Mangaluru, April 8, 2018: April 10 would be a memorable day for many doctors, especially for the alumni of Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangaluru.
The Postal Department will release a special cover on Late Prof Mangalore Pandurang Pai for his birth centenary, at the head post office.
According to the birth centennial special cover proponent, Dr G G Laxman Prabhu, professor and head of Urology Department at KMC, Prof M P Pai, a surgeon, scholar, philosopher, nationalist and a legendary teacher, was God’s gift to Mangaluru. Without his efforts, the Kasturba Medical College, the institution he served longest, could not have prided itself of the first-ever PG course in the state, in General Surgery. Over 500 surgeons have successfully completed the course started in 1963.
Flash on Prof Pai:
Born on April 10, 1919, Professor Pai had his early education at the Canara High School and the Government College (now University College). He received his medical education in Madras at Stanley Medical College and Madras Medical College. He went to England in 1952 for FRCS.
On return, he set himself up in private practice at Coimbatore, which he gave up for love of teaching. This took him to Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh, and then to Victoria College in Bengaluru for a while.
In 1959, he arrived in Mangaluru to join the Kasturba Medical College, which was six years old and the first private medical college in the country. He worked for 18 years in the institution and established the first-ever PG medical department in the erstwhile Mysore state and retired in 1977 as its principal.
He was the prime mover in the construction and commissioning of the iconic Light House Hill KMC building, until which, the college functioned from rental premises. Those who have followed the evolution of this college opine that, but for this building, KMC, Mangaluru, would not have become independent from its earlier status of “Mangalore Section”.
He established a research laboratory on the top floor of the college for animal experiments. Dr S R Ullal, one of the professors hand-picked by him to work here, went on to deliver the Hunterian Oration in Royal College of Surgeons, UK, on cardiac lymphatics.
Professor Pai also worked at Manipal, driving till there week after week, sometimes with his patients to train students at Manipal. He was also instrumental in starting the first Burn’s Care unit in the region at Manipal.
After retirement, he moved to the Sultanate of Oman to serve as consultant surgeon and MOIC of Qaboos Hospital Salalah. He spent his sunset years in Mangaluru, when he gave the last opinion on surgical problems.
According to his famous disciple Dr C R Ballal, Professor Pai was probably the last of the true breed of general surgeons. He was equally at ease performing operations on all parts of the body.
Among the many awards that came Prof Pai’s way, the Dr B C Roy Award merits mention because it was conferred for his services in teaching, which was his love.
Professor Pai was also responsible for starting of Mangaluru Kendras of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Aurobindo Society, Maharshi Institute of Creative Intelligence. He recited every day the line of Taitriya Upanishad, Shikshavalli, Anuwak IV- “Pramayanthu Bhramacharina Swaha” - “May students come to me from all sides,” which summarises the mind and heart of a great teacher.
Professor Pai left for his heavenly abode on August 27, 1992.
The special cover will be released by Senior Superintendent of Post Offices (Mangaluru division) M Jagadish Pai in the presence of KMC Dean Dr M V Prabhu.