“Compassion and empathy towards fellow beings forms the foundation of this eye institute", Dr. Laxman Singh Jhala, Alakh Nayan Mandir, Udaipur

“Compassion and empathy towards fellow beings forms the foundation of this eye institute", Dr. Laxman Singh Jhala, Alakh Nayan Mandir, Udaipur

Introducing Dr Laxman Singh Jhala of Alakh Nayan Mandir, the team that took forward the dream of Dr H.S. Chundawat.

 
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Dr. Laxman shares the story, vision and mission of Alakh Nayan Mandir, Udaipur

The growth in institutions offering medical services at Udaipur have taken the healthcare domain of the region to an altogether new orbit. One such name, which stands out from the new and old healthcare setups in Udaipur is that of Alakh Nayan Mandir, which carries with it a four decade history of eyecare and philanthropy. The journey from a clinic that started with one  doctor to a multi-speciality eye hospital with a staff of over hundred is a result of twenty-five years of selfless service and dedication.

Under the People of Udaipur series from UdaipurTimes, we had the privilege of interacting with Dr. Laxman Singh Jhala of Alakh Nayan Mandir, Udaipur. Dr. Jhala has taken forward Dr. H.S. Chundawat’s dream and vision of bringing light to the lives of underprivileged people through Alakh Nayan Mandir. The institute, which started with just one doctor, Dr. H.S. Chundawat himself and a few support staff, now boasts of a complete organisation in itself. Alakh Nayan Mandir now has a team of nearly two hundred personnel reaching out to approximately one lakh people each year. Dr. Laxman narrates the story of Alakh Nayan Mandir, which we are happy to share with our readers.

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Early Years and Education in Udaipur

Dr. Laxman belongs to a very simple family from Jhadol Village of Udaipur district and his humble upbringing has shaped his personality to a great extent. Dr. Laxman Singh Jhala did his schooling from St Paul’s School, Udaipur and graduated in Medicine from RNT Medical College, Udaipur. Thereafter he received his post graduate degree in Medicine with a specialization in Ophthalmology from Jaipur.

After his marriage to Dr Laxmi in 1997, he came under the divine influence of Her Holiness Mahatma Bhuri Bai, which further developed him into an empathetic human being.

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Alakh Nayan Mandir

Dr. Laxman explained that Chundawat Eye Hospital was established in 1984 as a private entity by the well-known ophthalmologist, Dr. HS Chundawat. In the year 1997, Dr. Chundawat founded a trust named Alakh Nayan Mandir and donated Chundawat Eye Hospital in totality to this newly formed trust. The vision and mission of Alakh Nayan Mandir was to provide quality eye care to all without any discrimination and to reach out to those patients who could not afford it.

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Alakh Nayan Mandir derives its inspiration of service to humanity from Her Holiness Mahatma Bhuri Bai “Alakh’, a lady saint from Nathdwara who practiced the visualization of ‘One God in All’, an extremely powerful message through which she has inspired scores of people. According to her, every human being or rather every creature on this planet is a physical representation of all-pervading God or Supreme Power. Hence, service to humanity is service to God. Dr. Chundawat was greatly influenced by her teachings.  

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Philanthropic work undertaken by Alakh Nayan Mandir

Broad statistical figures are as follows:

  • Total Patients treated: 11,27,815
  • Total Free Patients treated (36%): 4,07,981
  • Patients provided with Surgical and Advanced Services: 1,18,912
  • Patients provided with Free Surgical and Advanced Services (55%): 65,649
  • Village Camps: 3,401
  • Patients benefitted (free treatment): 4,07,981
  • Schools screened: 1,748
  • School Children treated: 3,16,148
  • Corneal Transplant Surgeries: 458
  • Patients treated through Vision Centres in Villages: 66,876

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Services offered by Alakh Nayan Mandir

Alakh Nayan Mandir provides eye care services in three broad categories:

  • Quality Eye Treatment
  • Community Eye Care Programs
  • Teaching and Training Programs

Quality Eye Care

Alakh Nayan Mandir offers its patient an array of high-end, state-of-the-art eye care services in the following super-specialties.

  • Cataract – No stitch Phaco surgery: SICS / Phaco with foldable & multifocal implants- Alakh Nayan is a pioneer in Rajasthan to adopt the Phaco technique for cataract surgery 
  • Retina & Vitreous
  • Glaucoma
  • Refractive Surgery – Lasers
  • Oculoplastics
  • Low Vision Aids
  • Contact Lens Clinic
  • Cornea/Anterior Segment
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology and Squint
  • Corneal Transplantation Centre (Eye Transplant) 

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Community Eye Care Programs

The community outreach program of Alakh Nayan Mandir is managed by Dr. Meenakshi Chundawat, daughter of Dr. H.S. Chundawat and younger sister of Dr. Laxmi Jhala. Dr.Meenakshi completed her studies from the L V Prasad Eye Institute in Community Eye Health and joined Alakh Nayan Mandir. She has been with the institution since 15 years now and looks after the vision centres, camps and community work. Under the guidance of Dr. Meenakshi, Alakh' community eye care program comprises of the following three modules of work:

  1. Eye Care Services for underprivileged

  • Free eye screening camps are organized in remote rural and tribal villages in the entire Udaipur division.
  • Team from Alakh Nayan Mandir goes to the campsite.
  • Patients are screened for all kinds of eye problems. 
  • Preliminary treatment is provided on the spot and patients who need surgical treatment or detailed investigations are then transported back to the base hospital. 
  • They are then operated upon with the latest and most sophisticated technology. 
  • Expenditure for the arrangement of stay, food and medicine is also borne by the institute. 
  • Follow-up check ups are done after five days and final follow up check-up after one month of surgery.
  • Alakh Nayan Mandir has organized 3,407 Eye Camps till date and has provided eye care services to 4,07,981 patients.

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  1. Vision Centres in 12 Villages –Primary Eye Care Services in the villages 

  • Alakh NAYAN Mandir has 12 Vision Centres in 12 Villages in this region, which are equipped with basic eye check-up units and equipment required for a primary level of eye care for villagers.
  • The idea is to provide low-cost or free services at their doorstep and connect them to the base hospital for advanced treatment if required. 
  • This helps in timely intervention and cost saving for villagers who would have otherwise spent a considerable amount of money to come to nearby cities for checkup and treatment.
  • A team of vision technicians and community health workers even do a population survey to assess the quantum of eye problems in that region. Based on this data, the team from base hospital plans eye care programs and camps in those areas. 
  • Alakh Nayan Mandir is the only eye hospital in South Rajasthan doing such activities. 

  1. School Eye Care Programme

  • Preliminary screening of school students is done absolutely free of cost in the school premises itself.
  • The training of teachers is done for vision testing so that they may assist in the screening process.
  • Students with diminished vision and other eye problems are referred to the base hospital for further investigation and are then provided with spectacles.
  • Idea is to screen children at a young age and provide timely treatment.

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Besides all of the above, Alakh Nayan Mandir has programs for premature babies who are born with eye disease called  Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), which leads to blindness if not treated on time. 

They also have a program on Diabetic Retinopathy, which is an eye condition caused by diabetes.  The Program is named as Community Based Diabetic Retinopathy Project. The program encompasses population surveys and studies, creating awareness about the disease, organizing screening camps, identifying prospective patients, and finally offering them the required treatment.

Major Recognition and Awards received by Alakh Nayan Mandir 

  • Maharana Mewar Foundation Award for its philanthropic services at the state level.
  • Honoured by District Administration, Udaipur (Government of Rajasthan) for its rural and community outreach activities.
  • Numerous gold medals in the annual state conferences of Rajasthan for the best research papers 
  • Awarded for best paper presentations in various conferences nationally and internationally.
  • Invited as Faculty in some of the most prestigious conferences at state, national and international level. 
  • Honoured by then Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt Vasundhara Raje for its exemplary philanthropic services to humanity. 
  • Honoured by various voluntary organizations and groups for its blindness prevention programs.

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“Compassion and empathy towards fellow beings forms the foundation of this eye institute. Dr. H. S. Chundawat, the Founder–Trustee of Alakh Nayan Mandir, who despite having a blooming private practice as an ophthalmologist, transformed his entire business into a public charitable trust, so that he could reach out to greater number of underprivileged patients and serve them with a selfless heart." - Dr. Laxman Singh Jhala 

Chiranjeevi and other health insurance plans

Dr. Laxman informed that Alakh Nayan Mandir is empanelled with Chiranjeevi, Rajasthan Government Health Scheme, Ex Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme, and many other private insurance schemes. It is also a recognized hospital by the National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It is actively working with NPCB on blindness prevention activities in South Rajasthan, by providing free eye care to the needy and also by imparting high quality education services to in-practice government ophthalmologists.

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Training Programs and courses

  • Alakh Nayan Mandir has a few long term courses running currently:
  • Post Graduate Course DNB in Ophthalmology also known as NBEMS equivalent to MS in Ophthalmology
  • One Year Comprehensive Fellowships in Ophthalmology
  • Two Year Certificate Course for Vision Technicians 

Besides, there are various ongoing training programs for Community Health Workers, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers and for in-house nursing and support staff 

Till date 92 Ophthalmologists in various categories have been trained at Alakh Nayan Mandir coming from various parts of the country and 4 of them were foreign nationals. 

More than 500 candidates from allied health workforce have been trained under various initiatives. 

Future plans:

  • Alakh Nayan plans to impart a Diploma or a Degree course in Optometry which will be 3-4 years course.
  • There are plans for one year fellowships in various other super-specialities of ophthalmology for post graduates.

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