Friday, October 3, 2008

Seeing is believing

It is rather ironical that if you come here on account of the raison d'être of this institution, you may not be inclined to gaze upon its wonderful heritage buildings. However, you can take consolation in the fact that, given its record, this institution will enable you to do so when you leave its grounds after completing your course of treatment. That's kind of reflected in the motto of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and Government Ophthalmic Hospital: "To make the unseen - seen".

While Chennai is justifiably proud of its modern eyecare facilities, the RIOGOH can take especial pride in being the fount of them all. When it was established in 1819, the Madras Eye Infirmary was the second specialized ophthalmic hospital in the world, the first being Moorfields in London, which was opened in 1805. The Madras Eye Infirmary grew, and after being housed out of a couple of temporary facilities moved into these buildings on Marshalls Road in 1884. The first time I went in there was in 1981, when a friend had an accident that badly damaged his eye and the next time was a couple of weeks ago, to take some photographs for the blog.

On my first visit, I was too young - and in too much of a panic mode - to appreciate the heritage of this insititution. I will be back here very soon, for the Elliot's Museum of Ophthalmology seems to be something worth visiting!


Hilda said...

The building and grounds are beautiful, but its history and heritage are even more so!

sansmerci said...

i've blogrolled u at :)

Shantaram said...

>> Hilda>> And it took me more than 25 years to recognize it!

>> Sansmerci>> Is that a ploy to get me to write more about food? :)
I'm honoured, though!