CENTRAL HALL – THE GREAT HERITAGE

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Central Hall, the oldest building in the College campus, was constructed in 1864. It was conceived on old Greeco-Italian style of architecture with a covered area of 11,259.14 Sq. Ft. (1046 Sq. M.). Outside there is a large green play ground on the Eastern side and on the West threre is a large water body. Two writings of historical importance are still in evidence. One is on top of the Eastern wall : “Sealdah Market-1864” and another on top of the Western wall : AD-MDCCCXXIV which corresponds to English Calendar year 1874, i.e., the year when Campbell Medical School started functioning. At the Western end there are two small rooms on the ground floor— one on the North side and another on the South. Adjacent to these rooms, there was a wooden platform covering the entire breadth of the floor. This platform was used for various cultural events as well as a rostrum for the teachers. On the North-Eastern corner there was a wooden staircase to reach the library at upstairs. On the roof there are sky-lights. These are cone shaped vertical structures based on the roof with apices pointing towards the sky. They are covered with glass panes all around. Its purpose possibly was for illumination with daylight.

TEACHERS IN CAMPBELL MEDICAL SCHOOL

The Campbell Medical School was the first medical institution where medical science used to be taught in Bengali. The pioneers in this field were :

  • Dr. Tamiz Khan – Medicine
  • Dr. Ram Narayan Das – Surgery
  • Dr. Mir Ashraf Ali – Midwifery
  • Dr. Jagabandhu Bose – Pharmacology
  • Dr. Chandra Mohan Ghosh – Anatomy
  • Dr. Kanai Lal Dey – Chemistry

All of them were brillant teachers and worked hard to have vernacular books in different subjects. Some of the publications are worth mentioning, viz.-

  • Manual of Surgery By Dr. Kashi Chandra Dutta
  • Anatomy By Dr. Mahendra Nath Gupta
  • Handbook of Midwifery and A Manual of Diseases of Children By Dr. Mir Ashraf Ali
  • Astra Chikitsa (Text Book of Surgery) By Dr. Jahiruddin Ahmed

Dr. TAMIZ KHAN

Dr Kanai Lal Dey, teacher of Chemistry in Campbell Medical School, in a condolence meeting after the death of Dr. Tamiz Khan said—”Moulavi Tamiz Khan had rendered 34 years of excellent service to the Govt. He did not content himself with the routine performance of his duties in the School and Hospital. He was mainly instrumental in forming the nucleus of a Pathological Museum in Campbell Medical School which contained making valuable specimens preseved and described by himself. His contributions to the society give evidence of accurate observation and correct knowledge of Anatomy and Pathology. He hoped that his successful career would be an object of emulation among the students and younger practitioners of present day.”

Ref. : The Indian Medical Gazettee-1882, July 1, page-187.

SIR UPENDRA NATH BRAHMACHARI (1875-1946)

Sir Upendra Nath Brahmachari was posted to the Campbell Medical School as Teacher of Medicine and First Physican in 1905 and remained there till 1923. He discovered Urea Stibamine while working in the cubicle located in the South-Western corner of Central Hall. He is the only Indian who discovered an antibiotic by working on the Indian soil entirely as an individual with indigenous effort. The Mckenzee Ward SIR UPENDRA NATH BRAHMACHARI was demolished and in its place a multistoreyed U.N. Brahmachari Building was constructed in 1971. The details of the Plaque and Tablet on Eastern wall of a small room in the Central Hall are given below. The Plaque is made of bronze with his bust in the centre. The Tablet is made of white marble.

(1875-1946)

Plaque

In the year 1921 in the small room attached to the Eastern side of this wall Urea Stibamine was discovered by Dr Upendra Nath Brahmachari.

The Conquest of Kala Azar

I recall with joy that memorable night in the Calcutta Campbell Hospital at Sealdah where after a very hard days of Work, I found at about 10’0 Clock in a little room with a smoky dirty burning lantern that the result of my experiments were up to expectation. But I did not know then that Providence had put into my hands a wondrous thing and that this little thing would saVe the lives of millions of my fellow men.

“I shall never forget that room where Urea Stibamine was discovered, the room where I had to labour for months without a gas point or a water tap and where I had to remain contended with an old kerosene lamp for my work at night.

“The room still remains but the signs of laboratory in it have completely disappeared. To me it will ever remain a place of pilgrimage where the first light of Urea Stibamine dawned upon my mind.

“Today Urea Stibamine stands pre-eminent in the treatment of Kala Azar in India and as a powerful prophylactic against the disease and it is a matter of supreme satisfaction to me that the treatment evolved out of my research has removed the terror of this distressing disease. It may be hoped that before long the disease will be completely banished from India and the other parts of the world where it occurs. That will be the happiest and proudest day of my life if it falls to my lot to see it.”

** Excerpts from Dr. U.N. Brahmachari’s Presidential address at the annual anniversary meeting of Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1929.

SIR KEDAR NATH DAS (1867-1936)

Sir Kedar Nath Das was posted as a Teacher of Midwifery in the Campbell Medical School, Calcutta, in 1899. He worked in Baker Ward. At that time there was no separate Operation Theatre. Part of the Ward was used for oiDerations. He reorganized Baker Ward properly and the Operation Theatre was separated from the Ward. He was fanious for Das’s Forceps,. He worked here till 1919 and retired from Government Service., The students had a: great respect for him. That is evident from the fact that later on students installed his bust, made of white marble, inside the Central Hall. Anyone coming in front of him finds his smiling face and bows one’s head, remembering his unique contribution to the medical science.

It is worth mentioning here an excerpt from his farewell speech :

“I used to think that the students would be pleased on my leaving this institution. but now I find you used to admire me so much, I am just amused, you used to love me so much. I beg apology to you, my students to be perfect and sincere in your practice. It was my utmost desire. Courtesy Dr. Q. H.A. Hannan (1954).

BIDHAN CHANDRA ROY (1882-1962)

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was posted to Campbell Medical School as a Teacher in Anatomy an_d Materia Medica in 1912 and remained there till 1919. He

was the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948 to 1962 led by Indian National Congress. was during his period of C4jef Ministership the Campbell Medical School & Hospital, Calcutta, was upgraded to Campbell MedicalCollege & Hospital, Calcutta, in 1948, and in 1950 it was renamed as Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College & Hospital, Calcutta.