Chair to honour India's test-tube baby pioneer: Mamata

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 15:10 hrs

Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday suggested the creation of a chair in the School of Tropical Medicine (STM) to posthumously honour Subhas Mukherjee, a Kolkata-based physician credited with India's first test-tube baby.

In an apparent reference to the erstwhile Left Front government, she said the doctor's efforts were not recognised.

"There should be an award and chair instituted in the memory of Subhas Mukherjee... His efforts were not recognised. Research was continuously obstructed," she said during the inauguration of the country's first centre for preservation of cord-blood and other pregnancy induced bio-products at the STM here.

Mukherjee created the world's second and India's first baby (named Durga) using the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedure Oct 3, 1978.

Louise Brown, born July 25, 1978 in Britain, was the world's first baby through IVF.

However, Mukherjee's contributions were not recognised and he was also barred from attending international conferences. Following the ostracism, he committed suicide in 1981.

The chief minister also appealed to doctors to stay back and serve the state.

"I request all the doctors not to leave Bengal. Researchers should be given all resources and should be free from mental pressures to conduct their studies," she said.

She also inaugurated the Centre of Excellence for HIV and AIDS at the STM and a host of other facilities at various institutes.

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