AUTHOR : RTN. J. BALARAMAN


The meeting began with the customary silent invocation, and the President welcoming the Chief Guest, RCME members and visiting Rotarians and guests.   Rtn Damu began the day’s announcements with the anniversary and birthday greetings to the members.


Following this was an important part of the day’s program – that of induction of new members. The Director – Membership Development, Rtn. Murugavel Selvan kick-started the ceremony by informing the club that we will be inducting two new members into the folds of RCME, Mr. Sahithkumar and Ms Lathika Sandeep. Rtn Babu Krishnamurthy introduced the two new members by reading out their profiles as well as highlighting their classifications. The “Induction Charge” was then read out by President Ananth to both the prospective members. The District Chairman, Rtn Ramani of RC Madras West had also kindly agreed to be present on this important occasion and he was invited to pin them, and Sahithkumar and Lathika read out the oath. Rtn Ramani then gave a very nice overview of how they will go on to remember the evening as one that created a huge impact in their lives. The newly inducted Rotarians thanked the club for accepting them as members and conveyed their commitment to participate actively in all the projects of RCME, going forward.


Rtn Rajini Thurakia then introduced the Speaker and Chief Guest for the evening, Optometrist P S Rekhi who was to talk on the subject  “For Your Eyes Only “.

Mr. Rekhi started off with the importance of taking care of the eye during the formative years of a child. Apparently, it is a research finding that for children, 83% of the learning happens thru the eyes as opposed to other senses. Unlike other parts of the body, 70% of the eye is already developed at birth and only 30% development happens after and all of it happens in the first 3 years. So, it is imperative that all of us pay attention to the development of vision during those early stages and look out for signs of abnormalities. There are 137 million sensors in the eye with 100 million cables connecting it to the brain and fixating has to happen early and ensure that there is no squint by 6th month.   Amblyopia, a condition also known as lazy eye, wherein everything appears normal in the eye except that the vision is not normal, has to be sorted out by two and a half years, else it could be a lifelong problem.

He then went on to talk about how we deal with injuries without seriousness and how a lot of times a blunt injury can cause a lot more damage as compared to a penetrating injury, and similarly a metal vs vegetative matter injury. As regards the Ageing Eye, he stated that Cataract is not a disease and his recommendation was not to treat it unless it is absolutely necessary. Another condition in ageing eyes is Glaucoma – industry used to assume that 1% of people had it, but a research by Shankar Netralaya showed it was 6.3%. And another important point regarding Glaucoma is not to use just pressure as an indication, but one has to look at the nerve and also do field tests which is the most common now – viz, OCT – picture of the retina is taken and it is used as a tool to monitor but not to treat.

Finally, he talked about the most common eye problem of today’s times: the Computer Vision Syndrome. 80% of people who use some form of display or the other for more than 3 hours a day suffer from this and one of the most common reasons is the lack of lubrication by tears, which has 1100 components. As a reference, he said the blink rate, which is normally 15/ min, falls down to 6 when you are staring at the screen. He said that the Anti reflection coatings in spectacles are a must. He ended by highlighting that Blue Light, which is a high energy visible radiation, emitted by CFLs and LEDs can also affect the eyes and there are some blue blocker lenses available too.

After the Speaker finished his talk, there was a healthy Q&A session that was both highly informative and humorous. Secretary, Rtn Sudarsan then made his announcements about three high power meetings in the next three weeks : Project Rush on March 29th, Women’s Entrepreneur Award on April 5th and the Governor’s Official Visit on April 12th.

Rtn Moloy Chaudhri, who was the Day Chair, then proposed the Vote of Thanks and the President adjourned the meeting.