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Home >> Case studies from the Indian Voluntary Sector >> Aravind Eye Hospital

Aravind Eye Hospital

About the Organisation

Under the leadership of Dr. G. Venkataswamy (also known as Dr V), Aravind Eye Hospital was founded in Madurai in 1976 with the mission to eliminate needless blindness . Now in its 29th year, Aravind's innovative eye care delivery system is recognised as a model for other developing countries. Much importance is given to ensure that all patients are accorded the same care and high quality service, regardless of their economic status. As a result of a unique fee system and effective management, Aravind is able to provide free eye care to two-thirds of its patients from the revenue generated from the other third of its paying patients.

Aravind follows the principle that large volume, high quality service result in low cost and self-sustainability. Aravind's network of hospitals has the distinction of being the most productive eye care organisation in the world, in terms of surgical volume and the number of patients treated.

With less than one percent of the country's ophthalmic manpower, Aravind performs about five percent of all cataract surgeries in India.

The Aravind Board

  1. The majority of Aravindís Board primarily comprises members of the founderís extended family or people who have been close associates of the same
  2. Dr V believes that for the task ahead of Aravind Eye, it requires people who understand the commitment that is required and must possess the passion for the same.
  3. Most of the Board members have grown with the organisation and usually as staff.
  4. It is important that the Board understand the organisation within its historical context and the implications of the same for the future.
  5. Board members of Aravind contribute to the core ethos of the organisation in the way that they function.
  6. All Board members are individuals who have either served as staff in the organisation or continue to do so in various capacities.
  7. All the skills required by the Board of Aravind are represented on the Board and these range from financial management to expertise in hospital management, issues of scaling etc.
  8. Staff is encouraged to interact with the Board at all times since only they will be able to bring to the Board the situation on the ground so to speak
  9. Communication is open and transparent and conflicts are usually resolved through discussion and dialogue.
  10. Sometimes external help from consultants is sought to help the Board in certain areasÖbut this is very contextual and situation specific.
  11. The Aravind Board is very proactive, committed and involved in offering hands on guidance and advise to all senior staff in the execution of the strategic plan.

Aravind Eye Hospitals maybe contacted at

Aravind Eye Hospital [Madurai] 1, Anna Nagar, Madurai - 625 020, Tamilnadu, India Phone: +91-452-535 6100,253 2653-7 E-mail:  URL: