Late Pandit Shiv Sharma is the Founder President of IASTAM India and an Eminent Vaidya. Among the luminaries to have straddled the world of AYURVEDAin the 20th century, few names can parallel that of late Padma Bhushan Pandit Shiv Sharma. During the pre and post-independence era Pandit Shiv Sharma led the Ayurvedic profession of the country with clear vision and focus. His tireless efforts brought the Ayurvedic profession together through the All India Ayurvedic Congress of which he went on to become the youngest ever president, a position he held for 7 terms
He was also the first Honorary Ayurvedic Physician to the President of India and also a Member of Parliament.
Pandit Shiv Sharma is acknowledged as the architect of the Central Council of Indian Medicine of which he became the first President. Among the various accomplishments, creating international acceptance for Ayurveda easily ranks as the most significant. Recognition came his way in the form of Shree Surya and Ayurveda Chakravarti from the Government of Ceylon ( now Sri Lanka) and the Pope’s Medal from his Holiness Pope Paul the Sixth and Life Membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary, to name a few. Pt. Shiv Sharma was nominated as Asian Director to World Federation of Life Sciences, Melbourne, a position of great significance.
He was honoured by the Dhanwantari Foundation award and also with the Ayurved Ratnakar. He also held position of strategic importance such as Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board of Ayurvedic Research Group & Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board of Ayurvedic Research Group.
Prof. A.L. Basham, the founder president of the International Association for the study of Traditional Asian Medicine, organized the 1st Asian Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine (ACTAM) at Australia National University, Canberra, Australia in Spetember 1979. Prof. Basham inaugurated the meeting on 31st January 1980, organized at Bombay by Dr. C.L. Jhaveri and Dr. K.M. Parikh to start the Indian Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine.
Prof. Basham, the most famous Indologist and author of several books on Indian history and culture was particularly known for his Volume “The wonder that was India”. Born in Laughton, Essex, England, Basham stayed in India during his childhood with father who was an Indian Army Officer, during the British rule. After tenure as, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, till 1965, he went to Australian National University at Canberra. After retirement, he was a Visiting Professor at several Universities in Britain, United States, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He has been with Swami Vivekanand, Professor in Oriental Studies at the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. He was awarded the highest Award of the Vishwa Bharti University in Shantiniketan.
An award in the name of Professor Basham was instituted by Prof. Paul U. Unschuld, during his tenure as president of IASTAM. It is awarded in recognition of special contributions made by IASTAM members to promoting the goals of the organisation.
Prof. K.N. Udupa, the first president of IASTAM – India who was born in Kodettur in Karnataka was known as the modern Sushruta.
Though coming from a poor family he finished his graduation in 1943 from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) with the help of scholarships and tuitions. His curiosity about modern medicine made him read all the subjects taught in the allopathic system with the help of borrowed books. After working for one year as a house surgeon in the Sir Sunderlal Hospital, Banaras he went to Poddar Hospital, Bombay for further training. He also went to Lahore to learn Surgery from Dr. Mirajkar, who also helped him to apply and obtain for M.S. in Surgery from Michigan University, U.S.A.
After returning to India he worked as a civil surgeon in remote areas of Himachal Pradesh with scarce resources. He invented devices to perform surgery and built up a strong team. He returned to the USA in 1954 at the Harvard Medical School as a research fellow & did some pioneering research in wound healing.
In 1959 he submitted the famous Udupa Committee Report and took on an assignment as a Principal and Professor of Surgery at the BHU. He went on to become known as surgeon and a teacher par excellence. During this tenure he initiated radical changes in the health services and medical education at the BHU which proved to be very beneficial.
In a distinguished career Prof. Dr. Udupa won many awards and orations and was also awarded Padmashree. Prof. Udupa retired in 1980 from active service. After retirement he was actively involved in research and community work. He also got intimately associated with the International association for the study of Traditional Medicine and was one of the most known international personalities and was invited to many countries for his research in Ayurveda and yoga.
Prof. Ramchandra Keshav Mutatkar pioneered teaching of Medical Anthropology in India at the Department of Anthropology, University of Pune in 1974. He is the Hon. Director, – AYUSH in Public Health, The Maharashtra Association of Anthropological Sciences (MAAS), supported by Government of India.
He organized the Post- International Anthropology Congress Symposium on Medical Anthropology at Pune University during 19-21 December 1978. The Symposium was attended by more than 50 scholars from U.K. and U.S.A. Among the prominent medical anthropologists were Prof. Charles Leslie, Prof. Arthur Kleinman and eminent Indologist, Prof. A. L. Basham & Pandit Shiv Sharma. Prof. Basham attended the Symposium in order to discuss and invite the international scholars to participate at the proposed International Congress on Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM) at Australian National University, Canberra in September 1979. On 31st January 1980, a meeting to start the Indian Chapter of IASTAM was held at West End hotel Mumbai.
Prof. R. K. Mutatkar organized a meeting at Pune University on 20th April 1980 to formulate the Constitution in order to register the Indian Association for the Study of Traditional Indian Medicine. He was the first choice to organize the meeting as, firstly, the success with which you organized and conducted the International Congress on Medical Anthropology that brought a legion of world famous anthropologists from all over the world to Poona was absolute; secondly, during that Conference he worked very closely with the two major dignitaries and office holders of IASTAM, namely, Dr. A. L. Basham and Dr. Charles Leslie, the President and the Secretary General of the IASTAM respectively and won their confidence and appreciation; thirdly, he was not associated with any commercial or sectional body and was entirely free from any possibility or suspicion of groupism and fourthly, He is a true academician wedded to scientific pursuits with a full fledged university department behind him.
Prof. R. K. Mutatkar was the first General Secretary. After the sad demise of Pandit Shiv Sharma and Dr. Udupa, it was unanimously decided to elect Prof. R. K. Mutatkar to be the third President of IASTAM India. He was also organizing Secretary for the Asian Congress in 1983 and Third ICTAM in 1990 held at Mumbai.
At the Pune University campus, two Seminars namely on ‘Mother and Child Health’ and ‘Priority Research Areas in Traditional Medicine’ were organized on behalf of the Department of Anthropology and School of Health Sciences of which Prof. Mutatkar was the first Head of the Department and Director of the School respectively.
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