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Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Non-profit FHSM Holds Free Eye Clinics for Underprivileged Communities in Chennai, India

FHSM founder and president Rev. Gauthama Prabhu. Image courtesy of FHSM

The socially engaged Buddhist non-profit organization Foundation of His Sacred Majesty (FHSM) has conducted three free eye clinics for underprivileged communities in the Indian city of Chennai, where the organization runs multiple programs aimed at assisting and empowering socially marginalized and economically challenged  communities.

“The Foundation of His Sacred Majesty has implemented three eye camps in the neighborhoods of Kaspapuram, Kamarajapuram and Perambur. All of these slum localities are in Chennai,” FHSM president Rev. Gauthama Prabu told BDG. “Through these three clinics, FHSM has so far supported 59 elderly persons with free cataract surgeries, and 381 poor people with free spectacles. We thank all of our doctors, well-wishers, and supporters for helping to make mission this such a success.”

Named in commemoration of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (r. c. 268–c. 232 BCE), a key figure in the propagation of Buddhism across Asia, the Foundation of His Sacred Majesty was established in 2007 with a mission to “preserve, promote, and disseminate the principles of liberty, equality, fraternity, and social justice through non-formal education, sustainable livelihood, and conservation of ecology, alternative/preventive medicines, social empowerment, social advocacy, and social development in order for the restoration of the human dignity of the poor and marginalized.” (Facebook)

FHSM is affiliated with the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB).

Image courtesy of FHSM
Images courtesy of FHSM

“Blindness is one of the most debilitating health disorders and avoidable blindness is a major international health problem,” Rev. Prabu explained. “The World Health Organization estimates that 180 million people suffer from severe visual impairment (legally blind, by International standards). The leading cause of blindness throughout the world is cataracts and 90 per cent of this blindness is found in the developing world. Approximately 80 per cent of blindness is avoidable and can be prevented or cured with appropriate treatment. Thus, FHSM aims to support 10 remote eye camps per year.”

FHSM’s free eye clinics are supported by the Mumbai-headquartered company All Cargo Logistics, with medical expertise provided in cooperation with medical organizations such as Agarwal Eye Hospital and the L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad.

“Thousands suffer from needless cataract blindness and ocular disability in India, especially in Tamil Nadu and Telangana, owing to inadequacy and inaccessibility of services,” Rev. Prabu observed. “Amid growing demand, we are making every effort to maximize the benefit and reach of our existing services. With simplified and relatively non-invasive surgical technique for lens replacement now available, we have found medical camps to be an effective and safe strategy for treating large numbers of people in one go.

“In total we plan to complete 10 camps in Chennai with 200 free cataract surgeries, and 15 camps in Hyderabad with 300 free cataract surgeries,” Rev. Prabu noted.

Headquartered in Chennai (formerly Madras), the state capital of Tamil Nadu, FHSM is founded on and guided by the principles of socially engaged Buddhism, and is closely focused on deprived and marginalized communities. The foundation’s activities are based on four broad propositions: protecting and conserving ecosystems; promoting alternative healthcare systems; social transformation through strengthening grassroots democracy and good governance; and sustainable livelihoods, education, and social empowerment.

Image courtesy of FHSM
Images courtesy of FHSM

“We are profoundly grateful for the tireless work of our staff and volunteers, who have co-operated and co-ordinated with FHSM to implement our outreach programs,” Rev. Prabu emphasized. “And we cannot express enough gratitude for the generous contributions of our donors—corporates, grant-making institutions, and partnership with hospitals, community leaders, healthcare workers, social workers, and community organizers, for helping to make our efforts a reality! Your constant motivation and support plays a key role in all our endeavors. Thank you for always being on our side—keeping showering your loving-kindness!”

For more information: 

Email[email protected]
Tel: +91-9791239333 / +91-8680020086 / +91-9840813935

For international donations:

Account name: Foundation of His Sacred Majesty
Bank: State Bank of India
Account number: 31203682095
Branch: Selaiyur, Chennai
SWIFT code: SBININBB298
IFSC code: SBIN0007948

For donations within India:

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

* Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Non-profit FHSM Holds Free Eye Clinic in Chennai (BDG), Engaged Buddhism: Non-profit FHSM Offers Progress Report on Free Eye Clinic Program (BDG), and Engaged Buddhism Update: Non-profit FHSM Holds Free Eye Clinic in Hyderabad on Christmas Day (BDG)

See more

Foundation of His Sacred Majesty (Facebook)
Foundation of His Sacred Majesty India (YouTube)
Foundation of His Sacred Majesty (LinkedIn)
International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

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