RANGARAYA MEDICAL COLLEGE: HISTORY IN RETROSPECT
Sri.S.JANAKI RAMA SASTRY, M.A.
(Formerly) Head of the Dept. of English
Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada.
Birth of the College:
India witnessed unprecedented enthusiasm among the people in 1947 when the country was liberated from foreign domination of over three centuries. There was an ardent desire to develop our mother land in all fields and see that it had an honorable place in the comity of Nations. In our state too, leaders of all walks of life strove hard for its all sided development. Prominent among them in the Medical field were Col.D.S.Raju, valiant freedom fighter and a close associate of Netaji and Dr.M.V.Krishnarao, a man of great vision. There two stalwarts who had been dreaming of starting a private Medical College to cater to the needs of the students of coastal Andhra in general, and East and West Godavari districts in particular, founded and registered the Medical Education Society on 16th April 1958 with the triple object of promoting Medical Education, Medical research and Medical relief through voluntary effort. On this occasion it is but appropriate to recollect with gratitude the immediate response of the state government headed by Sri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy in according permission to start the Medical College.
While Col. Raju was engaged in the task of collecting donations to the proposed Medical College, Dr.M.V.Krishnarao did all the spade work for the starting of the institution. Eminent doctors like I.V.Jogarao, P.V.N.Raju, K.Chandra Rao, A.Perisastry, B.Venkata Raju and P.R.Hari extended a helping hand. The then Municipal Chairman Sri Dantu Bhaskara Rao heartily cooperated with the endeavor, with the result the starting of a Medical College, which was till then an ambition became a reality.
Sri Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad, an Industrialist of Tanuku came forward with a magnificent donation of Rs.5 lakhs on behalf of the Venkatarayudu Memorial Educational Trust and the College was named “The Rangaraya Memorial College” after the late Zamindar of Dommeru Sri.P.Rangarao, brother-in-law of Sri Harischandra Prasad, Sri Kotamarti Venkanna, a prominent businessman of Kakinada gifted a site of 6-1/2 acres to locate the hostel buildings. During the same time Sri Pyda Sathyanarayana Murthy of the Draksharama Choultry trust donated an amount of Rs. 50,000/- with which a lecture hall was constructed.
The Maharaja of Pithapuram leased out the Paltial Orphanage buildings (now Main college campus) to house the Medical College. Within a short period of 3-1/2 months, thanks to the untiring efforts of the director Dr. M.V.Krishna Rao, the departments were organized and kept ready. The University Commission consisting of Dr.M.V.Ramamurthy, Dr.Basudeva Narayan and Dr.V.R.Naidu gave the green signal and the class work for the students of the first batch was inaugurated by the then Vice-Chanellor of the Andhra University Dr.V.S.Krishna, with Sri G.Sankara Bhanu, Lecturer Chemistry delivering the first lecture. Dr.D.Narayana Rao, Retired Professor of Biochemistry acted as Principal in the early period of the inception of the College and he was succeeded by Dr.B.Narayan, an eminent Physiologist and former Vice-Chancellor of the Patna University.
In the early stages, the institution had teething troubles all of which were successfully overcome and the college was put on a sound footing, the entire credit for which goes to Dr.G.Ramadas, the then Asst. to the Principal, a dynamic organizer and administrator.
The Andhra Pradesh Government undertook to upgrade the Head Quarters Hospital into a Teaching Hospital and this paved the way for the college securing the recognition of the Medical Council of India, with Hon. Sri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh inaugurating the College on 17-11-1958 a long cherished dream of the people became a reality. The governing body, the teaching staff and students moved like members of one family and the Zeal and enthusiasm with which they worked hard was reminiscent of the famous words of Wordsworth “Bliss was it to be alive in the dawn, to be young was very Heaven”.
The Orphanage building was adequate to locate the pre-clinical departments but with the lapse of time, when the Para-clinical courses were started accommodation had to be provided for them. Initially they were located in the Simpson Buildings but later a three storied building was constructed to house the Clinical Bio-chemistry and laboratory for Microbiological investigations. Buildings for the department of Forensic Medicine and a Mortuary were also constructed in the Govt. hospital campus. Subsequently site was alienated from the P.R.Govt. college and a new block in which the departments of Pathology, Pharmacology and Central Library are now located, was built. Besides the above, the block has two big lecture galleries, each accommodating 300 students. Simultaneous with the expansion of the college, the Govt. Genl. Hopital also was developed and today it has a bed strength of 890. In due course super specialties like Cardiology, Plastic Surgery, Neuro Surgery and Urology were organized both for treatment of patients and purposes of teaching. With a view to providing field training to Clinical students and internees a rural health center was created at Gollalamamidada.
Management of the College:
The Medical Education Society which sponsored the Medical College constituted a governing body for the day administration of the college. Col.D.S.Raju, Sri.M.Harisachandra Prasad and Dr.P.V.N.Raju acted as Presidents of the Governing Body at different times and contributed a lot for the growth of the institution.
Take over by Andhra Pradesh Governement:
The take over of the privately managed Medical College by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 1977 is a mile-stone in the history of the college. A special officer was appointed to administer the college and till March 1981 it got regular block grants. In April 1981 funds for the college were provided in the regular budget and the Rangaraya Medical College came to be one of the full fledged State Medical Colleges.
Admission of Students:
In the early period every year 100 students used to be admitted but in 1962 the intake of students was increased to 125. This number was again raised to 150 during the Chinese Agression in 1963 as a matter of the Central Government. However, the Medical Council of India brought down this number to 100 in 1974.
Post Graduate Courses:
The starting of Post Graduate diploma courses like D.C.P., D.Ch., and D.G.O. in 1972 is a land mark in the history of the college. In 1976 some more post graduate courses were started and the Rangaraya Medical College came to occupy an important position like all other State Medical Colleges.
The hostel blocks for men called “Vivekananda Vihara” and “Gandhi Vihara”, each accommodating 150 students were built in the site donated by Sri Kotamari Venkanna. A palatial block called “Kasturiba Vihara” was also constructed in the Main College campus to accommodate 125 women students.
Anatomy and Physiology Blocks:
Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, then acting President of India, laid the foundation stone for what should have been the Main college building on 4-8-196. However, on second thoughts the governing body of the college modified its original plan and built the Anatomy and Physiology blocks in that site. Adjacent to that, a beautiful auditorium, and quarters for professors and Asst. Professors were constructed.
Thus the Rangaraya Medical College which was started in 1958 gradually developed into a full fledged post-graduate institution in course of time. It is gratifying the about 2618 doctors have gone out of the portals of this institution by 1983 and that they are rendering valuable service to humanity in India and abroad. On the happy occasion of its Silver Jubilee it is the duty of one and all connected with the College to express their sense of gratitude to all those stalwarts who have built up this Institution and made it what it is today.