The Board of Trustees of Masina Hospital and the Office Bearers of the Eric Kharas Burns Research Unit celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the Burns Unit at the Godrej Masina Hospital Centenary Hall on 7th May, 2017. Inaugurated by JRD Tata on 3rd May, 1992, the Burns Unit was first conceptualized and commenced by surgeon Dr. Manohar Keswani, assisted by Dr. Hoshang Patel and sponsored by The Lions Club of Mumbai (then Bombay), in a room on the 2nd floor of the main building . Today, the department has evolved to be a state of the art, modernized unit in a separate building in the hospital’s premises.
The dignitaries at the dais included Meher Bamji (Trustee of the Bhikhumai Kharas Trust), Dr. Vispi Jokhi, Dr. Jhambaux Chichgar, Dr. Ravin Thatte and Dr. Arjun Vartak. Meher Bamji commenced the event by lighting the lamp, followed by Dr. Vispi Jokhi delivering a welcome address, “An anniversary is an occasion to look back at the achievements and celebrate the progress of this unit. On behalf of Masina Hospital, I thank and appreciate Dr. Manohar Keswani for conceptualizing the idea of having a specialized Burns Unit – one of our most precious units. Shortly we will be setting up a skin bank as a valued addition to this centre.” Acknowledging the contribution of the doctors, nurses, staff, residents, and all those who worked in the Burns Unit for 25 years, Dr. Jokhi also appreciated the generous donation of Rupees nine lakhs made by Trustee Meher Bamji on this momentous occasion.
Sharing the genesis of the unit, Dr. Chichgar said, “Dr. Manohar Keswani, would come after his duty hours to do burns dressings. Seeing his diligence, a dignified Parsi lady who was visiting her maid in the unit, Bhikhamai, was impressed and she decided to build a Burns Unit, with the help of the Trustees!” The unit started with a core group of people, consisting of sister Savitri, the first nurse to assist Dr. Manohar Keswani; anaesthetist Dr. Pradeep Joshi; and physicians Dr. Pardiwala and Dr. Chichgar.
The highlight of the function was Dr. Thatte’s talk titled ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Pioneers and Looking Ahead’, dedicated to Dr. Manohar Keswani who was a refugee from Sindh, and became a specialist in burns treatment post Partition. “What started then as a small hospital is now a thriving institution, thanks to the donations pouring in”, concluded Dr. Thatte. Dr. Chichgar awarded the Staff, nurses and ward boys who served the Burns Unit for so many years and presented Bamji with a memento. The function ended with a buffet prepared in the kitchens of Masina Hospital.
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