Permanent Project

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.

We grew
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:

Period Details Amount
‘80s Various Fund raising projects- first fixed deposit started Rs.50,000
1994-95 Silver Jubilee Year fund raising Rs.1,00,000
1999 Datuk Dorai Raju Rs.8,00,000
1999 Lions/Lioness Clubs in Malaysia Rs.2,00,000
2000s Former students of PDG PS Rou Rs.3,00,000

A milestone
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.

 

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