Shri Ramakant Shah

Shri Ramakant Shah was a successful businessman running his lucrative business from his office at Marine Lines, Mumbai since 1955.

He was slated for a colostomy surgery in 1975 and late Shri Hiralal Narang gave counseling and tried to replicate the rehabilitative support he received in USA for his own surgery. Late Shri Ramakant Shah and Late Shri Hiralal Narang both discussed the idea of an association for ostomates and took it up to Dr.D.J.Jussawala, then director of Tata Memorial Hosp[ital, Mumbai, who offered his full support. His team of Dr.P.B.Desai, Dr.L.J.De’Souza and Dr.R.M.Rajpal were very active in helping setting up of OAI. Unfortunately, Late Shri,Narang passed away within a year thereafter and Late shri Ramakant Shah, realising the paramount need for stoma care and rehabilitation, converted his own personal business premises at Marine Lines and operated the office of Ostomy Association of India from there for the next 13 years ( 1975 to 1988 ). He put all the efforts and required finances to run the association and conduct a wide range of activities to broaden the reach of OAI so that as many as possible patients could be offered counseling, support & rehabilitation. In fact he handed over his lucrative business to his brothers and dedicated his life for the cause of Ostomy for the next 35 years, right up to his death. While his work can never be overstated, some of his major initiatives included,

  • Home visits of patients to explain various options of bags and prosthetics available. He would also visit hospitals to explain this to patients & surgeons so that post op care could accordingly proceed. He travelled across the length & breath of the country to get to know patients on one-on-one basis
  • He would make arrangements for housing outstation patients, including offering them his own residence on many occasions.
  • His legacy of offering free supplies to the poor & needy continues till date
  • He developed indigenous products like urobag, faceplates, karaya powder, ileobags which are durable & reuseable at a very reasonable rate, till date these bags are most sought after
  • With his sheer convictions and through tireless correspondence he established contacts with international Stoma - care product manufacturers and imported Stoma bags of various size and type, which were meant as donations for the Indian patients.
  • The Income tax benefits under sec 80 DDB & 80U are his legacies for the ostomates
  • He also stamped India’s presence in the International forums of IOA and released informative newsletters to Ostomates including a colo guide specially developed for colostomates. He started a quarterly Newsletter OSTOMY in 1981 for free distribution to Ostomates to spread awareness and update them on the various advances made in Stoma care, world over.
  • His efforts earned him a nomination of Vice President of IOA
  • In the year 1986 he established OAI as a charitable trust with an independent office in the premises of Indian Cancer Society.
  • He collected a large sum of donations over the years from friends and family members for the activities and the growth of the association.

His work and dedication resulted in many more people taking up this cause . Over the years Ostomy movement gathered momentum and there was a need to have a Enterostomal Therapist for the stoma management and care. Late Shri Ramakant Shah selected Mrs. Anjali Patwardhan, and in 1978 . He supported her training program at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA by Late Ms. Norma Gill Thompson a colossus in the world of Stoma Care. Mrs. Anjali Patwardhan thus became Asia’s first Enterostomal Therapist and took charge of Asia’s first Stoma Clinic at Tata Memorial Hospital in 1978. Mrs.Anjali Patwardhan went on to have a very distinguished career in Stoma care and till date remains India’s premier Enterostomal Therapist As a recognition of his untiring efforts for the ordinary Ostomate, OAI has honored Late Shri Ramakant Shah by naming their Stoma Clinic after him on World Ostomy day. He worked for Ostomates till his last breath. He breathed his last on 22nd Apr.2009, after a routine day at the OAI office. As a tribute to her father, his daughter has been running OAI Pune Centre at no extra cost to OAI for the last 8 years.

Ramakantbhai’s legacy lives on…

Dr. D. J. Jussawala

Darab Jehangir Jussawala (1915–1999) was an eminent medical-cum-surgical oncologist, medical writer and the director of Tata Memorial Centre. He was the co-founder of Indian Cancer Society, along with Naval Tata in 1951.He also started the Indian Cancer Rehabilitation Centre in Parel, Mumbai, in 1956, the first such centre in India and the largest in Asia. In 1975 he helped Ramakanth Shah & Hiralal Narang to set up Ostomy Association of India. In 1978 he set up Asia’s first Stoma care Clinic at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

He served as the director of Lady Ratan Tata Medical and Research Center and as the honorary consultant at two Mumbai hospitals, Breach Candy Hospital and Jaslok Hospital An elected fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, National Academy of Medical Sciences, Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and the American College of Surgeons, he was a recipient of the Dhanwantri Award as well as several Oration Awards.

The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan, in 1975, for his contributions to Medicine.

Darab Jussawala was born on April 13, 1915 in a Parsi family in Mumbai, and graduated in medicine in 1938 from Mumbai University after which he secured a master's degree from the same university in 1942. He then obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in medical and surgical oncology and started his career as a surgeon at Tata Memorial Hospital in 1948, one of the first surgical oncologists in the country. He served the institution as a surgeon till 1973 when he became the director of the hospital, a post he held till 1980 after which he served as a professor of oncology till 1983 and continued his association with the hospital till 1986. In 1986, he moved to Lady Ratan Tata Medical and Research Center, but was associated with Breach Candy Hospital and Jaslok Hospital as a consultant oncologist

Dr.Jussawalla was a visionary in his field, in the true sense of the word.

  • He was responsible for the establishment of chemotherapy as an important major treatment modality for cancer in India. He opened many avenues of cancer-related activities and post-operative management besides its therapy.
  • He not only co-founded the Indian Cancer Society in 1951, but also nurtured and helped expand its activities for more than 45 years
  • He also helped establish a large number of Cancer Detection Centres
  • The first Population-Based Cancer Registry in 1963, a full-fledged Cancer Rehabilitation Centre in 1968.
  • He established the department of Cytology and the department of Chemotherapy at the Tata Memorial Hospital, the first one in India in 1956. He also started the Indian Journal of Cancer in 1963 and the Indian Association of Oncologists in 1977.
  • He organized the first and several subsequent National Cancer Conferences in the country.

Dr.Jussawala was a pioneer and a relentless worker in the field of cancer treatment in the Indian context and has left a great legacy behind for others to draw inspiration. He breathed his last on 29 January 1999 after a brief illness.

Shri Hiralal Sarang

The founders were fully supported by Dr.P.B.Desai, Dr. L.J.De’souza & Dr.R.M.Rajpal of Tata Memorial Hospital to set up OAI in 1975