Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dr. Subhas Mukherjee ...

Yesterday, the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was announced. Robert Edwards, a British scientist whose research led to the birth of the first "test-tube" baby in the world will be the recipient. The colleague with whom he worked, Patrick Steptoe has died and hence is not eligible for the prize. And while reading up this editorial today, I came to know the world's second test tube baby was born in India! That too, just 67 days after the first baby was born! This is really a stupendous achievement, which has been sidelined inexplicably.

A google search for Dr. Subhas Mukherjee took us to this site of his -

"Mukherjee along with Sunit Mukherji, a cryobiologist, and Gynecologist Dr. Saroj Kanti Bhattacharya, worked on a method of in-vitro fertilization that was used successfully on patient with damaged fallopian tubes. On 3rd October 1978, the team announced the birth of the world's second test tube baby, in Calcutta"

This site is a must read for all of us. It details his research, how it is different from what Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe used, how he was not at all supported by the government here and more. Not just about the support, but a government enquiry even rubbished his research (this after the baby was born!). So much was the harrassment by the government, that it drove him to commit suicide.

Also, it was only in 2002 that the Indian Council of Medical Research finally recognised his research. Am not sure whether any government has officially honoured him, but can't really think of anyone else who deserves a state honour.

The site also says this - "1991: Renowned film director, Shri Tapan Sinha, directed a Hindi film "Ek Doctor ki Maut" based on a story written by Sri. Ramapada Choudhury, an eminent journalist. The story was based on the events in the life of Dr. Subhas Mukherjee. The film received a National Award."

What an irony, a film based on the life of the doctor recieves an award, but not the doctor himself.


Vishal said...

He is still alive right? Must be a real bad feeling that after such a huge research and success, didn't get any recognition from the government, let alone be the nobel prize.

We need to learn as a nation to give respect to our scientists and researchers for this is the area we need to improve in a lot.

Sudhir said...

@Vishal - He committed suicide in 1981 itself :(. It's a shame really that we can't treasure our knowledge wealth effectively.


quietist said...

may b he would've got the award had he named it "Jawaharlal Invitro Fertilization technique"

Anonymous said...

shame on indians, no wonder true researchers should leave india and go abroad...

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