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It's official: Kanupriya's India’s first test-tube girl

Friday, 19 August 2005 - 5:54pm IST | Agency: DNA
The international scientist community is now accepting Dr Subhas Mukhopadhyay's claim of producing the world's second test-tube baby.

MUMBAI: A country's pride has been restored 27 years after the pioneer hanged himself in shame, having failed to convince his colleagues of his achievement.

The international scientist community is now accepting Dr Subhas Mukhopadhyay's claim and recognising India for producing the world's second test-tube baby.

Dr Mukhopadhyay's story was immortalised in the 1991 film Ek Doctor Ki Maut starring Pankaj Kapur and Shabana Azmi. Now, his story is being included in the prestigious five-volume Dictionary of Medical Biography published by the US-based Greenwood Printers.
The 2006 edition will have a section on Dr Mukhopadhyay, Helen Bynum, editor, said. Dr Indira Choudhury, professor at the TIFR, is compiling the biography.

"I cannot explain how happy I am," said Kanupriya Agarwal alias Durga, the girl who was brought into the world by the doctor.

An MBA from Symbiosis Institute, Pune, Agarwal says her greatest joy is that the achievement is finally being recorded in a reputed international publication. "All this while I was silent as I wanted permanent recognition for him, not just verbal assurances," she said New Delhi. "Now, with the ICMR and this publication, I feel justice has been done to my scientific dad."

Both Dr Mukhopadhyay and British scientists Robert G Edwards and Patrick Steptoe — creators of the world's first test-tube baby — started work at the same time. The Indian baby was born on October 3, 1978, just 67 days after Marie Louise Brown was born.

The ICMR recently acknowledged that Dr Mukhopadhyay was the creator of India's first test-tube baby. But he was prevented from carrying out further work on in vitro fertilisation and transferred away from Kolkata. He was also prevented from going to Tokyo to present a paper. Frustrated and in failing health, Mukhopadhyay killed himself on June 19, 1981.


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