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All India IMA headquarters named after Dr Bidhan Roy

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It is indeed a moment of pride for the whole of Bengal, as the All India Medical Association headquarters in New Delhi is being named after a Bengali doctor. Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy who was born on 1 July 1882, is considered a medical magician because of his path-breaking diagnosis and treatment of patients. The building will have on its whole wall a complete mural of Dr Roy. Roy was no ordinary man. He could treat patients just by looking at their faces. Former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Bidhan Roy was arrested as a member of the Working Committee of Congress in 1930 by the British Police. Thereafter, he was brought to Alipore Central jail in Kolkata. During that time, Bijoy Kumar Bhattacharya, a teacher of Burdwan who believed in Gandhian principles, was imprisoned. He had fallen extremely sick, had lost a lot of weight and always had fever during his stay in Burdawan jail. Thereafter, he was brought to Alipore jail.

Bidhan Chandra Roy came to Alipore Jail as a first-class prisoner. But he had voluntarily demanded a rigorous imprisonment to the the jail authorities. However, there was no legal provision for this but even the jail authorities had to allow this considering Dr. Roy’s personality. He was sent for a duty in the Jail Hospital. Within a few days, the death rates in the jail hospital started reducing rapidly. Medicines for Pneumonia, Typhoid, were not available in the jail hospital. Dr. Roy spent his own money to get these medicines from outside with the help of his elder brother Subodh Roy. He was often seen roaming around in the district hospital with a stethoscope trying to cater to the requirements of ailing patients. 

Bijoykumar Bhattacharya wrote, “Bidhanbabu pulled the chair and sat beside my bed. He kept on staring at me for a minute or two and asked a few questions about my disease. He seemed a little worried but his face lit up soon. He smiled at me and said, “You will recover soon.” It seemed that doctor had already formed a complete idea about the disease. According to Bhattacharya, before starting off with the treatment process, he would keep staring at the patient’s face. His powerful glance would enable him to diagnose any kind of disease. One day, the doctor of the jail could not arrive on time. Dr Roy took up the mammoth task of treating all the 110 patients one by one. When the jail doctor arrived, Bidhan Chandra Roy asked him to bring the necessary food and medicines for the 110 patients he had treated. He could remember all the medicines required by all the patients. Such was his outstanding memory.

During the tenure of his imprisonment, Bidhan Roy got in touch with Kanai Ganguly who had completed his doctorate in engineering from Germany. He was well versed with German language. Bidhan Roy learnt the German language from Kanai Ganguly. During his stay for six months, Bidhan Roy did not even miss out any of the German classes. By the time, he was released from the prison, Dr. Roy had already completed his primary education in this language.