Kali Dutta Memorial Hall is an important building of our Alma Mater. It came up with the keen interest of our sport personalities in 1940. Subsequently it became the centre of activities of Students’ Union and Ex-Students’ Association.
At present, after its renovation and reconstruction, it accommodates, a Guest Room, Museum and Seminar Room also.
We are proud of this building as in Kolkata, the Ex-Students’ Association of no other Medical College is functioning under its own room.
There is a large green play ground on the eastern side and on the West, there is the Central Hall, our Heritage Building. The Canteen is situated on the south by the side of the road and on the north, there is a vacant area beyond which there is a two storied building in which the Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Centre is located on the ground floor.
CONSTRUCTION OF KALI DUTTA MEMORIAL HALL
Purpose behind the construction and problems faced.
Dr. Rabindra Nath Ghose (1935 Batch) was pioneer in construction of Kali Dutta Memorial Hall in 1940. It is worth to
Dr. Rabindra Nath Ghose (01.12.1915) A student of Campbell Medical School (1935) reproduce what he wrote in “The recollected past of Kali Dutta Memorial Hall,” that was published in our souvenir in 63rd Reunion on 1st, 2nd and 3rd December 1995.
“Last year during the reunion, some ex-students asked me, that our Re-union Office named as “Kali Dutta Memorial Hall” and who was Kali Dutta and whether he was an ex-student of our institution. When I told them, that Kali Duita was neither a student nor an ex-student of our institution. He was head clerk of Campbell Medical School. Then they questioned me, why a building built out of the funds of Ex-students’ Association was named after the head clerk of the Medical School.
There is a story behind this. During the 3rd and 4th decade of this century, Campbell Medical School was reputed for its sports activities in all the branches namely football, cricket, hockey and tennis. Though the Campbell Medical School was not under the Calcutta University, but our institution enjoyed special privilege of participating in all inter-collegiate sports. Our cricket team was of very high standard. All big clubs namely Mohun Bagan, Calcutta, Dalhousie, Rangers, etc were having both home and away fixtures with us. We felt the necessity of a pavilion or a club house, particularly for changing the dress and having lunch during the cricket matches. The idea of building a pavilion first came in the mind of Dr Anil Ghosal (1933 hatch. We from the Students’ Union, approached the then superintendent and submitted an application for the permission of a sports pavilion.
We started collecting funds for the pavilion and within six months Rs. 1200/- was collected.
To build a structure on the Government land during the British rule, was next to impossible. Our teachers discouraged us and advised not to waste time for this purpose. There was difference of opinion among the office bearers of the Students’ Union.
But I, as General Secretary of the Students’ Union, took it as a matter of prestige. Once, going to the Executive Engineer PWD:s’ office and the next day, going to the office of the Superintending Engineer’s Office of Writers’ Building, were in vain. Ultimately, the day, I desperatively met the Superintending Engineer and told him
“Sir, if you kindly permit us to build the pavilion, it will be existing on the Govt. land inside the hospital. No student will take away the building and in future, if the Govt. desires, can take requisition of the same.”
My appeal probably touched him. He told me- “young man, you go home and don’t waste time in visiting me. You leave the matter to me.”
To our utter surprise, one day, the then Superintendent of the School, called me in the office and handed over the Govt’s permission for the building with several conditions and restrictions.
After receiving the Govt:’ permission, we took the estimate from the Engineer for the building and found that Rs. 1200/- which we collected was too small.
Then we decided to approach Dr (Miss) Sarojini Dutta, an ex-student of our institution, who had vast practice and Late Kali Dutta, Ex-Head Clerk of Campbell Medical School, was the younger brother of Dr Sarojini Dutta. Next day morning we went to build a sports pavilion in memory of Late Kali Babu, but the amount, we have collected, is not sufficient for completion. If you kindly donate Rs. 1000/-, then the building can be completed and our desire to perpetuate the memory of Late Kali Babu will be fulfilled.”
In reply, she said “when Kali was in service, he was so popular But now after his death, no one cares to remember him. You young men, still love him so much. Do one thing, the money that you have callected, keep it separate and utilise for some other good purpose.”
In our presence, she called her manager advised him to see us next morning in the Hospital and made all arrangement for the building-this Kali Dutta Memorial Hall.
Sarojini didi bought furniture according to her choice. We planned to celebrate the opening ceremoneyby Dr (Miss) Sarojini Dutta in a big gathering during the Re-union in January 1941. But studently she died of cerebral Haemorrhage in December 1940.
After her death, we decided that Rs.1200 that we collected for the pavilion, to start a swimming club after the name of Dr (Miss) Sarojini Dutta and thus the Sarojini Dutta Swimming club was established at the South Eastern corner of the tank.