Year : 2021 | Volume
: 5 | Issue : 2 | Page : 51-
Prof. Shanmugam Kameswaran (1923–2021)
Department of Otolaryngology, PGI, Chandigarh, India
Dr. Naresh Panda
Department of Otolaryngology, PGI, Chandigarh
|How to cite this article:|
Panda N. Prof. Shanmugam Kameswaran (1923–2021).Ann Indian Acad Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2021;5:51-51
|How to cite this URL:|
Panda N. Prof. Shanmugam Kameswaran (1923–2021). Ann Indian Acad Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Jan 20 ];5:51-51
Available from: https://www.aiaohns.in/text.asp?2021/5/2/51/332066
“say not in grief, he is no more; but in thankfulness that he was”
Professor Shanmugam Kameswaran was born in 1923 and did his MBBS and MS at Madras Medical College, under Dr. PV Cherian who later became the Governor of Maharashtra. He worked as his assistant and left for the UK in 1950s along with his wife, Dr. Lalitha Kameswaran, who went on to do her PhD at the University of London. He had a very close association with his colleagues in the UK and was trained at the Royal National Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital, Gray's Inn Road, under Prof. Maxwell Ellis in the 1950s. He was a friend and compatriot of eminent Ear, Nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons in the UK, such as Sir DFN Harrison and John Ballantyne before returning to India and establishing a specialist unit and upgraded the Institute of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery in Madras Medical College.
His textbook on ENT disorders in the tropics was an authoritative work on the subject and the only one at that time. He himself had done significant work on rhinosporidiosis, a tropical fungal disease which led to a PhD; the first by an Indian otolaryngologist. He was passionate about the subject and felt that with the world shrinking, tropical diseases were no longer the domain of the tropics, a view vindicated by the recent pandemic.
He was awarded the Padma Shri Award, the third highest civilian award in India, and Dr. BC Roy Award, the highest award for a doctor, given by the President of India. He was a consultant for the WHO, as well as being the longest serving Director of the Institute of Otorhinolaryngology at Madras Medical College until his retirement. Prof. S Kameswaran was a great teacher and mentored several generations of otolaryngologists in India. He was also a great humanitarian who touched the lives of millions of his fellow Indians in a long career spanning over 50 years. He was instrumental in getting the government of the day to come up with several welfare projects for the hearing challenged and enabling people from all socioeconomic groups to benefit from hearing rehabilitation. He was the perfect bridge between foreign and Indian otolaryngologists for many years and encouraged Indian surgeons to develop strong bonds with their counterparts in the western world.
His son, Prof. Mohan Kameswaran, followed in his footsteps, and they are the only father-son duo in the history of the country to have both been honored with the Padma Shri and BC Roy awards. Prof. Mohan Kameswaran under the guidance of his father established Madras ENT Research Foundation (MERF) in 1996 and this has become a premier institute for tertiary ENT care in India today. Prof. Kameswaran served as the Patron of MERF and Emeritus Professor at the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University and the National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, until his death. Prof. Kameswaran was afforded full state honors by the government and laid to rest in his hometown, Chennai, India. Many otolaryngologists in India and around the world owe their interest in otolaryngology to him. In passing away, our dear Professor, has left a conspicuous void on the center stage of ENT in India.