Center for Service
Here is an amazing story of how a group of pioneers with
vision and an in born spirit of service enabled the establishment of a
centre which till today stands as a pride of Lions Club of Thiruvanmiyur:
Dr.Krishnamurthy, Charter Member was a man full of ideas.
The most significant and enduring one of them was a health centre to be
run by the Club.
We cared for health
It all started in the second year the Club was born, as a health meet
twice a month in late Charter Member Ranjan's house. Dr.Krishnamurthy,
and Dr. Viswanathan, who joined the Club the second year, desired a regular
health Centre. Together they located a place in Kottivakkam. They had
to walk 6 furlongs along a canal to reach the place. There was massive
support from Lion Ladies under the leadership of Lion Lady K.C.Paul (Paul
was a Charter Member) for running the Centre.
Sound of drums
In the third year, it was Dr.Krishnamurthy who first conceived the idea
of conducting a medical camp, the first ever within the Lions fraternity
in Chennai. He managed to get several doctors for conducting general check
up. Dr. Viswanathan got dental students to conduct dental check up. A
most innovative method was adopted by Dr.Krishnamurhty for publicity –
announcement about the camp by drum beat at vantage points 15 days in
advance of the camp. Besides this a lot of publicity was generated through
Tamil dailies and other means. The local Panchayat President attended
the camp. After two or three months, a senior officer of Publications
Division ensured the event was gazetted. At the camp, besides general
and health screening some laboratory tests were undertaken. Even dental
extraction was performed.
Thereafter for the next ten years, a minimum of two camps per year was
carried out. Presidents of other clubs used to attend the camps. There
was tremendous response from the community at these camps. Our Club soon
rose in stature in the community and within the District.
Without seeking publicity, Dr. Viswanathan on his own used to give free
dental screening/ treatment to five orphan boys of Santhome School every
week. Such was the spirit of service among our members.
A dream realised
Meanwhile at Thiruvanmiyur, at South Mada Street, Thiruvanmiyur, a Balwadi
was run by Avvai Home. This place was also a home for working blind ladies
and reading for the blind took place regularly. Lakshmanan knew Ms.Manda
Krishnamurthy, MLC and Hon.Secretary of Thiruvanmiyur Project Committee
Balwadi, sponsored by Adyar of community medical service. That helped
fructify the efforts of Lakshmanan and Charter Member, Sivakumar to persuade
Manda to hand over to our Club the premises in South Mada Street, leased
to the Association by Marundeeswarar Temple Authorities. With this, a
full fledged Medical Centre for the Club, at a more easily accessible
place became a reality. Initially because of the nature of its services
it was known as Child Welfare Centre.
Doctors in attendance
Dr.Krishnamurthy initially looked after the Centre. Possibly due to pressure
of work, he had passed it over to his assistant Dr.Radha. Two Lion Ladies,
by turns were in regular attendance every Saturday to help at the Centre.
However for a few years there was a lull In 1983-84, when Kesava Murthy
was President, he got the service to resume. Dr.Arun Kumar, a young medical
graduate, was identified to help at the Centre two days a week. He was
a dedicated doctor and like his predecessors volunteered his services
initially, with only transport expenses of Rs.200 a month paid to him,
increased much later to Rs.800/- a month.
In 1999 -2000, Dr.Arun Kumar handed over the baton to Dr.Kalaiselvan
who continues to visit the Centre Monday to Saturday from 5 to 7 pm.
The Centre as it is today
When A.R.Krishnan started taking interest in the Centre, under the guidance
of Tamil Nadu Dada Pharmceuticals where he worked, immunisation of children
was undertaken. Polio and vaccine drops used to be preserved suitably
in a box. The Centre used to get on an average 30 to 55 patients a day.
Vaccines were provided free of cost. In 1998, it was decided to treat
adults as well. Because of this activity the Centre also came to be known
as Vaccination Centre. It was also decided to charge patients a nominal
sum of Rs.1/-.
Soon what was once a thatched construction got a concrete roof. A big
meeting hall and a smaller AC room for members to hold Board meetings
and to store club materials soon found a place at rectangle to the existing
room. M.S.Pillai, the Civil Engineer undertook the construction. On Datuk
Dorai Rajoo’s (PDG Ln.Rou’s student – see table below)
request, the hall was named after Madhubalan, son of his childhood friend,
Dr.I. Kuppuswamy of Kuala Lumpur. Madhubalan died young in a tragic accident.
All this took place between the years 1999 and 2003. N. Ramesh had also
made substantial contribution to the growth of the Centre.
P.S.Rou, PDG, along with his sister-in-law, Ms. Vijayalakshmi Babu Rao
donated a Dental Chair on 7th September 2002. With this dental treatment
became an added service at the Centre since the last four years, albeit
with a one year break. For the last one year dental services are running
well twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5 pm to 7 pm.
The centre had no water and sewer connection all along. It was in 2006-2007,
during the Presidency of V.Dhanaraj, a Metro Water Engineer, that the
connection was made possible.
Like all well run and growing organisations we too had to augment our
services and expand. This could not happen without funds.
With P.S.Rou successfully having twinned our Club with Lions Club of
Kulim, there was a windfall of fundsAs a former pupil of P.S.Rou in Malaysia,
he probably considered the amount as his Guru Dakshina. The Club was so
grateful for his gesture that it decided to enrol him as an Honorary member.
Thereafter our kitty for the premises grew through periodic additions
by way of fund raising efforts, largely made possible by AR Krishnan,
K.Veeramani and A S Subramaniam and a few others.
How our funds started growing, at a glance:
||Various Fund raising projects- first fixed deposit started
||Silver Jubilee Year fund raising
||Datuk Dorai Raju
||Lions/Lioness Clubs in Malaysia
||Former students of PDG PS Rou
The Centre, with its spacious compound and rooms was crying for more activity.
Meetings and camps of other Clubs and organisations took place there but
these were few and far between. RASA, an organisation for the specially
challenged fulfilled the need. It was looking for a suitable place to
house its school and found our Centre suitable. During the second stint
of A.S. Subramanian as President and through his untiring efforts, it
started functioning at the premises after renovating a dilapidated construction
at one side of the premises.
The Medical Centre has been a pride of our Club always. It is our hope
that it grows from strength to strength and becomes a prime health service
centre for the community at Thiruvanmiyur.