Vijayalakshmi Raju (News Editor)
Charishma Sekhar K (Content Writer)
During the pandemic, the world is struggling to survive but there is a probability where there is no better time to remember the ‘National Doctor’, whose story was a mixed bag of emotions by his hard work, talent, success despite the racial discrimination, love for his homeland and an unmatched dedication towards his profession.
India, on celebrating 1st July as ‘National Doctor’s Day’ commemorating the iconic and internationally renowned medical practitioner, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy who served as a physician, a freedom fighter, an educationist and a politician.
Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, born in Patna Bengal Residency, during British India, in 1882. He graduated in Mathematics following which he studied medicine at the University of Calcutta. On dreaming higher, he went to England to join the prestigious St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, but was initially denied admission as he was from an Asian continent. After 30 attempts, his admission was approved.
A story of a man whose admission was initially denied in the leading London Institute went on to become a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) and also a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), after his post-graduation in the year of 1911. It seemed like a feet unheard of.
Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy was still pursuing medicine in Calcutta when the partition of Bengal was announced. On resisting the urge to join the movement, the young physician was asked to have the focus on his studies hoping to contribute through mastering his profession. Following his return from London, Dr Roy joined the Independence movement, and also taught medicine at his alma mater, where he eventually became the Vice-Chancellor.
He joined politics in the year of 1925 and served as the second chief minister of West Bengal from the period of 1948 - 1962. He was known to be one among the personal physician of Mahatma Gandhi and also a good friend. The tall physician was also called to be the medical counsel of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
India honoured Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, with a Bharat Ratna in the year of 1961. He passed away on his 80th birthday which is on 1st July, 1962. Donating his home to be converted into a nursing home which was named after his mother Aghore Kamini Devi, who was an ardent Brahmo Samaji and a dedicated social worker.
The British Medical Journal, in its Obituary of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, called him the First Medical Consultant in the subcontinent of India, who has towered over his contemporaries in several fields. The reports states that, “….at his professional zenith he may have had the largest consulting practise in the world, news of his visit to a city or even a railway station bringing forth hoarder of would-be patients”.
Remembering his good works and success towards his career on the special day of his birthday!