Dr. Lalit Verma, takes over as President, AIOS on 2nd June 2022 during 80th AIOS Annual Conference, Mumbai
Dr. Lalit Verma
President, AIOS 2022-2023
President, All India Ophthalmological Society
C-II/151, Chanakya Puri, Satya Marg, New Delhi -110021
Dr. Lalit Verma, President AIOS
Presentation of Momentoes
Presidential Speech by Dr. Lalit Verma
Honorable Chief Guest
Honorable Guest of Honor
Dignitaries on the Dias
Office Bearers of AIOS, Members of AIOS Committees,
Respected Past Presidents, Respected Seniors, Colleagues, & My Dear friends :
At the outset, let me express my heartfelt gratitude to the members of All India Ophthalmic Society ( AIOS ) for bestowing upon me this honor of leading your society as its President. I feel greatly honored to be present before you today and welcome you all to the City of Dreams Mumbai. It's my proud privilege to address the galaxy of Ophthalmologists, my Seniors, Mentors, colleagues, friends, fellow members, students, guest faculties & delegates from different countries.
All India Ophthalmological Society today is a vibrant society, with over 25000 life members , the largest such society of Ophthalmologists in the World. It has its own headquarters in New Delhi. Annual Conference of AIOS is one of the best ophthalmic conferences in the world. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by the Members, Managing Committee, past presidents, secretaries, treasurers, scientific committees & other wings of the AIOS who have contributed to this stupendous growth of our Society.
Last two years, we all have gone through unprecedented times. Onset of COVID, national level lockdowns, shortage of essential medicines for COVID, Oxygen shortage, non availability of beds in hospitals, stressful duties of health workers... It has been tough in many ways. We as the AIOS family have also lost some of our beloved members. I express my heartfelt condolences to their families.
I would also like to thank Dr. B K Nayak for the lovely introduction. It is a wonderful feeling to see your Picture amongst the Legends who have led AIOS in the past. I am truly humbled.
I would also like to thank the Local Organizing Committee of Dreamcon AIOC 2022 led by Dr. T P Lahane, Dr. B K Nayak, Dr. Quresh Maskati, Dr. Parikshit Gogate, Dr. Prashant Bawankule & Dr. Ragini Parekh ( President BOA ) for making wonderful arrangements to make AIOC 2022 a memorable event for all of us.
As you know, I have been closely associated with AIOS for 23 years in different capacities. Often in the past, Presidents have given great suggestions for betterment of society & set ambitious goals regarding prevention of blindness, diabetic retinopathy, childhood myopia,… etc. However it is often not possible to fulfill those goals as the term of president is only for one year. Such goals need long term planning and close coordination with union government, state governments, local administration, civil society, hospitals etc
Therefore I propose to set up an advocacy team which will work in close coordination with Government & all other stakeholders and ensure AIOS has a key role in formulation of National Programme, Policies, National Surveys , TPAs, Rates of procedures / Surgeries etc .
For me, Interest of AIOS, Interest of Members is & shall be of paramount importance & We shall gear all our activities accordingly & The RED BOOK of AIOS (Memorandum, Rule & Regulations & Byelaws) is our Bible & shall be guiding all our activities.
What am I going to talk is
How can I work with your Cooperation
to benefit the members
to benefit the AIOS
I have been into AIOS for over 2 decades & during these years
Have worked With Single Aim
“ Upliftment of AIOS & its members ”
Whether it is Headquarters
Whether it is Finance
Whether it is Membership
Whether it is Scientific Program
All these would not have been possible.. But for the Support of the Governing Council & ALL of You.
NOW , Let me dwell on couple of things , which I propose to be pursuing in the coming year :
Mid Term Conference
As of now, our Annual AIOS conferences are held in bigger cities which have adequate infrastructure for 7000-8000 delegates, associated accommodation facilities & rail/road/air connectivity from different parts of the country as well as International.
To facilitate our members from smaller towns & remote areas of the country, to participate in scientific deliberations & update & upskill themselves with advances in Ophthalmology, I propose to hold Mid term AIOS conferences in Tier 2 / Tier 3 cities. This has been pending for sometime.. & we plan to take this forward with your valuable support.
Skill Transfer Facilities at AIOS Headquarters
We all know & understand that Ophthalmology is primarily a surgical specialty. Theoretical knowledge you can gain by attending various conferences or through various online channels.
BUT to develop Surgical Skills / Diagnostic skills,
One needs to learn them from the Masters ….
One needs to practice on experimental eyes …
One needs to work on Simulators …..
One needs a guiding hand …..
This was the whole inspiration & thought process behind organizing SSTC (Surgical Skill Transfer Course) , DSTC (Diagnostic Skill Transfer Course) & TSTC (Technology Skill Transfer Course) courses during the Annual Conference of AIOS with the support of our trade Partners. Encouraged by overwhelming response to these courses, we propose to establish a facility for Skill Transfer Courses at AIOS HQ. AIOS Secretariat will enroll desirable members and will also rope in the experts / mentors in respective fields and work out a schedule for such courses throughout the year.
AIOS headquarters & its Wings
All the wings of AIOS viz. Secretariat, Scientific Committee, ARC, Editor, Proceedings & Editor IJO are doing great jobs, individually.
I propose to give each wing enough freedom to enable/empower them to pursue the objectives of their respective domains .. BUT after having it discussed & passed in GC & within the framework of our rule book & within the resources allocated to them & Always Keeping the interest of members in the forefront. I would wish that all 5 wings work in harmony and cohesion like 5 fingers of a fist. You see fist always has more power than individual fingers.
International Recognition of AIOS
Today AIOS is the second largest body of Eye Surgeons in the World & Largest body of Life Members in the World. However, Despite the numbers, Despite Huge Talent , We somehow have not been able to project AIOS as a body to reckon with internationally. Individually many of our members are very well known all over the world & we are proud of them. AIOS as a body, is however yet to get its due recognition. Efforts have been made in the past to project AIOS internationally. I plan to pursue this mission with full force and make AIOS a global name & AIOS annual conference the most sought after Ophthalmological Conference in the World. I urge your participation & cooperation to pursue this ambitious goal.
With help of Dr Azad & Dr Babu Rajendran, we conceptualised the much popular FAICO.. the Fellowship of All India Collegium of Ophthalmology. Launched in 2009 and implemented in 2010, FAICO received tremendous response from members.
FAICO, the one of its kind in the World, is an innovative fellowship program & is much needed in Ophthalmology with so many super specialties. We should try to make FAICO globally recognized. FAICO needs to be projected in the SAARC region, Asia Pacific, Africa & subsequently the entire World.
Managing Committee Members & State Societies
We have with us – State level societies , which are affiliated with AIOS & most of them have two of their representatives as AIOS Managing Committee members. All of these members are distinguished ophthalmologists and are doing great job in their respective states. However there is hardly any active involvement of the Managing Committee in functioning of AIOS, towards its vision & mission.
Couple of years ago – MC meeting used to be held only once & that too during the Annual conference. When I was Secretary of your society, I had introduced the system of Mid term meetings of the Managing Committee, with an objective to improve “Centre-State connect”..
I propose to take this relationship further and leverage the strength of our State Societies towards fulfillment of AIOS mission.
All affiliated state societies will be encouraged to promote scientific & educational activities. Based on the work done by all states, Best state will be honored with President`s Medal during Annual Conference.
We will convene a day long workshop with MC members to prepare a framework & objective criterion for selection of best state society. For this, I plan to involve MC members of affiliated states, & also utilize the services of Joint secretary & Joint Treasurer of our AIOS body.
Various wings of AIOS have been doing a great job in dissemination of scientific knowledge on various aspects of eye care on a regular basis through conference, webinars, proceedings, journal & CME series, for the benefit of its members.
I feel, it’s equally important to create awareness about common eye diseases & their symptoms amongst the public at large. While some efforts have being made in this direction, we need to do much more. Such an awareness about common eye diseases among masses will help in early detection of disease, its treatment, leading to prevention/ reduction of blindness. I propose to launch a series of Public Lectures by eminent Ophthalmologists on a regular basis. It would be wonderful if we could make efforts to make these lectures available in different languages so that more and more people are benefitted across the country.
Before I close , I would like to express my heart felt gratitude to my Family (My Parents, Wife Neeta, & Children : Nitin, Neha & Aastha). Gratitude to my Extended Family ( Centre for Sight – Dr Mahipal , Dr Alka & entire CFS Family & RPC Colleagues ) who stood rock solid with me & also helped me Professionally, Financially & Socially & made it possible for me to Stand before You Today. I am also indebted to lots of Friends, Colleagues and Trade partners for their valuable support.
I would also like to thank my friends in the Governing council: Dr. Barun Nayak, Dr. Harbansh Lal, Dr. Mahipal Sachdev, Dr. Namrata Sharma, Dr. Rajesh Sinha, Dr. Partha Biswas, Dr. Chitra Ramamurthy, Dr. Sanotsh Hanovar,
Dr. Arup Chakravarti for their tremendous contribution & look forward to their continued support. I also commend contributions of Mr. Kripal & the entire AIOS staff for their unstinted support.
I wish AIOC 2022 Conference a great Success and I am sure with the kind of hard work put in by our Local Organizing Committee, power packed content by Scientific Committee, State of art show by our Trade Partners & Efforts of all wings of AIOS, this world class venue, AIOC 2022 will be a memorable event .
I know I have put in an ambitious Plan for next year. But I am confident, together we can achieve all of this. You will agree, in all these, the interest of members of AIOS is at the centre. I therefore once again urge all of you for your valuable contributions & whole hearted support to make this happen.
Together We Win..
Long Live AIOS