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4.11. A reminiscence

The Silver Jubilee Celebrations organised in 1985 was an unforgettable event128. Under the celebrations three main activities were held. A scientific session was held at the NTI on 1.11.1985 which was attended by a galaxy of senior TB workers from all over India and abroad. They deliberated and worked out innovative strategies based on their previous experiences in the field of TB control. The following sessions were held: i) current treatment problems in NTP, chaired by Dr SP Pamra, ii) current operational problems, chaired by Dr KN Rao and iii) status of NTP today chaired by Sri SV Subramanian.

The inaugural session was held on 2.11.1985 which was attended by a host of dignitaries. The gathering was welcomed by Dr HL Thimme Gowda, Health Minister of Karnataka. It was presided by Smt Mohsina Kidwai, Hon. Minister for Health and Family Planning, GOI. The report on 25 years of work of NTI was read by Dr DB Bisht, DGHS. In his address he said: the history of the establishment of this Institute and the evolution of the concept of the NTP has been scintillating..... much has been done but more has to be done. In her presidential address Smt Mohsina Kidwai said Unlike many other National Health Programmes, the NTP I understand, was evolved on the basis of relevant epidemiological, sociological, technical, financial and administrative considerations, after extensive field research, undertaken by this Institute. It had another unique distinction that from the very beginning it was conceived of as a part of the GHS..... The Institute can well be proud of the fact that besides the formulation of NTP, it has trained thousands of health personnel of different categories from all over the country in the organisation of TB programme. The team approach has been instrumental in the successful implementation of the programme on a uniform basis, throughout the country and is a significant achievement by itself. The research studies carried out by this Institute have also been appreciated and have attracted the attention of TB workers around the world....

The Silver Jubilee address was delivered by Mr Ramakrishna Hegde, Chief Minister of Karnataka. Dr HT Mahler, the WHO Director General, Geneva who was the chief guest gave an extempore speech. Dr Mahler said: ..Twenty five years is certainly no more than a flash in human history, though in a person’s life it is quite a lot... very many Indians who have been my Gurus in so many ways and many of them present here today, but one of them towers very high – Dr PV Benjamin. No other person has shown me what it is to have motivation for cause. India was a huge country with its hundred thousands of villages, with its exploding population, and I think it was very clear that this western model just wouldn’t fit.... And that was the background - this NTI was created. I think from the beginning it had a very very courageous kind of foundation, and I am sorry to say that neither in developing countries nor in WHO has there been any repeat performances of the courage that went into this Institute... “In this Institute we did not have a WHO idea being sold, as has been in the case in so many other programmes and in so many other countries. We were bitterly criticised both by the regional office in Delhi, as well as by WHO headquarters, Geneva for this what they called not revolutionary approach, but completely crazy approach that was being formulated in NTI. And, I wish that many of you could have been present when these ideas came out. I can only tell you that the dividing lines were not national/international…..

I believe in all modesty - the various sociological studies which were carried out in this place made the fundamental distinction between manipulating people and enabling people to participate in their own health.... I pay the highest tribute to this country for having been able to make such a monumental decision in science... what is infinitely more important about this Institute and that puts on you who have the privilege to work in this Institute and TRC, Madras and all the other kinds of fighters on the front line of TB, it puts on you very special moral and ethical challenge because the philosophy from here and nobody, I think, will deny, led straight into the concept of Alma Ata Declaration and report on primary health care128....

The celebrations were not confined to the NTI precincts at Bangalore alone. Twenty states rejoiced with it, in fifty one districts. The District TB Associations and the District branches of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) actively participated and organised workshops in the respective districts some of which invited the local medical practitioners129.

Scientific Session
Sitting (L to R) Drs. : KN Rao, D. Banerji &
GD Gothi

Silver Jubilee Celebrations
Sitting (L to R) Drs : SP Pamra, DR Nagpaul
MN Nagu, & KN Rao.

Celebrations held eleswhere

NTI Staff with the Chief Guest during Silver Jubilee Celeberations
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