Brigadier Dr R N Dutta one of the senior most GIPAP physicians in India died on the 2nd of this month. he was ailing and well past his eight decade in this world but still the news came as a shock. He was so beloved to all of us. This was the message we sent Dr Dutta’s family upon hearing of his demise . Invited to speak at his memorial service and not sure if I would be able to go to Kolkata we sent in this message to his grieving family on the TMF letter head .
In honour and loving memory of Dr R N Dutta
It is difficult to believe that our dear Dr R N Dutta is no more .For those of us who knew him he embodied the spirit of the perfect gentleman. He was both compassionate and firm and for those who have known him closely for so many years, I know you will agree with me when I say that he was more than a wonderful doctor and special human being. His patients are bereft and it is like they have lost a parent. For myself I will always be grateful to him for many lessons learnt in ethics and dignified comportment. Not one visit to Calcutta would go without a hand cooked lunch by Jaya Madam and scintillating conversation from Dr Saheb.
The fact that he attended the Friends of Max Kolkata AIM meet (exactly a year ago) even though he was not ambulatory, stayed for the most part of the day as well as made the most moving address shows how much he cared for all of us. He wore his 90 odd years with great nonchalance and even greater verve.Dr Dutta completed his MBBS as early as 1944 from Calcutta. Other qualifications acquired by him are M.R.C.P.(Edin) 1957,F.R.C.P. (Edin) 1976, M.R.C.Path(Eng.) 1965 and R.C.Path(Eng.) in 1977. He was awarded A. V.S.M. by The President of India In 1978 for outstanding contribution as a Consultant in Haematology&Blood Transfusion to the Defence Services.He was one of the first physicians to apply on behalf of CML patients when Glivec the Magic Bullet burst upon the scene and he followed up relentlessly for inclusion of each and every one of his patients into the programme. Just for GIPAP he made that extra special effort to master the computer and would sit late into the night entering new applications, re approval requests and dosage change requests. But his Bible was his stout little dog eared note book into which he would painstakingly enter by hand every detail about each of his patients. He was so proud of that. In his lifetime he saw so many changes and was exemplary in his inclusive attitude towards anything that merited his attention and was beneficial to the betterment of his patients’ welfare Our prayers and thoughts for his family and loved ones and deep gratitude for knowing such a humble and brilliant personage in our lifetime
Viji and The Max Foundation team and all his patients and the Friends of Max patient group.
Eventually , upon the personal request of his dear wife I decided to go to Kolkata and speak in his honour on behalf of The Max Foundation. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this very note which we had couriered had been enlarged and framed and put up on the wall besides a collage of photographs for all to see and read!
And amongst the photographs, were ones with Pat and the boys taken in 2003 when they had visited his home during the launch of FOM and one of Pat welcoming him to the All India Meet in 2007.
How proud the family was of Dr Dutta’s relationship and involvement with TMF. It was an honour to speak in front of all those who came to pat their respects to this great man and be with his patients , his peers and colleagues from the army and the medical fraternity .