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of Government NCT of Delhi is the major agency related to health care delivery. Nursing home cell was established in the DHS with a view to register the private nursing homes and hospitals as per Delhi Nursing Home Registration Act 1953. and rules made thereunder are quite complex and stringent which actually not mandatory for eye centres.

This issue was taken up by Professor Dadeya during his presidency ship at the health ministry which was in fact pending since more than 20 years. Issue was discussed with Honorable Minister of Health Govt. of NCT of Delhi in year 2021, with the result, guidelines for registration of nursing home were relaxed and most of the points were taken into consideration.

In order to frame the minimum standards in such nursing homes where for any medical/ surgical procedures the night stay of the patients after admission is not required for the purpose of registration of such nursing homes under Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953 & Rules made there under, the competent authority of Delhi Govt has already constituted a committee. The committed has submitted its report and The File for amendments in nursing home registration act is under submission. We will with whole hearted pursue this with the health ministry and we are hopeful, this will be a reality very soon.

Young ophthalmologist forum

Young ophthalmologists are at a unique juncture of clinical practice, scientific research, health policy and healthcare delivery. There are growing challenges of effective leaders in the current healthcare climate. Additional skills must be developed and embedded in the next generation of ophthalmologists, to ensure a positive influence on organisational culture and performance that promotes and embraces evolution and innovation in response to change.

Research Programme Committee

DOS will also continue to develop programme, benefits and services to assist the members and form an eye research committee for proper interaction between biochemists, bio¬physicists and clinician's. A scientific and social platform will, be provided to young ophthalmologists to engage amongst peers and encourage research, promoting education and training, and providing a FORUM for discussion among young scientists. This will create visibility for upcoming talented young scientists via the acknowledgement of their

Independent Ethics Committee of DOS

It is high time that the Society forms a sub committee to formulate a code of ethics for practicing Ophthalmologist in Delhi NCR to ensure academic and administrative quality of higher education, through combining self and external quality evaluation, promotion and sustenance initiatives. Formation of an ethical review board will ensure that the research studies being undertaken in the organization do not violate the integrity of the participants and are geared towards the betterment of society, also to ensure good scientific practice, like originality of research ideas, methodologically sound research designs, good scientific reporting practices, and anti-plagiarism practices. Within the coming year, the Delhi Ophthalmology Society will roll out services for providing complete support for Ethical clearances for publications. This service will be available to Ophthalmologists working in Delhi. This service will be of particular use to people who are working in standalone practices or group practices and do not have access to institutional committees. There will be training programs and we are committed to raising the standards of research.

Good clinical practice

The unchecked malady of the unqualified people indulging in professional medical practice has caused and continues to cause endless harm to society. Keeping in mind the cardinal scientific reality that modern scientific medicine is not without ill effects, it cannot be bestowed in the hands of unqualified and unregulated people. This is in the interest of men, mankind and for upholding the 'ethos and morality' of the profession. It would also be prudent to put a system into place by the DOS in regard to issuing a 'Good Standing Certificate' to its members depicting their adherence to the oath so undertaken and endorsing their practice in the desired manner with the principles of ethicality, morality and value based contours.

Delhi Ophthalmology Society Library Services

Our library officer, Dr. Bali have personally added the allocations for the journals and the activities. Now admissions will be made if required. Journals, eBooks, articles on demand and our featured newsletters will continue in coming months. DOS is committed to academics

Promotion of sports

The importance of sports and games is being increasingly recognized from both the educational and social points of view. It is the reflection of a society's values which impact our culture, socio-economic development and source of entertainment. The active participation in sports will improve community health, imbibe discipline in character and will enhance social cohesion. We will execute mega, sporting event and request our members for active participation in sports. Dr. Alkesh Chaudhary our treasurer has been very active in holding these events and have contributed significantly to the development of society.

Community Services

We are aware of that there are around 30 million people blind in India, of which 12 million are cataract-related and 3 million refractive error-related. We need to put in place effective strategies to prevent further growth of this population. DOS should also play its role in this task.

We plan to prepare forums to create public awareness of eye diseases as to prevention of blindness through seminars, pamphlets, Radio, Television, press and other means of communication media like film, etc. We need to lend our support and helping hand to the organizations like the Times Eye Re¬search Foundation and Eye Bank Associa¬tion of India in eye donation movement.

Strengthen the framework

Our focus would be on improving the profile of a scientific discipline, fostering networking, information sharing, mentoring, career opportunities, leadership training, professional development through conferences, seminars, webinars, skill transfer courses, wet labs, live surgical courses, PG teaching programs, monthly clinical rounds, networking events and publications through DOS Times and Delhi Journal of Ophthalmology. We will also work towards the development of professional management skills with short tutorials, to our members helping them to provide high standard ophthalmic services to the community.

Timeline road map

Achieving a goal without a roadmap is like going on a road trip without a map: if you're lucky, you might eventually get to your destination, but you'll likely end up in some run-down motel. You'll also probably have to stop a bunch of times to ask for directions from people who had no idea what kind of trip you initially planned. It is important to have a roadmap which simply reflect your strategy with choices and prioritization of right things and proper communication.

Timeline road map DOS

  1. Dos monthly clinical meet

    To start from the month of november ahter the draw is taken up in the executive meeting on 27/10/22

  2. Parallel webinars once in a month

    A series of online specialty courses with virtual CME activity once in a month to reach wider range of residents, trainee and proffessionls

  3. Evening subspecialty meet along with Live surgical courses once in a four months

    Sessions aimed at subspecilty with top notch speakers and surgeons providing their experties in a particular field benefitting the general ophthalmologists, residents and trainees.

  4. DOS PG teaching programme once in a year

    Aims to offer intensive, innovative practical based session by the cadre of teachers equipped with experience, knowledge and experties

  5. Short tutorials for the young members

    Mini lessons clear and concise focus on essentials of surgical, technical, tools, analytical or clinical deliverd on bedside before the start of monthly clinical meeting

  6. International DOS once in a year

    Is to promote and exchange science also creating connections and building bridges with the inernational organizations. This will provide an excellent platform for our upcoming young researchers, teachers and practioners to share their work and research and experties in the field of ophthalmology at the inernational level.

  7. DOS mid term conference

  8. DOS annual conference

  9. DOS Cricket match and annual sports program

    We know that active participation in sports improves community health, imbibe discipline in character and enhances social cohesion. We plan to execute mega, sporting event and request our members for active participation in sports.

  10. DOS picnic

    Dos picnic with excursion is going to be arranged with friends and families of our members in the scenic outdoors ideally a park or resort with a lot of open space, where we can play games, cook meals and eat together, and spend a whole day making merry and memories.

This task is not possible without the cooperation of our executive members. So I'd like to leave my executive members with the words "We have one year to build monuments that will endure forever, not carved in granite or marble, but in the lives and hearts of generations". This is our time. It will not come again. Let us grasp it, "All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become and "Be a Gift to the World."

With this ladies and gentlemen, I thank you profusely for gracing the occasion and for your patient hearing and I wish you all a very happy prosperous and fruitful year ahead. I look forward to a year of fun, fellowship and doing good in our community and around the world.

Jai Hind !!

Rajendra Prasad

President DOS