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E-Pao! EI - Genesis of RMC, now RIMS

Genesis of RMC, now RIMS

By: Haokholal Thangjom *


It was on the 30th September 1970 the Prime Minister of India announced in the Parliament that a full-fledged statehood status was conferred on Manipur.

Thereafter, late Indira Gandhi inaugurated the new State on the 21st January 1972 at Konung Lampak thus culminating in momentous success of the then All Party Statehood Demand Coordination Committee.

Mention may be made that dissolution of the Assembly and the Congress Ministry led by Late M Koireng Singh in October 1970 and the President's Rule imposed was a blessing in disguise as all political parties in Manipur could work together in the demand of statehood.

In 1972 the United Legislature Party Ministry led by Late Alimuddin came to power which left no stone unturned for the establishment of Medical College in Manipur.

The tug-of-war was between Manipur and Tripura. On the 'Red-letter day' of the 22nd May 1972 (Monday) at 10.15 am BN Nehru the then Governor of Manipur, Tripura, Assam laid the foundation stone of the Regional Medical College at Lamphel with 'compelling consent'.

His lamentation or sarcastic words are still ringing in my ears when he said, "I am afraid that you will produce licentiate murders from this college".

Unfortunately, the Pre-sident's Rule was clamped down on Manipur on the 28th March 1973 (Wed-nesday) till the election was held on the 23rd February 1974 (Saturday). A new coalition Ministry of the Manipur People Party and the Hills Union was sworn-in on the 4th March 1974 (Monday) evening after the PR was revoked.

The defection of late Yangmasho Shaiza of the Hills Union who was to be sworned in with Alimuddin almost culminated in unexpected crisis. As a result, I was nominated to be sworn-in along with Alimuddin. But I had to sacrifice in favour of late N Gouzagin to save the situation.

In the expansion of the Ministry I was inducted along with Y Yaima, Kh Chaoba, Dr L Chandramani and Kilengpou. I was allotted the portfolio of Health/Medical. Thus the vast task ahead of Manipur Government and myself was to stabilise the position of the Regional Medical College (RMC) to thwart the effort of the rival State.

I was deputed to attend the meeting of the Health and Family Planning Ministers held on the 5th and 6th April 1974. On the sideline my main assignment was to meet Dr Karan Singh, the then Union Health Minister and other officials.

The crux of the problem was to tide over the thirty-six lakhs of rupees in the shape of a waiver by the Central Govt which was spent already in the construction of Assam type of buildings for class rooms in the RMC which could not be reflected in the State Budget of the year 1974-75.

Understanding and appreciation our compelling circumstances the Health Ministry helped us out of the tight spot.

The second problem staring in our face was non-availability of qualified doctors having teaching experience as stipulated by the Indian Medical Council.

In brief, I was able to convince Dr BN Sinha, president of the Indian Medical Council through three P'S' - Prayer, Persuasion and Pressure to allow transitional period.

So we had Regional Medical College and at present we have RIMS.

During those days there was immense dearth or shortage of doctors, both general and specialist doctors in our State and the State Govt was really helpless to meet the situation. Transitional period or provisional appointment of Lecturers to acquire teaching experience allowed by the IMC went a long way in stabilising the position of the then RMC which I cannot forget till today.

In the anal of advancement or burgeoning of medical facilities in Manipur, the parts played or the venture by private hospitals and research centres are worth mentioning and what we are today is the fruit of the pioneer doctors and specialists which the people are reaping.

Apart from the RIMS and the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, the medical institution and hospitals sprouting like mushroom are inalienable assets of the people of Manipur and the State.

Every sensible person will be proud of the number of doctors - General and Specialists we have as I am proud of. Let me quote what the war-time Prime Minister of Great Britain said during the World War II, "It is not enough to have abundant warheads or weaponries.

The need of the hour is to have skill persons to use them and over the above, their valiant or audacious heart". We feel comforted and we admire those doctors who have ventured in establishing 'The temples of Healing' and who made sophisticated and ultra-modern equipments available at the door-step of the poor people of Manipur.

I would like to shower admiration and praise to all of them. In the meantime I wish the Shija Hospital and Research Centre which clambered (to climb with difficulty, grasping with hands and feet) to the Numero uno position to aim the 'Sky is the limit'.

I also make honest appeal to the SPF Govt to confer recognition to SHRI to serve the interest of the common populace and the State as well.


Haokholal Thangjom wrote this article for The Sangai Express.
This article was webcasted on August 15th, 2006


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