New Delhi: A pink building with the quiet presence of a sitting marble statue of Lady Hardinge in its quadrangle, overlooking class rooms in front and the women’s hostel on the right, spells a quiet 100 year aura that surrounds this women’s institution.
Lady Hardinge Medical College-the first to step into the field of patient care in India is celebrating its centenary this year.
One of the oldest medical college for girls in the country, a landmark of sorts in the busiest commercial shopping treat of Delhi-Connaught place. Standing as the sole medical hub of Delhi, at the time of independence and many years after, LHMC was the result of Lady Hardinge’s vision. Wife of Baron Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India, it was Lady Hardinge who laid its foundation stone, on 17th March, 1914. Understanding the need for an institution for women, Mrs. Hardinge raised funds for it. Unfortunately, she did not live to see the fruits of it, for she passed away in the same year. It was her husband Baron Hardinge, who gave form to the lady’s dream, by formally inaugurating the college on 7th February, 1916.
Lady Hardinge Medical College celebrated its 100th convocation ceremony, yesterday, with President, Pranab Mukherjee, gracing the occasion along with other health luminaries like , J P Nadda, Health Minister and MoS, Health and Family Welfare, Faggan Singh Kulaste.
Wearing a velvet blue convocation gown and cap, Mr. Mukherjee lit the lamp, symbolizing of the efforts gone into building the institution and the medical might it represents for the future, in its student strength.
The president congratulated the LHMC fraternity on the occasion of its ‘Centenary Year Celebration and Convocation’, laying special emphasis on the achievements of awardees, their parents and faculty members. Appreciating the efforts of Lady Hardinge, the President said that it was her vision that had resulted in providing today’s medical student- a modern and scientific education.
Mr. Mukherjee laid emphasis on doctors being consistently sensitive and empathetic towards their patients, for he felt the two qualities helped in getting the job of curing, on a better footing.
Speaking about new developments in medical research, Mr. Mukherjee called upon students to remain learners on a daily basis.
Raising an important point about rural healthcare, he urged doctors in the making, to regularly focus on public health and medical facilities away from the cities, more emphatically, in the smaller towns and villages of India. According to him, while the Government did its bit in enhancing health services, a resolve on the part of the doctors would do wonders to the public health infrastructure.
Highlighting the crucial doctor patient ratio, Mr. Mukherjee said that while against the international norm of one doctor per thousand population, India had one doctor for every 1700 people.
Defining the situation as increasingly alarming in rural India, he spoke of the shortage of surgeons being to the tune of 83.4%, obstetricians and gynaecologists 76.3%, paediatricians 82.1% and general physicians 83% at the level of the Community Health Centres (CHCs). Calculating the overall shortage as being 81.2% for the year 2015.
Citing the above data, he impressed upon those present of the need to build health infrastructure in the country, more so in rural areas.
LHMC known for its academic forays admits 200 students to its undergraduate programmes every year; and a 142 to its post graduate learning programmes. The medical institution takes pride in its total hostel strength of 900 rooms for undergraduate and post graduate courses.
The college hospital has moved from strength to strength is evidently clear in the two units of medicine, one unit of general surgery and orthopedics at Dr. RML.
Smt. Sucheta Kriplani and Kalawati Saran Children Hospital’s 1250 bed strength attached to LHMC– is another feather in its cap.
The two super specialty courses-M.CH Pediatric Surgery and DM Neonatology along with its College of Nursing degree, with an annual intake of 50 students gives it a wider medical span.
Dr. Sushila Nayyar, the former Union Health Minister, is one of the well known alumna of the college.
The college after having celebrated its 100th convocation will on September 23rd be sending up balloons for its Founder’s Day. A commerative stamp will also be released on this occasion by MoS Communications, Mr. Manoj Sinha.