Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath (born 24 February 1940) is the Indian founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai; one of India's eye hospitals.He is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences.
Dr Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath was born in Triplicane, a suburb of Chennai, India. His father, S. V. Srinivasa Rao, an engineer was employed in the Madras Government Service. Badrinath's mother, Lakshmi Devi was the daughter of an advocate from Nerur, Tamil Nadu. He lost both his parents while still in his teens and completed his medical studies from the insurance money obtained following the demise of his father. Beginning his education late at age 7, due to a childhood illness, Dr Badrinath studied at PS High School,Mylapore and Sri Ramakrishna Mission High School, Chennai. He completed his collegiate studied at Loyola College between 1955 and 1957.
Badrinath graduated from the Madras Medical College, Madras in 1963. He did his internship and a year of internal medicine residency at the Glasslands Hospital, New York, USA. Following the study of Basic Sciences in Ophthalmology at the New York University postgraduate Medical School, he did residency in Ophthalmology at the Brooklyn eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, and a fellowship with the legendary Dr. Charles Schepens, regarded by many in the profession as "the father of modern retinal surgery, at the Retina Service of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in 1969 and Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1970. He returned to India in 1970 and from 1970, for a period of six years, Dr. Badrinath worked at the Voluntary Health Services, Chennai as a consultant. He set up his private practice in ophthalmology and vitreoretinal surgery at the H.M.Hospital (1970 to 1972) and Vijaya Hospital, Chennai (1973 to 1978). He has over 60 peer reviewed publications till date.
In 1974, Dr. Badrinath had the opportunity to serve his spiritual guru, Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekerendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the 68th Peetathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and it was in 1976 when addressing a group of doctors, Hindu spiritual guru, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, the Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam spoke of the need to create a hospital with a missionary spirit. Heeding the guru's words, Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath, along with a group of philanthropists founded the Medical & Vision Research Foundations in Madras in 1978 with an object of practicing quality eye care in ophthalmology, training and teaching of Ophthalmology and pursue research in Ophthalmology. Sankara Nethralaya, a charitable not-for-profit eye hospital is a unit of the Medical Research Foundation.
In a solemn function held at the premises of the Vijaya Hospital, Chennai with Semmangudi Srinivasa Aiyer offering the prayer, the project was inaugurated.
In 30 years, Sankara Nethralaya has grown into a super specialty institution for ophthalmic care and receives patients from all over the country and from abroad. Sankara Nethralaya today has over 10000 employees under its wings.
On an average, 1200 patients walk through the hospital doors and 100 surgeries are performed every day.Right from its inception in 1978, Sankara Nethralaya has been offering Fellowship programmes in Vitreo-Retinal Surgery, Cornea, Oculoplasty, Glaucoma, Uvea and General Ophthalmology to holders of Postgraduate Degree and Diploma in Ophthalmology. The institute also offers training programmes for graduates in Post graduation in Ophthalmology.