Who was Dr B.C. Roy? Here's why National Doctors Day honours West Bengal's first chief minister

This year's theme for National Doctors Day is 'Healing Hands, Caring Hearts'

Dr B.C. Roy Bidhan Chandra Roy aka B.C. Roy

National Doctors Day is observed on July 1 every year to honour the contributions of doctors and celebrate their service to the society. This year's theme is 'Healing Hands, Caring Hearts'.

Why is National Doctors Day honouring Dr B.C. Roy?

National Doctors Day on July 1 was first celebrated in 1991 to pay tribute to Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy aka B.C. Roy, the first chief minister of West Bengal. July 1 marks both his birth and death anniversary. He was born on July 1, 1882, in Patna and died on July 1, 1962, in erstwhile Calcutta at the age of 80.

Roy was instrumental in setting up the Indian Medical Association and the Medical Council of India.

Roy was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honours in the country, on February 4, 1961. The B.C. Roy National Award, which was instituted in 1962 to honour him, has been awarded annually since 1976 to recognise feats in medicine, politics, science, philosophy, literature and arts.

Who was B.C. Roy?

Roy completed his Intermediate Arts degree from Presidency College in Calcutta and his BA degree with honours in mathematics from Patna College. He then enrolled in Calcutta Medical College in 1901, followed by which he studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. He became a member of Royal College of Physicians and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1911.

After returning home, he joined the Provincial Health Service and taught at the Calcutta Medical College. Subsequently, he taught at the Campbell Medical School (now known as NRS Medical College) and the Carmichael Medical College (now RG Kar Medical College). 

Roy who was the first president of Cardiological Society of India from 1948 to 1950, was also Mahatma Gandhi's personal doctor.

He became the second and last Premier of West Bengal in January 23, 1948 and continued in the post until India became a republic. On January 26, 1950, Roy took oath as West Bengal chief minister.

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