Jul 1, 1882
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Bidhan Chandra Roy born at
Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy didn’t marry. He died on his 80th birthday, which is 1 July, 1962, shortly after he had treated patients in the early hours of the morning and gone through the political matters of West Bengal.
He donated his house for functioning as a nursing home named after his mother, Aghorkamini Devi.
The B.C. Roy National Award was instituted in 1976 for work in the area of medicine, politics, science, philosophy, literature and arts.
Bidhan Chandra Roy was born on 1 July 1882, in Patna, Bihar, to Prakash Chandra Roy, an excise inspector, and Aghorkamini Devi. He was the youngest child of the family and had four elder siblings.
Growing up, his mother passed away when he was only 14 years old. His father had to stay outdoors most of the time because of his work, hence, the five siblings divided amongst themselves the responsibilities of domestic work.
In 1897, he passed matriculation examination from Patna Collegiate School. Later, he completed his I.A. from Presidency College, Calcutta and B.A. Honours in Mathematics from Patna College.
He got through the admission of both Calcutta Medical College and Bengal Engineering College. Nevertheless, he chose medicine over engineering and moved to Calcutta in 1901 to study at the Calcutta Medical College.
After the first year of medical college, he faced acute shortage of funds as his father retired from his job. To salvage the situation, young Roy earned a scholarship and lived parsimoniously to manage his finances better.
After graduation, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy joined the Provincial Health Service and worked hard as a doctor. He also served patients as a nurse when required. In his free time, he practised privately, charging a nominal fee.
In 1909, he left for England with a desire to pursue higher medical studies at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. However, the Dean rejected his application as he was an Asian. Unwilling to give up easily, he re-submitted his application 30 more times before being finally accepted into the college.
Competent as he was, in a little over two years he completed both his M.R.C.P. and F.R.C.S. degrees, an extraordinary accomplishment. He returned to India in 1911 and began teaching at the Calcutta Medical College, and later at the Campbell Medical School, and the Carmichael Medical College.
During this period, he strongly promoted health among the common people. He contributed significantly to medical education and established several specialised hospitals and health centres.
One of the most significant medical centres he established was the Chittaranjan Seva Sadan (estd. 1926) for women and children. Initially, the women were reluctant to visit the hospital but he worked hard to help them overcome their inhibitions successfully. Later, he also opened a centre for training women in nursing and social work.
He made quality health services available to common people. He established some leading medical institutions in Calcutta like the R.G. Kar Medical College, the Jadavpur T.B. Hospital, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, Kamala Nehru Hospital, Victoria Institution, and Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital.
He played a key role in establishing the Indian Institute of Mental Health, the Infectious Disease Hospital, and the first-ever postgraduate medical college in Calcutta.
In 1925, he tabled a resolution to study the causes, effects and prevention of pollution in Hooghly.
As Mayor of Calcutta Corporation, he promoted free education, free medical aid, better roads, improved lighting, and water supply.
Later, as Chief Minister of West Bengal, he restored law and order in the state. He laid the foundation five eminent cities, namely, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar, and Habra