Human stone collector - Imphal's retired teacher-herbalist has a unique hobby

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  • Published 26.07.11

Imphal, July 25: Padma Shri Laishram Nabakishore, who was bestowed the prestigious award in 2001 for his immense contribution in the field of herbal medicine, has another unique hobby — collecting human stones.

Nabakishore, a retired government schoolteacher, has more than 1,00,400 stones, removed from over one lakh patients over a period of around three decades, at his residence in Sagolband Khamnam Leirak in Imphal West, around 3 km from here.

The nationally acclaimed herbalist’s collection, kept in two glass cases, is visible to all his visitors and patients.

“Perhaps mine is the largest private collection in the country. It is the only one in Manipur. No one, including government hospitals, has such a collection,” the 73-year-old collector said.

Authorities of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) and private hospitals, where surgeries are performed regularly, confirmed that they did not keep the stones removed from patients.

These hospitals either allowed patients to take away the removed stones or destroyed the ones left behind by patients, a RIMS source said.

The stones in Nabakishore’s collection come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Some of them are as big as large eggs.

“These four egg-sized stones were removed from the bladder of one male patient, Kumar Singh. The stones were removed through surgery,” Nabakishore said, pointing to the large stones.

Some, on the other hand, resembled cacti, ginger or stag horns, while others were smooth.

“My collection is not only for research purposes. I have been showing these to people visiting me, and telling them that these develop inside their bodies. I also tell them that if anyone develops a stone problem and does not treat the problem as quickly as possible, the stones could enlarge to the size of eggs and create complications inside their bodies,” he said.

Medical students often visit him to study the stones.

Nabakishore, however, is not a stone freak. He is an award-winning herbal super-specialist who treats stone patients using herbal and traditional methods of healing. All the stones in his collection were removed from his patients either through surgery or were passed out with urine.

“I advise patients with large stones to go for surgery, and also ask them to give me the removed stones for my collection,” he said, adding that stones formed when one failed to drink enough water.

Manipur has a high incidence of stone cases. The doctors at RIMS perform nearly 20 surgeries per week, according to its medical superintendent in-charge H. Shanti Singh.

“We carry out three to four open surgeries and one to two keyhole surgeries daily. It is alarming,” Ninthoujam Somorjit, a JNIMS surgeon said.

Nabakishore started treating patients after retiring as Hindi teacher from a government school. He also works for the welfare of handicapped persons.