India’s first test tube baby ‘Durga’ was created by Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay on October 3, 1978. He became the first physician in India and second in the world to perform in vitro fertilization after British Physician Dr. Patrick Steptoe and Dr. Robert Edwards.
Both Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay and Dr. Patrick started their work of in vitro fertilization at the same time. Somehow Dr. Patrick’s experiment came out to be a success before Dr. Subhash and India’s first test tube baby was born on October 3, 1978, which was exactly 67 days after the world’s first test tube baby ‘Marie Louise’s birth.
Undoubtedly, Dr. Subhash’s contribution to Indian society was great but sadly his study and creation never got the attention it deserved. It was really sad that the person with such great creation had to commit suicide in the year 1981, just because of the negligence he had to face from the Indian Government. Instead of praising Dr. Mukhopadhyay, he was questioned for going to media without approval and creating a test tube baby without any specialized laboratory and using simple tools.
The unjust Indian society was responsible for the death of a great scientist. Later 21 years after the death of Dr. Subhash, his actual work was published and case was reopened. Mr. T. C Anand kumar, Director of institute of research in reproduction acknowledged and praised it among everyone, he was the first to talk openly about how great Dr. Subhash was and how great was his achievement.
Journey in getting official reorganization:
1978-1977: Dr. Subhash worked on In vitro fertilization using innovative techniques, same time when Dr. Patrick started his work.
December, 1978: An enquiry in west Bengal refused to accept his claim.
1980: Dr. Subhash was not given passport to go to Kyoto for paper presentation on IVF. He was later transferred to an eye hospital where he suffered heart attack.
1981: Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay committed suicide due to the negligence faced.
1981: His described methodology of cryopreservation was used by Howard Jones in U.S
1996: The leader of the group which produced official first test tube baby ; T.C Anand Kumar got access to Dr. Subhash’s notes.
1997: T.C Anand Kumar studied the notes of Dr. Subhash and published the first paper on his achievements.
2002: Indian Council for Medical Research (IMRC) appointed a committee of 12 members to prepare a bill on Assisted Reproductive Technique.
2003: The Committee accepted Dr. Subhash achievement.
2004: The document was challenged by IVF specialists from across the world.
2005: First test tube baby ‘Durga’ (Kanpuriya Agarwal) was honored in public for the first time by IMRC.
2007: Welcome Trust centre for History of Medicine at UCL, London England, published the achievements of Dr. Subhash in the book “Dictionary of Medical Biology”.
2008: Dr. Subhash’s work was officially accepted.
Before all this Durga’s parents had to face humiliation as no one in the society was ready to accept her birth. She believes she was reborn in the year 2008.
Durga is a MBA from Symbiosis Pune and works in a private firm in Gurgaon. After the official acceptance of Dr. Subhash Durga, his family got relief.
Not to forget the cruel society was the reason for the death of a legend. His wife was left alone and was never provided any help.