Cover Story:A Home Away from Home
Intro: Dr Shyam Sunder Prasad, a leading ophthalmologist whose ancestors hailed from Peshawar in Pakistan roughly 400 years ago. Dr Shyam believes every doctor should be humane and serve with utmost humility.
A Home away from Home for many of those who migrated to Hyderabad in search of greener pastures and the city is blessed to have many whose cultural assimilation is complete.
Dr Shyam Sunder Prasad, a leading ophthalmologist whose ancestors hailed from Peshawar in Pakistan roughly 400 years ago. He described himself as a ‘Brahma Kshatriya’ by caste denoting for intellect and bravery. His great grandfather Rai Bal Mukund was from Varanasi graduating from Madras University became a Chief Justice of the Hyderabad court during 1920 and feels proud of have started a society called ‘Adi Hindu Samaj’. It is said that Balmukund considerable political administration was even recognized by Nizam Government then and was appointed as Political Reforms Committee set up in 1919 When Arya Samaj, Hindu Mahasabha and Congress started agitation in Hyderabad.
A social reformer par excellence his great grandfather helped setting up schools for untouchables and long even before Gandhi started Harijan Seva Samaj. Balmukund even willed that his body be handed over to Adi- Hindu for cremation along with a donation of Rs 4000/-. His gesture it appears his family was ostracised by Brahma Kshatriya community. His crusade against alcoholism was rampant and personally led the struggle to his last. His sons Barrister Shri Kishen consented to his father last wish of cremation.
Barrister Shri Kishen was the only one to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against State Re-organisation Committee in Hyderabad in 1954 and wrote a letter to Pandit Nehru opposing the very formation of states on linguistic basis. He foresaw trouble brewing in states owing to narrow parochial interests which according to him is detrimental to nation’s unity and integrity.
Hailing from such an illustrious family of social reformers Dr Shyam Prasad recalls his grandfather Barrister Shri Kishen quote who was a contemporary of Veer Savarkar thus “Salutations to the French who gave statue of liberty to the Americans and freedom fighters to the colonists”(British). His uncle was Dr P Ramachander, who is the founder of the Sarojini Eye Hospital in Hyderabad and he was the one who inspired Dr Prasad to become an ophthalmologist.
Dr Shyam believes every doctor should be humane and serve with utmost humility. He served as a eye surgeon at the Sadhuram Eye Hospital in Hyderabad without seeking any remuneration from 1974-1992.He was awarded the life time Achievement award by AP state Ophthalmic society and Distinguished services Award in 2001. He is the visiting Guest Professor Ophthalmology Sunny New York USA since 1994 and Fellow Member board of Directors, International Society for Orbital Disorders.
After Seeking speciality training in Retina & Artificial from Boston he runs his own institution called Kanchan Eye Hosptal and Research Centre named after his father Kanhaiyalal and Mother Chanda Bai ,which till dates sustains as public service institution. After conducting Eye camps at rural places in Telangana districts, inpatients are brought to this research centre for surgeries and provided food and shelter at the premises for the poor and the needy.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and are immortal” Says Dr Shyam quoting Albert Pike. He calls himself intensely devotional and spiritual having visited all the religious shrines including Manas Sarovar. He now conducts free classes for Post graduation students in ophthalmology besides attending free consultation on Eye care.
He signs off with the remarks that you have only one life to live and only chance of living it fully, believe in your dreams. His son too is an ophthalmologist who is following his family footsteps serving the poor and needy. —Nagaraja Rao
A Jewellery Appraiser to Hyderabad Nizam
Gemology as a science was unknown to India in 1950’s when late Govindas Mukandas, the jeweller and appraiser to the erstwhile Nizam the ruler of Deccan, initiated study of gems and jewellery in a scientific way. He successfully used his vast knowledge of the gem deposits of Golconda area. India. His knowledge about the occurrence, formation, cutting and mining there along with his experience in gems like Ruby, Sapphire mines acted as solid base. He then incorporated the optical physical, chemical properties of the stones and laid the foundation for gemology in 1970’s.