| The department of anatomy at the PMCH. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
A sudden visit by the Patna Medical College and Hospital principal to its anatomy department museum brought treasure trove — a human skeleton that dates back to thousands of years — out in the open.
Six months on, people would be able to see it after the museum is revamped. Set up in 1930, it would be overhauled using a part of the Rs 1.25 crore central funds the health cradle received to renovate the anatomy, physiology and microbiology departments.
N.P. Yadav, the principal, said the rare collection of the museum was gathering dust in the closed cupboards. Even, he was not aware of the collection till he visited the museum around a week ago.
“It was then I spotted the rare collection closed in several glass almirahs. I was quite amazed to see the collection initially because I found a skeleton of a primitive man kept in an almirah in a very poor condition. I had no idea that I would find a rare thing like this in the almirah. The skeleton of the primitive man — though no carbon dating was done on it — is around 8.5ft long but it was stashed in an 8ft almirah. Some parts of the skeleton have been damaged. We will repair them. I also chanced upon some skeletons of chimpanzee, monkey, crocodile, bullfrog, sharks and Rohu fish,” he said.
On the renovation of the museum, Yadav said: “It will take at least six months to open its doors to the public. Once open, residents can also visit the museum, which was earlier not possible. Except our students, common people would have to take permission either from me or the anatomy department head in case they want to visit the museum,” said Yadav.
“One of the interesting collections in the museum is the body of a seven-year-old child which was kept in the standing position in one of the almirahs. What is interesting about this is that the body has been in the same position as it was kept 30 years ago. Its skin has quite dried but has not peeled off. Another interesting collection is a dissection of foetus with an eight-month baby inside its mother’s womb. There are also skeletons of foreigners in our collection. Medical students will learn a lot from these exhibits,” said Yadav.
“The museum will provide a fascinating insight into how anatomy has progressed from the time of primitive men to the present day. We have a series of skeletons of the human evolution. It will be very interesting for people to see it. People should know about the anatomical changes that their generations have faced over the centuries,” he said, adding that he was also planning to develop the pathology department museum.
“There also, I have found some very rare collections, including a dissection of a foetus with a two-head baby inside its mother’s womb. But we will start working on the museum of pathology department after completing the renovation of the anatomy department museum,” said Yadav.