As the oldest medical school in the State turns 60 years, a search is on for tracing all the 60 students of the first batch of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College (TMC).
An exercise which started about a month ago as a matter of idle curiosity, has now become a passionate pursuit for Kishore Kumar, a medical professional in his 60s.
“In 1951, on August 1, 20 girls and 40 boys joined TMC as the first batch of medical students in Kerala. However, even a complete list of those students is not available in any records,” says Dr. Kishore, who is a physician based at Kayamkulam.
Dr. Kishore has been trying to trace the 1951-batch linking to the various doctors' mail groups on the internet. Though he was never a student of TMC, he got interested in taking up this exercise as a pet project following some conversations with a couple of his close friends, who themselves belonged to the 1951-batch.
“Almost all of them would be nearly 80 years of age now. At a time when there seems to be an infectious enthusiasm in holding reunions and alumni meets, I was quite surprised when told that there has never been a single meeting of the 1951-batch after they left TMC,” says Dr. Kishore.
With much difficulty, he has now managed to trace 41 names of the 1951-TMC batch.
“Twenty of them are no more with us. I have circulated by email the names of the 21 doctors who were part of the first batch among all my mailing groups, hoping that I can eventually get the entire list of names. I have requested those I already traced to send me whatever details they could about themselves as well as their time at TMC,” he says.
The 1951-TMC batch includes several illustrious names whose professional achievements are part of the history of the college. These include M.S. Valiathan, the founder-director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology; M. Balaraman Nair, who has the distinction of not just being one of the first students but also the first DHS and the DME; and renowned physicians K.V. Krishnadas and P.P. Joseph.
Several of the members of the first batch have been abroad for several decades or still are.
“Those were the times when after graduation, everyone was going to the UK for higher studies. Which also explains why this batch never had any get-togethers or reunions,” Dr. Kishore says.
He has managed to find a copy of a group photograph of the 1951-batch, which is also being circulated along with his mail, with a request: “Please mark your position in the picture.”
There has been some response to this endeavour of his, though not as enthusiastic as he would have hoped. “I just thought that in the 60th year of medical education in the State, it would be a privilege and honour to get at least some of these illustrious names together and to hear from them how the medical profession has evolved in all these years. It would also be one for the records,” Dr. Kishore says.
Dr. Kishore can be contacted on phone numbers 0479-2445532 / 2446230 / 94474 85532 or on email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.