Page 35 - Science India August 2022
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             Right: Portrait of Sir Ronald Ross, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1902 for showing that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes
Above: Ross on the steps of his lab at Calcutta in 1898, with his wife and assistants
Images Courtesy: Commons
oil, malaria was brought under control. This success story encouraged the vil- lagers of the neighborhood, and Anti- Malaria Cooperative Societies were formed. That movement resulted in the formation of the Central Anti-Malaria Cooperative Society in a meeting held on 8 April 1919 at Rammohan Library Hall in Calcutta.
He started social campaigns in the villages of Bengal for the eradication of malaria. Bandyopadhyay started tour- ing the villages with his Magic Lantern and slides depicting parasites, mosqui- toes, patients, and steps for the preven- tion of the disease. He organised slide shows in order to educate the village folk about malaria or Sheet Jwar. The black-and-white slides were prepared by his photographer friend, Lakshmi- narayan Gangopadhyay who was one of the first roving photo-artistes of In- dia. The black-and-white plates were coloured by Gangopadhyay with trans- parent dyes so that the slides generated excitement amongst the public. Ban- dyopadhyay communicated in simple mother-tongue the science of the ma- larial parasite and created awareness among the general masses.
His regular visits to villages con-
In 1927, Bandyopadhyay started the Panihati Co-operative Bank which is still active. The bank became a great success
vinced him that the local population needed to be pulled out of the clutches of moneylenders. So, in 1927, he started the Panihati Co-operative Bank which is still active. The bank became a great success. In today’s economics, this model would be micro-financing the poor for the poor. Unfortunately, the great life was cut short early in 1929 due to meningitis. Bandyopadhyay was only 46 then.
Any major scientific discovery of- ten needs to have a collective effort of several people. It is therefore necessary that the contributors are acknowledged. This was clearly missing in the case of Ross. Whether Ross did it deliberately, out of jealousy or just that he thought that as a British origin person, he was entitled to be the beneficiary of the hard labour of natives — will remain a mys- tery. While past mistakes can hardly be undone, giving due credit to those de- serving them creates a flatter world for
grassroot innovations and germination of new ideas. In fact, the British soci- ety has realised this now and therefore, when the elucidation of the structure of DNA is discussed, credit is duly pro- vided to Rosalind Franklin whose mas- sive work was used by Watson and Crick for their discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA, which however, was never acknowledged by them. Kishori Mohan Bandopadhyay clearly remains a wronged hero in the history of science in India and it should be the duty of the enlightened readers of this magazine to seek proper academic credit for him.
*The writer is currently a Professor of Chemistry in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. His research interests include computational materials and exotic molecular and materials properties at the mesoscopic and nanoscale dimensions. He is currently an As- sociate Editor of Bulletin of Materials Science, Indian Academy of Science and Editorial Advisory Board member of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society. Coin- cidently, the author is an original resident of Panihati, the karmabhoomi of Kishori Mohan Bandyopadhyay

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