Late Dr. R. K. Seth
Dr. Rajendra Seth (October 02, 1939 to January 29, 1996) was an Indian philanthropist and ophthalmologist who founded Venu Charitable Society. With a mission to ensure quality eye care reaches the doorstep of visually-afflicted, irrespective of their ability to pay.
After graduating from Amritsar Medical College, Dr. R.K. Seth did his Masters from Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi in 1966. Thereafter, he worked as a consultant at Tirath Ram Jessa Ram and St. Stephen’s Hospitals. He also ran clinics at Kamla Nagar, Chandni Chowk, Defence Colony, Greater Kailash-I and paid a weekly visit to Agra and Muzzafarnagar in the 1970’s. In the summer of 1976, at the peak of his career, he suffered a major heart attack, followed by a second attack in October of the same year. Two consecutive heart attacks at such a young age set him thinking about the purpose of his life and an answer to the ever elusive question, “What are we here for?”
It was divine intervention and his unshakeable vision that made him decide it was an apt time to return to society what he had received from it. He was resolute on using his skills, which had gained him the name and fame as a brilliant ophthalmologist, for the service of those visually impaired who needed it the most but were unable to access it. One out of every five persons blind in the world was an Indian, most of whom not could not reach the clinics let alone afford the cure. All logic was against the goal, it seemed an impossible task, but that is exactly what fuelled the Visionary. The Lord played the flute, savings and equipment collected over 15 years of private practice became the first offerings on the altar of charity; every blind and visually impaired person became a child to be nurtured. And, in 1980, Venu was born.
Dr. Seth passed away in 1996 at the young age of 56, but not before he had created a successful model of accessible and affordable eye care – The Venu Eye Institute – which, when replicated, would effectively combat the problem of blindness in India.