What would you do if your cushy life as a Doctor with a wife and two beautiful child was turned upside down when you lose your entire family (wife and children) to a terrorist attack? Hard to imagine some thing like this to us but Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri took this personal tragedy as the opportunity to help the less fortunate.
Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri was born on November 20, 1943 to Ramayamma Sankurathri and Appala Narasayya Sankurathri at Singarayakonda in Andhra Pradesh, India. Dr. Sankurathri is the youngest child in the family. He spent his academic years at various schools including East Godavari District, Waltair, University of Alberta, Municipal High School at Rajahmundry, and Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada. While in Canada, he worked at the Ministry of Fisheries as a visiting scientist and at Ministry of Health as a scientific evaluator.
Nominated for CNN Heroes in 2008
The terrible tragedy
On May 13, 1975, Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri was married to Manjari in Kakinada, India. The couple had a daughter Sarada Manjari and a son Srikiran. Unfortunately, his family was killed during the bombing of the Air India Flight 182 on June 23, 1985. It is truly hard for him to accept what happened to his family. It took time before he gets over on the said accident. For years, he finds it hard to accomplish his daily routine, not wanting to accept the truth.
After some soul-searching, Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri decided to quit his job in Canada and return to India in 1988. He then created the Sankurathri Memorial Foundation in Canada in memory of his wife and family. Aside from this, Dr. Sankurathri also founded the Sankurathri Foundation in 1989 in India. This foundation aims to improve the quality of life of those who are less fortunate especially the ones who are living in remote and rural areas of Andhra Pradesh. He has built an eye hospital as well as a school at Kuruthu.
The Sarada School, which was named after Dr. Sankurathri, has already produced around 1,200 graduated since its establishment. Sankurathri asserts that no student in the school drops out. In fact, most of them finish high school and go to college. This school aims to supply free education for the poor people.
Srikiran Institutes of Ophthalmology
Moreover, the Srikiran Institutes of Ophthalmology was also established in 1993 and was named after his son Srikiran. The foundation aims in providing them with quality health care and education. Until 2008 more than 137,000 cataract surgeries have been performed at Chandrasekhar Sankurathri’s eye hospital.
Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri has taken an irreplaceable personal loss into a motivation to help thousands. Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri serves as a true inspiration and example of what can be achieved by the positive outlook of one man.
Find more information about Dr Chandrasekhar Sankurathri’s Foundation – http://www.sankurathri.org