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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 248  

Obituary: Prof. S. P. Mukhopadhyay

Date of Web Publication3-Dec-2012

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How to cite this article:
. Obituary: Prof. S. P. Mukhopadhyay. Indian J Public Health 2012;56:248

How to cite this URL:
. Obituary: Prof. S. P. Mukhopadhyay. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Mar 23];56:248. Available from:

Prof. S. P. Mukhopadhyay

(15 th July 1936 to 17 th August 2012)

Dr. (Prof.) Siba Prasad Mukhopadhyay (fondly known as SPM by his students and colleagues) was born on 15 th July 1936. He completed his MBBS from National Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata and then went on to teach in the same institute in the Department of Physiology. He left for England for further studies and completed his MRCP (Comm Med), FRCP, DCH, DTM&H, DTCD from the United Kingdom. After returning to India, Dr. Mukhopadhyay joined the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (AIIH&PH) in the Department of Health Education. Later, he was posted as Officer-in-Charge of Chetla Urban Health Centre of AIIH&PH. After that, he joined the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM) of AIIH&PH which conducts the MD (PSM) course. His students are now holding senior posts as teachers or health-care administrators throughout the country. Dr. Mukhopadhyay completed his PhD (Cal) on health economics during this time. During his career as a teacher in AIIH&PH, Dr. Mukhopadhyay became Professor, Professor-Director, and finally the first Dean of AIIH&PH. After his retirement in 1994, Prof. Mukhopadhyay joined the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management as the head of Health Care and Hospital Management where he was attached till his last days.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay has always fought for the cause of public health and his saying was that the two words "public" and "health" should be united i.e., public should take charge of their own health - it is their birth right and this is the only answer to the improvement of the health status of the country. Dr. Mukhopadhyay was confident that from the platform of the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), he would be able to convey this message to one and all. He joined IPHA in 1975 and he became the All India Secretary General from 1982 till 1984 and then again from 1986 to 1999. He was then elected as President of the Association and held this position from 2001 to 2002. At the same time,

Dr. Mukhopadhyay held the post of General Secretary of West Bengal State branch for 15 years. He was also elected as President of the State branch and held this post till the end. His main focus was to have members from all streams of public health and not only public health physicians.

From its very nascent stage, Dr. Mukhopadhyay took the lead to make IPHA one of the most vocal and outspoken association regarding public health activities. He was of course fortunate to have the guidance of such doyens in public health like Prof. S.C. Seal, Dr. Mahendra Dutta, Prof. Deodhar, Dr. J.C. Gandhi, Dr. Anjaneyulu, and others of similar stature. It was Dr. Mukhopadhyay's dream that IPHA will have a home of its own. He toiled day and night to get a plot of land from the West Bengal State Government and was successful in building a single-storey structure and named it "IPHA Bhavan". of course, many state branches contributed generously to this end.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay would always tell his juniors to hold their heads high when introducing themselves as public-health professionals. He would say that we might not have the glamour of clinicians or surgeons, but it is we who have eradicated small pox and guinea worm infection from the country and there are many other communicable diseases on the verge of eradication or elimination. In fact, he has been a constant source of inspiration for his students as well as the members of the Association to speak their voice out in support of public health activities in the country.

Although Dr. Mukhopadhyay was very out-spoken and had a very strong personality which many were reluctant to face, he had a very soft heart and was always by the side of any person in need. Dr. Mukhopadhyay is survived by his son and daughter.

He will remain an iconic figure for IPHA and for all followers of public health.

In all his speeches, his last words always were:


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