State-run Goa Medical College and Hospital has decided to give away some of the artifacts preserved by it to the state museum, as they are lying closeted in a cupboard at its Dean's office. (Agencies)
"We have received a letter from state museum and they are ready to take away some of the crockery to be on display there as it is related to Asia's medical history," GMC director (administration) Swapnil Naik said.
Hundreds of gold-plated soup bowls, tea cups, food plates, mugs and other crockery items were imported from Macau to Goa during Portuguese rule by 'Escola Medico Cirurgica da Goa' (now GMC), which was established in 1842 to treat locals and soldiers wounded in various wars.
Soldiers from all Portuguese colonies were brought here for recuperation and they were served food in these crockery wares during their stay. There are inscriptions like "Hospital Escola de Goa" and "Hospital Central Nova Goa" on these items, which are intact even till date, Naik said.
Similarly, a century-old huge brass bell weighing over 10 kgs which was earlier installed at the hospital's entrance is lying in one of the rooms in the GMC, which was shifted from its original place in Panaji to Bambolim village in 1991.
"In earlier times, the hospital was closed during the night. So anyone bringing a patient had to peal the bell so that the door could be opened. The bell was shifted along with artifacts at the new complex," Naik said.
The hospital authorities, in the process of revamping the entire GMC complex, are now looking at shifting these artifacts to safer places.
"There was an idea floated earlier that the old GMC building in Panaji located across Mandovi river should be turned into the medical museum, but the building was handed over to the Entertainment Society of Goa to host International Film Festival of India (IFFI)," a senior GMC doctor said on condition of anonymity.
While the artifacts are preserved with much love by the GMC, it should be exposed to more people who want to know the history of Asia's first medical college, he said.
State-run Goa Medical College and Hospital has decided to give away some of the artifacts preserved by it to the state museum, as they are lying closeted in a cupboard at its Dean's office.