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partners » community work at SCEH » heritage
The beginnings and history of the organization

The story of Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital began in one room in the walled city of Delhi in 1914 where Dr Sorabji P Shroff, a 36 year old graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, decided to establish a clinic. The clinic was a blessing for the poor and it received such a response from the community that Dr. Shroff became convinced to start a hospital. Haji Mohammed Ishaq allowed him to use one storey of his newly constructed building on Burn Bastion Road. But very soon, even this space was not enough. People from all corners of India and the present day Pakistan thronged the hospital for the free quality care.

In 1922, a trust was established by Dr Shroff, together with the well-known personalities of Delhi like Dr M A Ansari, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Rai Bahadur Lala Sultan Singh and Shri Pyare Lal, with the goal of building a dedicated eye hospital. With sustained representations, in 1924, the British Administration made land available in Daryaganj. The hospital was completed in 1927 and was inaugurated on March 23rd by Lady Irwin, Vicerene of India. The British government awarded Dr. S. P. Shroff, the Kisar-i-Hind- a gold medal for philanthropy in 1933 and helped with getting the hospital equipped with amenities and equipment. Meanwhile institutions from around the globe visited SCEH to share their insights and recognized it for efficiency and effectiveness in teaching as well as practice.

In 1962, the institution was selected as a leading eye hospital by the International Conference of Ophthalmology held in Delhi in which well-known specialists from Europe and the United states participated. The following year just one year before his death, Dr S. P. Shroff was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India for his humanitarian efforts. His son Dr. S. P. Shroff carried forward the legacy and kept the hospital running.

For over 90 continuous years, the institutions examined and helped lakhs of people every year. Any kind of approximation of its impact would be an understatement. In 1996 the Eicher group, known for its silent philanthropic efforts came on board and granted generous sums of money to upgrade the infrastructure and equipment. Professionals across management fields were brought on board so that the charity hospital could become self-sufficient and bring its founder’s vision to fruition. The medical and non-medical teams visited various tertiary centres of eye care across the globe; many trained there and used their experiences to bolster the systems and services.

In 2002, the first secondary centre was established in Alwar. Around this time, SCEH also collaborated with Standard Chartered PLC in its Seeing Is Believing Programme. As part of this project, it was entrusted with the responsibility of setting up Vision Centres i.e. clinic that would provide primary level eye care to the rural setting. The clinics would refer surgical cases to the secondary hospital in Alwar- that provide Cataract Surgeries and aftercare. Patients with other problems were shuttled to Delhi for respective surgeries and shuttled back to Alwar after satisfactory after care. Specialists in Cornea, Glaucoma, Vitreo-Retina and other specialized fields would also visit Alwar regularly so that non-surgical cases did not have to travel the distance. In 2004, a clinic was begun in Gurgaon to serve the masses that had to travel every week to Delhi to avail the services of SCEH. In 2008-9, the Alwar model has been replicated in the Rampur- Maniharan hamlet, Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, in the last 6 to 7 years, the organization focused on Today, the institution is considered one of the best super specialty eye care institutions in North India with an unwavering commitment to providing quality eye care services to all economic sections of the society. It offers all the services required for quality Eye and ENT care under one roof i.e. diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative (hope for those whom surgery can’t help).

2004-09 Strategic plan for the term 2006-09 was developed with the following focal points: 1. Education Ophthalmic and non ophthalmic personnel 2. Basic research 3. Increase the width and depth of community eye care intervention programmes 4. Provide Low vision Enhancement services. 5. Set up tertiary level specialties in Eye. Consequently, annual business plans and MISs were assembled and analysed to stabilize and push the paid section and community work further. Engagement with donors increaed further. Efforts were made to inculcate ownership across functions.
2000-04 Focus was brought on promoting a culture of quality, improving infrastrcuture & equipment, recruitment and education of personnel, engaging with INGO’s and Financial Planning.  Two major changes included the shift from the 100% charity model to the Cross Subsidy Model to build sustenance. The organisation started governing itself with the guidance of the board of members.
1996-2000 Eicher Group got involved. The focus was turned back to education the team, planning for the future and equipping the organisation with requisite infrastructure, equipment and amenities.
1986-96 Unable to keep pace with advances in technology and latest practice patterns, the organization was on the verge of closing down and being taken over by the municipal corporation.
1926- 86 Dr. S. P. Shroff founded the hospital in 1914. With the philanthropists of that era and the Shroff family's tireless work, the organisation served well its founding vision of providing quality eye care to countless many from all corners of the country.