Introduction

Pavlov Institute is a non-profit making social organisation organised by medical professionals, scientists and social workers launched formally in the year 1959, working in the field of biology, sociology, psychology and psychiatry (mental health), based primarily on Pavlovian neuroscience.

Any person can associate himself with this Institute with a minimum qualification of graduation preferably in science subjects and with a progressive, materialistic outlook. Persons interested in the scientific works of Pavlov can also be a bonafide member of this Institute.

Dr. Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay (1911-1998) is the founder-father of this Institute. He tried to propagate the scientific principles and its social relevance of academician Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), so if somebody wants to be acquainted with this Institute then it is necessary to be acquainted with Pavlov and Dr. Ganguly. On other words the life and works of Dr. Ganguly is the history of this Institute.

Historical Background

Dhirendranath (an alienist?) in our judgement, may be considered one of the pioneers in the field of psychiatry and social science in India.

A product of so called Bengali Renaissance, Dhirendranath had multiple qualities. He was a psychiatrist, a dramatist, a science writer who wrote in Bengali, a psychologist, editor of Bengali quartarly magazine Manabmon and a Marxist social scientist. Apart from all these he had many more qualities. Inspite of all these he can easily stake his claim mainly as an original psychiatrist. Among those who have worked as psychiatrists for a long time in India, Dhirendranath was unique and independent. Yet Dhirendranath was not well known as a psychiatrist outside the circle of those patients who were greatly benefited by him. Still it may be recorded that he created a new genre in the field of psychiatry. We shall do our best to reveal that genre analysing his thoughts as also his great work-ability.

Dhirendranath was India's only follower of Nobel Prize winner and one of world's best physiologists I. P. Pavlov. Dhirendranath worked on the Indian soil principally basing his research on Pavlov's work on physiology and psychology. How far was he successful or what was his failure in such a field? This is mostly true in our country where it is indeed difficult to find a truly scientific mind.

Considering the above we shall judge the mental ability of Dhirendranath always remembering how great was his love for this fallen country of his. He never could think anything minus the welfare of the people of this country. That made him a silent worker sacrificing his personal ambition and social establishment.

Activities of the Institute

We highly revere our beloved teacher Dr. Dhirendranath Gangopadhyay, who had contributed some original thoughts in Indian psychiatry.

Motto of Pavlov Institute is to provide comprehensive, professionally faultless and socially just psychiatry services. Professional excellence, as opposed to crass mercenarism, is ingrained into our work ethic. Social commitment comes on top of our agenda.

Deeply committed to our scientific tradition, we see ourselves as a link between the accumulated knowledge and the continuously developing research. Scientific principles, and not outdated dogmas, are the only yardsticks welcome employ while determining the path to follow.

The importance of developing a psychosomatic approach towards human illness is now well-established in advanced countries. But in India it still awaits its due recognition. It is therefore a matter of pride that Pavlov Institute under the guidance of Dhirendranath has been the only Institute in India to harp on this theme for the last fifty years.

The present activities of the Institute include:

  • Running a regular psychiatric clinic in the heart of the city of Kolkata. Qualified psychiatrists and psychologist are available there seven days a week for general counselling, psychotherapy, parents guidance clinic, family therapy, career guidance, couple therapy, family counselling etc.
  • Running reserach project and rehabilitation programme in substance-abuse disorder, community psychiatry and correctional psychiatry.
  • Actively participating along with the other social service organisations specially those who are working in 'Mental Health Movement' in this State.
  • Construction of a permanent hospital and centre named 'Pavlov Bhavan' at ..., for all the activities of this Institute.
  • Preparing a course of postgraduate diploma in psychological counselling and upgraded it to postgraduate degree course.
  • Preparation is going on to start two rural treatment and rehabiltation centres one at near Ghatal, East Medinipore and another near Bolepur (Santiniketan), Birbhum.

We are working for the last fifty years providing service to the psychiatry patients. Here we follow the scientific principles of Pavlov specially his formulation of individual brain type and psychotherapy, that we formulate hypnotic-sugestion therapy. It is the unique psychotherapy developed by Platanov, Pavlov's disciple on his theory of higher nervous system and subsequently enriched by Dhirendranath on Indian condition and along with our cultural tradition. Here 'word' is used as conditioned stimulus and psychotherapeutic factor.

"It is necessary to have a creative imagination to see a problem", wrote Professor Einstein. So we have to develop a creative imagination to see a problem of 'March to Sound Mental Health for All in 21st century'. Here the idea is to make an honest and sincere introspection as to why the people of India cannot get even the primary health care (where mental health is still a luxury item) after so many years of independence. And why we the providers should be least concerned about the matter. Now it has become evident that 'modern medicine' is too expensive a commodity for the fifty crore poor people of this country. The highly complex superspeciality and sophisticated compartmentalisation have added to the process. And it has also complicated the process to achieve a sound mental health.

But it has been understood that what is essential for man is at least to achieve the goal of not only sound physical health but also sound mental health. We therefore need something in the form of counselling, pychotherapy, group discussion, family-therapy etc. which are cheap and eco-friendly more in tune with the culture of our people. We have a rich heritage of such system in the poor, old, community based structure of our society. People suffer and finding no other alternative embrace only the insufficient traditional art of healing, however native it may be. This 'suffering in silence' has kept alive all forms of the traditional system. To extract an exact science from it is our responsibility.

Science has interacted with an influenced history in no less a degree than history has influenced science. The growth and development of all our great traditions cannot be understood without science; but equally science cannot be understood unless it is seen as a natural part of the common tradition. So the situation demands a meticulous study of the history of science, especially the history of medicine and particularly mental health. We have to be keen to find out the dynamic equilibruim between the mechanistic approach of modern medicine (specially it can be said of biological psychiatry) and the vitalist approach of all traditional art of healing, often tinged with mystical magical approach and religious connotations.

For the last couple of years, all our traditional systems have acquired a solid economic basis with investment of more capital, more brain, more effort leading to a virtual gold rush. All around we find management training with 'Dhyan', 'Meditation', 'Relaxation therapy', 'Yoga thearpy' etc.. The positive side of it is that in the process it is struggling hard to become a standard useful, effective and ready for any quantitative analysis, but the most unfortunate thing is, it has gradually detached itself from the greater part of society and social consciousness.

In this cobweb of obfuscation we are in a condition of poverty in the midst of plenty. On one side we have rich heritage, rich resources of all kinds; on the other side our people are forced to maintain a beastly life of bare subsistance. Applications of the bare minimum of scientific knowledge to combat disease without changing patterns of exploitation has had the result of allowing the population to increase and has thus provoked further deterioration of the quality of life and exhausation of natural resources.

Our Objective

Staffed by experienced and committed doctors and paramedics, our professionally managed centres has three goals before it. Firstly, to develop a properly equipped research network geared towards conducting an in-depth study of the integration of psychosomatic nature of human illness. Secondly, the centres, while fully utilising the benefits of modern medico-technical progress, will try its best to unburden the patients of those unnecessary trapping - both diagnostic and therapeutic - which have, unfortunately, become the trade mark of conventional treatment. Thirdly, to inculcate in doctors and para-medics a spirit of dedicated service to the suffering humanity, particularly those who have very little to fall upon. It is this spirit that will act as the motivating and cementing factor of the centre.

We have such plans for the immediate future: Students and follower of Pavlov and Dhirendranath with renewed vigour and augmented resources, have come up with plans to realize his ideas. On the anvil are quite a few projects. Among them, the most ambitious one is the building of a permanent premises which will house all the activities of the Institute under one roof.

Apart from having state of the art indoor and outdoor departments, the institute will shortly initiate postgraduate diploma courses in

  • Medical Counselling
  • Course for Primary Care-givers
  • continued medical education in psychiatry
Rehabilitation and Parents-guidance centres are also in the offering.

Faculty

  • Dr. B. Mukherjee - Pavlovian Psychiatrist, Hony. Director
  • Dr. G. Banerjee - Pavlovian Psychiatrist
  • Dr. (Mrs.) S. Thakur - Educational Psychologist
  • Mrs. Tultul Ghosh - Clinical Psychologist
  • Dr. J. Das - Gynaecologist, Lecturer
  • Dr. S. Biswas - Physician, Lecturer
  • Dr. A. K. Roy - Physician, Lecturer
  • Dr. P. Seal - Traumatologist, Lecturer
  • Dr. A. K. Mukherjee - Sports Medicine Specialist, Lecturer
  • Mrs. Alpana Mukherjee, Nursing Staff
  • Mr. Chandrasekhar Majila, Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Yoga-therapist
  • Mr. Bishnu Sarker, Psychologist, Medical Statistician, Academic Convenor
  • Mr. Nemai Dey - Senior Research Fellow
  • Ms. Sohini Mukherjee - Rcord Keeper
  • Mr. Sasticharan Mondal - Assistant Research fellow
  • Mr. Aliul Haque - Computer