Dr. Subhas Mukherjee

Dr. Subhas Mukherjee / Subhash Mokhopadhyaya (1931-1981) was a scientist  on whose life, the award winning movie “Ek doctor ki maut” was based.

On 25 July 1978, the world’s first human test tube baby, Louise Joy Brown, was born at Oldham General Hospital in England. The architects were Robert Edward and Patrick Steptoe. In the methodology followed by them, an ovum was collected using a laparoscope.

But Dr. Subhas Mukhopadhyay, a Kolkata-based physician, increased the number of ova using hormones. Without using a laparoscope, he collected the ovum by performing a small operation. The second test tube baby of the world and the first in India named “Durga” was born on 3 October 1978. However, the news triggered a controversy and his claim was rejected by a committee set up by the Government of West Bengal. Facing social ostracization, bureaucratic negligence, reprimand and insult instead of recognition, Mukhopadhyay committed suicide at his Calcutta residence on 19 June 1981.

Subsequently, Dr T.C. Anand Kumar, Director of the Institute for Research in Reproduction, Mumbai (a unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research) developed a test tube baby named “Harsha” (born 16 August 1986). Despite getting the honour of developing the first human test tube baby in India, he took the pain of going through all the research documents of Mukhopadhyay and was convinced that Mukhopadhyay was the architect of the first human test tube baby in India.

On her 25th birthday, Durga revealed her identity for the first time in a ceremony organized in the memory of Mukhopahdhyay. His work got recognition in India and abroad after his death. A film (Ek doctor ki maut) based on the events of his life received a national award.


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