Engaged Buddhism: FHSM, a non-profit Buddhist organization, organizes a free eye clinic in Chennai

Image courtesy of FHSM

The non-profit Buddhist organization Foundation of His Sacred Majesty (FHSM) organized a free eye clinic in the Indian city of Chennai on Saturday for children suffering from retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is a rare type of malignant intraocular cancer affecting almost exclusively young children, usually under the age of five. Although most children survive this cancer, they may lose vision in the affected eye or, if the cancer is too advanced, the eye may need to be removed. If diagnosed early, retinoblastoma can often be successfully treated.

“During the camp, 375 children were screened out of which 16 will be treated for cataract surgery and 26 will be treated with glasses, while 55 children need to be referred to higher institutions for further treatment,” said FHSM President Gauthama Prabu told BDG. “The FHSM will coordinate with beneficiaries and hospitals to facilitate their treatment, including blood tests, collection of reports, coordination of surgeries, monitoring of treatment and provision of eyeglasses.”

Image courtesy of FHSM
Image courtesy of FHSM

The eye clinic was held on August 20 in Perumbakkam suburb of Chennai. The clinic was supported by All Cargo Logistics, headquartered in Mumbai, with the expertise of Dr. Shila and a medical team from Agarwal Eye Hospital.

“Every year in India, 1,500 to 2,000 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma. The majority of these children come from lower socio-economic communities and nearly 60% have advanced conditions at the time of presentation,” Prabu explained. “The disease is associated with low treatment and survival rates due to lack of awareness, social stigma, limited access to healthcare and high cost of treatment. This is compounded by a lack of infrastructure, medical professionals, good treatment protocols and quality medicines, diagnostics and supportive care.

FHSM regularly provides treatment for children in cooperation with reputable medical organizations, such as Agarwal Eye Hospital and LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. FHSM helps vulnerable children access appropriate treatment, accommodation and counseling during treatment, as well as necessary medication. The foundation also coordinates with doctors for chemotherapy, treatment monitoring and the development of patient confidence measures.

“The Indian Council of Medical Research has reported an increase in retinoblastoma cases in several hospital cancer registries in India,” observed Prabu. “One of the goals of our eye camp is to increase eye health awareness to help eliminate the preventable and treatable causes of blindness.”

Image courtesy of FHSM

Based in Chennai (formerly Madras) in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, FHSM is founded on the principles of socially engaged Buddhism and works closely with disadvantaged and marginalized communities. The work of the foundation is based on four main principles: protection and conservation of ecosystems; the promotion of alternative health systems; social transformation by strengthening grassroots democracy and good governance; and sustainable livelihoods, education and social empowerment. The foundation has also spearheaded an ongoing COVID-19 emergency relief operation to tackle the devastating impact of the pandemic on disadvantaged communities across India.

“We express our sincere gratitude and thanks to All Cargo Logistics Ltd, without whom we could not have implemented this noble activity. We also thank all the other supporters and volunteers for being part of this success,” added Prabu. “Furthermore, we humbly ask our donors and supporters to contribute so that we can set up more such camps and support vulnerable children and communities.”

For international donations:

Account name: Foundation of His Sacred Majesty
Bank: National Bank of India
Account number: 31203682095
Fork: Selaiyur, Chennai
Swift Code: SBININBB298
IFSC code: SBIN0007948

For donations in India:

Account name: Foundation of His Sacred Majesty
Bank: National Bank of India
Account number: 30522574810
Fork: Selaiyur, Chennai
IFSC code: SBIN0007948

For more information:

E-mail: [email protected]
Such: +91-9791239333 / +91-8680020086 / +91-9840813935

“In the last fiscal year, we were able to help more than 400 beneficiaries through this program,” Prabu said. “And for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, we targeted at least 500 children affected by retinoblastoma.”

Image courtesy of FHSM

Named in commemoration of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (rc 268-c. 232 BCE), a key figure in the spread of Buddhism across Asia, His Sacred Majesty’s Foundation was founded in 2007 with the mission to: “to preserve, promote and disseminate the principles of liberty, equality, fraternity and social justice through non-formal education, sustainable livelihoods and conservation of ecology, alternative/preventive medicine , social empowerment, social advocacy and social development to restore the human dignity of the poor and marginalized. (Facebook) The FHSM is affiliated with the International Network of Committed Buddhists.

See more

Her Sacred Majesty’s Foundation (Facebook)
Her Sacred Majesty’s Foundation (LinkedIn)
International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

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