With the ideals of Swami Vivekananda in mind, Sri Vivekananda Sevashrama was started on October 2, 1975, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. The organization was started by a few friends and followers of the Ramakrishna Mutt. The Sevashrama initiated a medical clinic on Sundays to make general medicine available for the poor villagers around Bengaluru, India. This clinic was opened at two villages in the outskirts of Bengaluru, viz. Vasanthapura and Tataguni. Soon over 100 patients began to make use of this facility every week at each location.
The success of the Sunday clinic led to the expansion of Sri Vivekananda Sevashrama. The organization extended its activities by conducting free eye camps in various villages across Karnataka from the year 1981. Initially camps were conducted at BR Hills with the support of Padma Shri Dr. Sudarshan, who at that time was setting up the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra (VGKK) at BR Hills. From BR Hills, the camps spread to other parts of Karnataka. Camp at Ponnampet was undertaken with support from Ramakrishna Sharadashrama and the camp at Tithimati was initiated with support from Vivekananda Foundation. These eye camps included free eye checkups and free cataract surgeries for those in need. The Sevashrama then conducted similar camps for the inmates of Beggars Colony in Bengaluru. Subsequently, identification of villages in other parts of the state was undertaken with the help of local volunteers/people. The camp sites were carefully chosen at villages with maximum need of attention and at villages where it was convenient for the villagers to visit a nearby government school or choultry (a large hall used for functions and festive celebrations).
While these camps and activities were underway on a regular basis in various parts of Karnataka, a need was felt to have a centre in Bengaluru for the Sevashrama with improved operation facilities. This led to the establishment of Viveka Drishti wing of Vivekananda Sevashrama on January 26, 1998. To start with, the Sevashrama rented 10 bed facility on the 2nd floor of Saraswathi Hospital in Banashankari, Bengaluru.
Since then, the Sevashrama has continued to run its regular eye camps across the state, run an eye hospital (Viveka Drishti) in Bengaluru and the Sunday clinics (Viveka Surya) in the outskirts of Bengaluru.
We now aim to move away from the rental facility in Banshankari and build our own eye hospital in the NR Colony locality in Bengaluru, while still continuing all our other activities.