Venkat Garu - Leading from the front since 2000
Either we have to sacrifice family life, or get the family involved in this cause!
Venkat Maddipati or Venkat-garu as we fondly call him, smiles as he talks about the humungous challenge accepted by Sankara Eye Foundation, USA – its trustees, staff, and volunteers.
They promise: “A million free eye surgeries every year“ from 2030 onwards. The task is huge, not only by promises, but by the sheer scale it represents.
Having adhered with Sankara since 2000, first just as a donor, and later as a major supporter, Venkat-garu talks about the satisfaction that comes with the cause.
He started engaging with the foundation since 2003-04, being actively involved in the fundraising, when the Bay Area Telugu Association supported the Guntur Project.
Venkat-garu is now on the Board of Trustees of Sankara Eye Foundation, USA.
Since then, it has been a steep climb into the nitty-gritties of the building of 12 Sankara and 14 partner hospitals and on the way to build more in the next few years, as Sankara USA aims to touch a million lives per year.
“This means that I have 2 full time jobs, my 9-5 job at Oracle, and the rest of every working day and weekend at Sankara.
“But I am no one to complain. Being at Sankara is highly satisfying.
“We encounter many old people at the hospitals, whose own kids have abandoned them, but the care and kindness they receive from Sankara team is life-changing for them.
“Such stories warm our hearts and keep us motivated.
“On top of that, our own children understand the value of giving, and most of the families of the board members and volunteers are involved with the fundraising events in some way or the other.
“So, it's always a family gathering here!
“There is no other joy I would look forward to!”