90-year-old IVF legend donates his institute to ICMR
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At a time when hospitals are being bought and sold for crores by foreign investors and corporate chains, Dr Baidyanath Chakrabarty, one of the pioneers of IVF in India, is donating the Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRM) — set up by him in 1986 in Kolkata — to the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to ensure that “the research work started in 1965 is not interrupted”.

“Several corporate organisations from India and abroad approached me. But they were interested in running the IVF facility only. I apprehended that they would not be interested in carrying on the research work, which has always been key to the growth of reproductive medicine. Since ICMR is primarily a research organisation, they, I believe, will use the facility at my institute in an appropriate manner and develop it further. I am relieved that the institute will be run by people who are best suited for the job,” Chakrabarty told TOI.

The 90-year-old doctor said he first considered donating his institute to the ICMR after his wife fell ill in 2010. Since his daughter lives abroad and is not interested in running the institute, Chakrabarty was worried that all his hard work would go to waste after his death.

Chakrabarty approached ICMR about eight years ago with a proposal for a merger. It was finally approved this year. The takeover could be completed by December. The IRM, housed in two buildings at Salt Lake, includes the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, which treats about 3,000 couples every year and could be worth Rs 18 crore.

The institute has an IVF success rate of 30%-40%. It has an active research wing with eight to ten research scholars who work under his guidance. Affiliated to both Calcutta University and the West Bengal University of Health Sciences, the institute has a fellowship programme with six students now enrolled. In his proposal to ICMR, Chakrabarty had pointed out the eastern region had no government-run research facility on reproductive medicine. “I felt the region deserved a government facility. It will ensure that research and fertility treatment continues outside the ambit of business,” said the veteran. “ICMR’s association with Dr Chakrabarty goes back to 1998 when he was chosen to chair the committee constituted to put together the National Guidelines for Accreditation, Supervision and Regulation of ART (assisted reproductive techonology) clinics in India.

Dr Chakraborty’s institute is unique because it not only provides IVF facilities but also has an animal house and does serious research, which is rare for a private facility,” explained Dr RS Sharma, head of the Reproductive Biology and Maternal Health and Child Health Division of ICMR. Sharma added that to be able to donate the institute, the Bengal government would have had to be paid Rs 85 lakh as permission fee.

“We wrote to the government pointing out that the facility would be invaluable not only for people of the state but for all of east India as it will be the first government-owned IVF facility in the region. The state government has generously waived the permission fee. In the national registry for ART clinics, of over 3,000 clinics registered, government-owned facilities are just five or six,” said Sharma. ICMR envisages IRM as a centre not just for IVF work but also for research into reproductive health issues of women in East India. It will be an extension of the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Medicine, Mumbai under ICMR.

The biggest challenge is working out how to merge the existing staff of the institute. “We are working out the MoU to be entered into with the institute,” Sharma said. Chakrabarty worked under Subhas Mukherjee -- who produced India’s first test-tube baby in 1978 but never got recognition for it -- for 16 years till the latter committed suicide in 1981. It inspired the film ‘Ek Doctor Ki Maut’. He considers Mukherjee his mentor and inspiration.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/90-year-old-ivf-legend-donates-his-institute-to-icmr/articleshow/70930035.cms
M●●●●●n J●●n and 54 others like this16 shares
Dr. J●i B●●●●i
Dr. J●i B●●●●i Obstetrics and Gynaecology
It was a pleasure tobe associated with him during ivf training program.I am really proud of him.
Sep 10, 2019Like1
Dr. J●i B●●●●i
Dr. J●i B●●●●i Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Proud of his contrbutions in the field of human reoroduction to be continued in the years to çome.
Sep 10, 2019Like1
Dr. V●●●●●●j D●●●i
Dr. V●●●●●●j D●●●i Legal Medicine
Great charity. Congratulations to the bujurg.
Sep 28, 2019Like