A Tribute to Legend 'Padma Sri' Dr. Rathin Datta

Dr. Supratim Biswas

I heard his name from my parents since my childhood as a Doctor, a personality, as a Legend. I am blessed to receive advises, encouragement from Sir for my literary works fromearly 2014.He has departed us on 27th January 2020 morning. He is not only inspiration for medical professionals, he is inspiration for the children, youth as a Medico and outstanding human being and personality. He is none but Padma Sri Dr. Rathin Datta. Nation has awarded him "Padma Sri" for his outstanding services in the field of Medicine.

Mangaldoi is a small town located in North Bank of river Brahmaputra, now it is district headquarter of Darrang District in Assam. Dr. Rathin Datta born in this small town in 1931.However, he belongs to Tripura State only and 4, Mantri Bari Road was their family resident once upon a time, whichis one of oldest habitant in Agartala city. His Father was Dr. Upendra Ch. Datta, the first batch student of prestigious Umakanta Academy. Nations has acknowledged contribution of Dr Rathin Datta in his field too,but let us have a look on how Rathin became Legend Dr. Rathin Datta.

Dr. Upendra Ch. Datta was working under Central services and it was transferable job. Dr. Rathin Datta born in Assam, but he spent his childhood in another beautiful hill station of India i.e Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. He studied his primary school in esteemed school 'Shillong Government High English School'. He took admission in Clas-3 in the School in 1940 and studied during 1940 to 1948. Dr. Rathin Datta was always 1st Boy in his class from beginning to his medical study. He never stood second in School and it was his strong fact to achieve all the success in his life. Every child has some aim of life in his mind and thus, his aim was to become a Medico. Dr. Rathin Datta was very passionate for extra curricular activities and he was actively participated in sports. His favorite sports was Football and Hockey and he had represented School even University in National Games in other cities of the Country. He had played for prestigious East Bengal Unit in Kolkata in 1950.

Dr. Rathin Datta passed MBBS in 1957 and after Medical graduation he went to England for perusing prestigious FRCS. Dr. Datta successfully passed his FRCS from London and he opted to return to his home country to serve for the people of Nation though he was offered good opportunities in many good Hospital in England. His passion and affection to his nation made all of us proud and obviously people of Tripura and India too has been blessed to receive medical treatment from him duringfive decades.

Dr. Rathin Datta returned to his home state Tripura in 1965. He was recruited under Central Health Service and joined Gobind Ballav Pant Hospital as Surgeon. That time, there was limited infrastructure for surgery in GBP Hospital and Dr. Datta took a challenge to upgrade Surgery Department by his own initiatives and that too, a team of young Doctors joined in this crusade to support him for the utmost benefit of the  people of Tripura. Dr. Rathin Datta was hired and served in Berlin for three months on artificial limbs in surgery department. The Hospital in Berlin was so satisfied on the performance of Dr. Datta, that they have gifted few instruments which Dr Datta used in Berlin. Dr. Datta used to operate in GBP Hospital by those instruments.

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the liberation war in East Pakistan. Dr. Rathin Datta and his medical team from Agartala had played a prime role in treating the injured civilians from then Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Dr. Rathin Datta expressed his experiences earlier that then Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi came to visit Agartala to review war situation along with a Team experts from Medical field and after observing the medical situation in Agartala, a full plane with OT instruments and equipment's landed in Agartala. Dr. Datta and team full heartedly joined in the crusade to upgraded surgery department and then GBP Hospital had treated thousands of patents mainly injured victims of Indo-Pak War. Thus, India and Bangladesh both the countries recall contribution of Dr. Datta and his team.

Dr. Datta had served as Director of Health Services under Government of Tripura and he was only Doctor from Health Services who have been appointed as Special Secretary to the Government of Tripura. After retirement from Government Services, he shifted to Kolkata and continued practices for the people. Dr. Datta was an excellent English writer and he had contributed many articles in esteemed newspapers and leading websites of Tripura and India too. He was very active in social media and he used to participate through Facebook, linked in and other social media platform.

Dr. Rathin Datta is a Legend in true sense. He was honored by Government of Bangaladesh as "Friend of Liberation War". Government of India had awarded Dr. Rathin Datta "Padma Sri" Award in 1992. We salute the admirable service catered by Padma Sri Dr. Rathin Datta Sir and people of Tripura will treasure his contributions and memories forever. Everyone will definitely die one day; but our inner spirit can gladly sing:

{Who is not sure, dear, to find me on the morning.

It is me, who would take part in each game, Wow!

A new name for me,

A new pair of hands to surround my neck

I shall continue to come and go, that is me as ever.

One may choose not to remember me -

May not recall me gazing up the sky

When my foot steps will not be printed on this road...}

(Courtesy: Poem of Rabindranath Tagore)

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