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Dr. Pravin Vrajlal Mehta, MD (1934-2005)

Dr. Pravin V. Mehta is a renowned name in the field of medicine in India and one of the pioneers of the Family Planning movement in the country.  It is he who introduced the concept of mass vasectomy and mass laparoscopy sterilization camps to urban and rural India.

 

Dr. Mehta was born on August 15, 1934 in Calcutta and completed his MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai in 1960. He also obtained a MD degree in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Mumbai University in 1964 and DGO from College of Physicians and Surgeons, India.

 

In 1966 he set up his own private Mother Child Hospital in Mumbai, and in 1967 shot into public limelight when he initiated the mass vasectomy programme on a railway platform in Mumbai.  The project was filmed for international TV and his success in conducting more than 5000 operations in Mumbai won him an award from The Implementation Committee of the Family Planning Programme of Greater Bombay, then headed by Dr. D. N. Pai.

 

After that, his work in the medical field focused largely in the area of family planning and mother-child care.  Besides conducting camps, Dr Mehta organized extensive orientation courses for paramedical workers, and in 1974, following a visit to the John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA for advanced training in cytology, he held the first of his many rural sterilization camps on a voluntary and charitable basis. After five years in the field, the Gujarat Government adopted his method of “no exposure” for rural women and organized more camps across the state, and after 1980, he held sterilization and training camps for doctors, nurses and health workers in many different parts of the country.  Besides his outstanding achievements in the field, Dr Mehta also holds the world record for Most Laparoscopic Female Sterilisations (4,60,000).

 

Dr. Mehta received the Dr. B C Roy National Award from then President Zail Singh in 1983.  He also received the Giants International Award 1993, FICCI Award 1994, Indian Merchants’ Chamber award for outstanding contribution in the field of family planning in 1994; Dhanvantri Award in 1997 and Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta award in 1999.  Guinness Book of World Records included his name as “Most Prolific Laparoscopic Surgeon for performing 4,60,000 operations in 1998”.

 

Dr. Mehta set up the Dr. Kumud Pravin Mehta Charitable Trust in 1990. The Trust has been active in tribal areas of Dharampur, Dang and Valsad in Gujarat.  It set up a Paediatric Nephrology department and Gynaecological Endoscopic department at Wadia Hospital, Mumbai.

 

Dr. Mehta passed away in 2005 in Mumbai.

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