This historic building (opened to the students of the first batch in 1845) is in
a poor state. The roof, side walls and floor of the original Professors’ Room (shown above the porch in the foreground
of the illustration above) have disappeared. The entire second and first floors are in danger of collapse as teak beams are
rotting and the ceilings and walls are leaking profusely.
It would be a great loss to the medical community and the city of Mumbai were this
remnant of the buildings envisaged by Sir Robert Grant and created by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Dr. Charles Morehead and others
This building has seen the likes of Dr. Charles Morehead, Dr. John McLennan, Dr.
Bhau Daji, Dr. Atmaram Pandurang Turkhud, Dr. Henry Vandyke Carter, Dr. Sohan Lal Bhatia, Dr. Shantilal J. Mehta and other
legendary figures working, studying and teaching in it and in the corridors of the affiliated hospital named after the first
Many will recall the laudatory note in The
Lancet on Dr. Bhau Daji and the College in 1855, especially the following paragraph in this note:
each of the three Presidencies we now have highly flourishing medical colleges where the studies of the pupils are conducted
by Professors who, in many cases, would be a credit to any seminary in any part of Europe. Without drawing any invidious comparisons,
it will, we think, be allowed that whatever the merits of Calcutta and Madras, Bombay surpasses both in perfection of its
arrangements, the distinction of its professors, the accomplishments of its pupils and its general efficiency altogether…’
Some will also recall the fact that in 1860, when the
London University was
reconsidering its system of medical education, Sir James Clarke wrote to Dr. Morehead for help and guidance, both of which Dr. Morehead
Some other noteworthy sentiments continue to reverberate from the past and deserve
In 1928, Y. C. Pandit, B.A., editor The Grant Medical College Magazine, wrote:
…We take this opportunity for
pointing out the necessity of history … especially in the sphere of medical subjects…
It is necessary therefore that certain
alcoves of our library be devoted to the historical considerations of the diseases and from this, a student will derive that
mental perspective which is so valuable an accomplishment in life…
It is in the continued remembrance
of the past that we, as individuals or even as a nation, find our noblest inspiration. Man must, by studying history, improve
the heritage of his birth or his fortune…’
The demolition of the original Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy hospital prompted this heart-felt
outburst from Dr. B. G. Vad in 1966:
It is a sacrilege and
act of vandalism that this great institution … should have been demolished.
In most countries such
monuments are meticulously preserved as they are a source of inspiration to all and at all times.
Even in the U. S. A.,
the country of skyscrapers, the hospital and wards of Johns Hopkins are still preserved…as they existed when used by
…Sir William Osler.
Good traditions inspire
In this spirit, we seek your help in the restoration of the College building to
the state it was in 1845.
We hope to utilise the revitalised building for the continued education of students
of the Grant Medical College; the creation of computerised facilities where they may roam the corridors of knowledge and experience
all over the world through the medium of the internet; a museum of the history of medicine in this hallowed institution, in
the city of Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra and indeed in our country at large where scholars and students can study,
interact and throw light on the women and men that brought the medical sciences to where they are at present.
This project is envisaged as the first step in helping the college and its hospitals
to develop their full potential and continue to make major contributions to the medical sciences in India.
Please help in every possible way – by providing us your thoughts and ideas;
funds and by sending us historical memorabilia of these institutions in the form of books, magazines, photographs, medals,
certificates in your possession.