Year: 2020│Volume:8│Issue-2

Professor Sandip Kumar Ray

Professor Sandip Kumar Ray

Professor Sandip Kumar Ray, a brilliant, highly committed, renowned Community Medicine teacher and distinguished public health expert and researcher left for his heavenly abode on 17th July 2020.

Prof. Ray had dedicated his entire professional career to public health teaching, training and research. He had brought about a radical change in Community Medicine training by orienting it more towards practical approach i.e. field based training.

Prof. Ray was the elder son of Prof. Bidhu Sekhar Ray, an eminent medical teacher and former Principal of R.G.Kar Medical College, Calcutta. He was born on 28th April 1947. He passed MBBS from R.G. Kar Medical College in the year 1971 and joined “Kadambini” Primary Health Centre, Monteswar, Burdwan as Medical Officer in 1973. He attained Post Graduate degree in Community Medicine from Benaras Hindu University in the year in 1979. After that he joined as faculty in Community Medicine Department of Burdwan Medical College and attained the post of Professor and Head of the department. During his tenure, the department flourished under his able leadership and the teaching and training modalities of Community Medicine was strengthened as well. In 1994 he joined Medical College, Kolkata as Professor and Head and continued his term till his superannuation from West Bengal Medical Education Services. Thereafter he continued to render his expertise as senior faculty/ HoD of Community Medicine in several Medical Colleges of West Bengal, Karnataka and also in Nepal. He was Guest Professor at Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata. He was also program coordinator of PGDMCH course of IGNOU study centre at Medical College, Kolkata. He had a pleasant personality with an ever smiling face and was the loving ‘dada’ and an ideal role model for the junior colleagues. His passion for the discipline and his dedication towards teaching inspired thousands of undergraduate, post graduate and PhD students.

He joined Indian Association of Prevention and Social Medicine as a Life member in his early academic career (LM -43). In very early formative days of Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, West Bengal Chapter, he was associated with the organisation as an energetic young member. He held the chair of President of IAPSM, WB Chapter for two consecutive terms (1996-98). He provided his valuable guidance and expertise to the Organizing Committee of IAPSM WB Chapter for 44th Annual National Conference of IAPSM held in Kolkata in 2017. He was a source of constant support and motivation to all the members of IAPSM WB State Chapter in spite of his busy schedule.

Professor Ray served Indian Public Health Association (IPHA) in different capacities and contributed to the growth and wellbeing of the association and its journal (Indian Journal of Public Health). He was elected the “Secretary General” of Indian Public Health Association from 2000-2006 and enriched the organization in various ways. During his tenure, in 2006, on the occasion of IPHA’s Golden Jubilee Year a joint conference of IPHA and IAPSM was held at S. V. Medical College, Tirupati (AP). He had long association with the Indian Journal of Public Health as “Managing Editor (1984 – 1995)”, “Editor (1996 – 1999)” and “Chief Editor (2010 – 2012)”. He also contributed as editorial board member of Indian Journal of Community Medicine and Indian Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine.

Prof. Ray conducted many projects with Govt of WB, UNICEF, WHO, DFID, ICCIDD, India-Clen like “Nutritional status of pavement dwellers of Kolkata,” “Joint training programme on nutrition in West Bengal”, "Safe Abortion service in West Bengal", “Polio & Measles Surveillance”, Training on “Breast feeding and infant feeding practices” etc., effects of which percolated up to grassroot level. He was the central team member of “HIV Sentinel Surveillance” carried out by National Institute of Health and Family Welfare and NACO, Govt of India.

He was also deeply involved with other Public Health Associations like Association for Prevention and Control of Rabies in India. He had special interest in “Awareness against Tobacco use” and “Importance of Hand Washing”. He taught his juniors to remain sincere and truthful in conducting public health activities, as well as, helped them passionately to develop leadership quality.

Professor Ray was an excellent orator on different issues of public health. He had more than 60 research publications in national and international journals to his credit. He was the author of the book “A Guide for Understanding Family Exercises in the Community Level” for undergraduate medical students. He was the recipient of prestigious awards like “Deepak Banerji Award” from IMA for best published paper in JIMA, “Sri R. N. Ray Best Paper Award” from IPHA for his work on hand washing practices in urban and rural communities in and around Kolkata, West Bengal, and “Mehera ACOIN Award” for delivering oration on “Nutrition, Vision and Research” during International Assembly of Community Ophthalmologists in 2010.

Sir, Covid-19 Pandemic snatched you from us untimely. The fraternity of Preventive and Social Medicine will never forget you and your contributions towards the discipline. We pray your soul may rest in peace forever in the heavenly abode.

Prof Tutul Chatterjee
IAPSM West Bengal Chapter
Prof and Head, Department of Community Medicine
Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Medical Science,
Durgapur, West Bengal