A BIRMINGHAM doctor will dedicate a new institute for the blind to his son when he travels to his native India to lay a foundation stone at HEAL Paradise Village later this year.
Dr Dhanum Chunduri, a GP at the Sparkbrook Community Health Centre, where his wife Vijaya and daughter Jyothi also work, has donated £71,000 towards the building of the Phanendra Chunduri Institute for the Blind at the village, being constructed by the UK-based charity HEAL (Health and Education for All).
Dr Chunduri’s 22-year-old son Phanendra died in 2000 after contracting fulminant viral hepatitis while studying medicine in Debrecen, Hungary.
Daughter Jyothi suffered from glaucoma since childhood and lost her eyesight eight years ago, and the family were inspired to create an institute for the blind in India after visiting a rehabilitation centre in Peterborough, the city where HEAL founder Dr Satya Prasad Koneru works as a GP.
“I first met Prasad in 1982 when Heal was just in its infancy,” said Dr Chunduri. “He was distrbuting leaflets at a function and we were very impressed with his charitable activities and used to help wherever we could.
“My family originally supported an educational college in India and set up the Phanendra Chunduri Memorial Trust in my son’s name. We donated nearly £100,000 for the construction of lecture halls, and a science laboratory at Noble College in our native Machilipatnam, where one room was allocated as a museum for the Trust.
“My daughter has been blind since contracting glaucoma in 2004, so we thought of setting up an institute for the blind, something Indian people are desperately in need of.
“When Prasad came to me and told me about HEAL Paradise we decided to fund an institute for the blind there. We wanted to do something for the public, as there is very little help from the government for blind people.”
Paradise Village, at Thotapally in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is the brainchild of Dr Prasad and will become home to 1,000 orphaned and destitute children when it is completed next year.
Dr Chunduri, who has four brothers and three sisters, will be accompanied by younger brother Krishna Babu when he revisits Paradise in November. Krishna Babu, a neurologist based in Dallas, Texas, has donated funds for the building of a vocational centre at the Village and will also lay a foundation stone on the same day.
For more information on HEAL Paradise Village and how to make a donation, please visit www.healparadise.org.
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