It was in 1985 that the great visionary and eminent ophthalmologist, Dr.S.S.Badrinath, felt that the eye care delivery system in India lacked sufficiently well qualified vision care professionals to cater to the primary eye care needs of the society. There were not enough optometrists to evaluate the status of the eye, render non-invasive diagnostic and remedial services and to scientifically deal with refractive errors, and prescribe glasses and contact lenses for the same.
To fill this vacuum in the eye care delivery system, the Elite School of Optometry was started under the guidance of Prof. Jay M. Enoch, the then Dean of the School of Optometry, Berkeley and Prof. S.R. Govindarajan. Dr. Enoch sent valuable books, optometric equipments and also deputed eminent faculty members like Dr. Cooper, Dr. H.D.Singh, Dr. Grisham, Dr. Tochiura, and Dr. Mc.Gleon from Berkeley to serve as short-term teachers. During the early years, the school functioned at the Sankara Nethralaya campus and was awarding its own B.Opt degree. In 1987, the college moved to its present location at St.Thomas Mount, a huge green airy campus built on 3.17 acres.
Drs.T.S.Surendran and K. Ravishankar worked hard to make this new venture a succees. Shri. C.K.Shah of the Elite Optical Industries donated the seed money for the creation of a modern program in Optometry and also offered to build a building. The Elite School of Optometry was named after the Elite Optical Industries. ESO always fondly remembers the invaluable services rendered by Professor Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Dr.Srinivasan, Dr.E.Vaithilingam and Dr.P.P.Santanam, in helping ESO achieve high levels of excellence.
The Elite school, since then, has excelled in optometric education with the guidance of its great principals and well wishers. Since 1994, ESO has been offering its professional qualification as an off campus collaborative degree with Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. The college has expanded further into Post-Graduate and Doctorate levels, offering M.Phil. and Ph D. in Optometry. The research activities carried out are of great clinical value. To strengthen our research initiatives further, the Uthrash Trust funded the department of visual psychophysics, which was launched in 2008. Our alumni have been well placed in several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
“You truly are elite, elite whose contribution can make incredible differences to India and its people”
- Dr. Brain A Holden, Professor of Optometry, the University of New South Wales, Australia.