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Our History

The Institute of Child Health was set up by Dr K.C. Chaudhuri, the doyen of Indian pediatrics, in Kolkata in 1956. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister, inaugurated the institute on 16 January 1957. It is the first pediatric institute of India.

Nehru
Pt. Nehru at ICH inauguration

The event ushered in a new era for organized pediatrics in India. It was the earliest recognition in India of the necessity for institutions catering for child health. What Dr K.C. Chaudhuri had in mind was not only a children's hospital but an institution with integrated services - promotive, preventive and curative services for children, and also a centre for teaching and research where the child would be considered in his totality - his emotional, intellectual and physical needs as well as his relation to the milieu (Chaudhuri 1958a). Dr K.C. Chaudhuri set forth, for the first time, the concept of positive and total child care in India.

The foundation stone of the Institute of Child Health was laid on 12 August 1954. The Corporation of Calcutta sanctioned the plan to build a small L-shaped building covering an area of 11,000 sq ft for both the out-patient department and the in-patient department. The construction of the buildings began on 14 April 1955, the day the Corporation granted its sanction.

The out-patient department with full-fledged laboratory services of the institute opened on 23 January 1956. The in-patient department, with its fifty beds, opened on 15 June 1956. Facilities for the new-born were available as well.