Old medicine, new learners

THE AYURVEDIC and Unani Tibbia College, popularly known as Tibbia College, located in Karol Bagh, New Delhi, is one of India's premier institutions. Its uniqueness lies in its being the only institution in the country to offer education and training in two ancient systems of medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani, under a single roof. It has a long history too. First established in 1882 at Gali Qasim Jan - in Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk where Mirza Ghalib stayed - as `Madrasa Tibbia' in 1889 by Hakim Abdul Majeed in the Walled City under a society known as Anjuman-e-Tibbia. R. Clark, the then commissioner, inaugurated the madrasa.

When Hakim Abdul Majeed died in 1901, his younger brother Hakim Wasil in 1903, then the youngest brother Masih-ul-Hakim Ajmal took over the institution and raised it to the level of a model. As a result of personal efforts by Hakim Ajmal Khan, the site extending over an area of 50 acres was acquired including adjacent the Ajmal Khan Park, then the herb garden. The present institution is spread across 33.5 acres. H.E. Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India, laid the foundation stone of the institution on March 29, 1916. Within five years, various buildings for lecture theatres, laboratories, hospital pharmacies, hostel, office and staff quarters were constructed. These are fine fusion of architecture style vogue at that time, like classical, colonial, Moghul and Indian.

It was Hakim Ajmal Khan who brought two ancient systems of medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani at one platform. In 1907 Ajmal Khan also opened a Zanana College of an all-ladies staff. i Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the institution on February 13, 1921. Besides the college and hospital, Hindustani Dawakhana and Ayurvedic Rasayanashastra were also set up for manufacturing medicines. The main objective behind the institution is to promote Indian Medical Science and to amalgamate Ayurved and Unani. The college was affiliated to the University of Delhi in 1973. It is very important to note that on the completion of 75 years of its existence, the college celebrated the Platinum Jubilee on February 13, 1996. On the same occasion the first prize under the DDA Urban Heritage Award 1994 was given to the College by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

With the help of its research centre the institution developed and researched several unparalleled medicines. Roulfiaserpentina - sarpgandha - the medicine to recover the lunatic mind, is one of those specimens.

The Principal of the college, Dr.V.N. Singha, informs they have separate, huge sections of operation, laboratory and hospital blocks to cure almost all diseases and to train the students of the college. "Many products of our institution are doing well and gaining fame in India as well as abroad," Singha says with pride.


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