“Desire without direction is ordinary; Desire with direction is eXtraOrdinary.”- Naveen Lakkur
Muralidharan Krishnamurthy while growing up in India had a desire to become an engineer, he set himself up to study in one of the top colleges. He worked hard, studied electronic & communications engineering and graduated from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli, one among the top 10 technical universities in India.
His desire for higher education grew in him and he set his direction towards the USA. While completing MS in Computer Science from Southern Illinois University, his desire for the internet grew in him. His Thesis/Research was on Internet routing of regular and general structure on Local Area Networks. His desire to work in the field of computers got illuminated, He set his brain’s eye on relational databases, a growing field then. While working for Sybase Inc in the USA, as much as he had responsibilities to handle technology, he also had the responsibility to manage customer escalations and to coordinate with global teams to get it resolved.
In 1998, On one side he grew his technical skills by resolving technical issues and problems to become a Senior Resolution Engineer in BMC Software And on the other hand his eye in the heart opened up to witness the amount of inconvenience blindness was causing. He learnt that close to 81% cases of blindness were curable. His desire to resolve this grew as he became sensitive to the fact that eyes were the most sensitive amongst all sense organs and can cripple a healthy person to an unimaginable extent. He then developed a new meaningful desire.
Murali founded Sankara Eye Foundation in USA (referred as SEF) along with Sridharan and Khushboo Ahmad as a non-profit organization working towards eradicating curable blindness in India by offering free eye surgeries to the needy.
SEF-USA is mostly a volunteer-run organization, with chapters across North America. SEF is fortunate to have a dedicated volunteer base as well as committed patrons and donors; and with all their support, SEF has been able to grow significantly by treating millions of people and addressing the curable blindness problem in India.
Today, SEF-USA supports 10 Sankara Eye Hospitals and 8 Partner Eye Care Hospitals all across India and together performed 215,000 free eye surgeries in 2019 alone. Very recently, on June 22nd 2021 it inaugurated the R Jhunjhunwala Sankara Eye Hospital in Mumbai.
Murali is incredibly grateful for the constant support from The SEF Youth Wing, he says “they are our most ardent volunteers. The Youth Wing volunteers from across the nation helped spread the word about SEF’s vision to eradicate curable blindness with unprecedented strength. From cold calling donors, creating viral videos and social media campaigns, hosting roadshows, and volunteering at virtual and in-person events, the Youth Wing serves as a constant reminder of why SEF embarked on this mission decades ago. Youth Wing is a constant source of innovation, a cornerstone to continued success, and a beacon of light for all that is still to be accomplished. They continue to inspire us through their dedication and passion for the cause. Now, it feels like a platform being created to leave the world as a better place filled with opportunities for generations to come”.
SEF with its innovative methods and seasonal programs like iWalk, SoCal, eRoshni, SEF Dandia, brings in required energy to meaningfully engage donors, partners and volunteers.
SEF has earned many recognitions and awards to its name. SEF-USA continuously excels and has won the highest rating of 4 stars from ‘Charity Navigator’ for 9 consecutive years. Charity Navigator bases its ratings on the nonprofit’s financial health and commitment to accountability & transparency.
As an executive chairman of SEF, Murali has got a new desire and the Vision 2030 setting the direction for SEF-USA with a goal of performing 1 million free eye surgeries annually through its SEF India hospitals and other partner hospitals.