Satinath Sarangi, Sambhavna


(Translated from Hindi)


On 22 March, Sambhavna’s research advisor and supporter, Dr. Daya Ram Varma, passed away in St. Johns, Canada, in the midst of his family and friends.  Daya was born in a small village in Azamgarh district of U.P. He began his education in a one-room school, and then went on to receive his MBBS and M.D. degrees from Lucknow University’s King George Medical College. In 1959 he came to Canada to do his Ph.D. in pharmacology and after obtaining his degree from McGill University he began teaching there and was a professor there until 2007. He was made Professor Emeritus in 2009.


Daya wrote two books on the history of medicine, published 225 scientific articles, along with many more articles on political issues.


Immediately after the gas disaster in Bhopal, Daya travelled from Canada to Bhopal and began to study the effect of the poison gas on pregnant women and their fetuses. He conducted further research in his laboratory on the effects of MIC gas on rats and other animals.  From his dedicated research, we learnt about the impact of the gas on the future generations of gas-affected people in Bhopal. Among scientific researchers on the Bhopal gas disaster, Daya published the most papers. It is from his research that we were able to refute from the beginning the falso claims of Union Carbide that the gas only harms the lungs and the eyes.


All his life, Daya remained a fighter for equality, justice, and peace.  A firm proponent of secularism and socialism, Daya always utilized his knowledge in support of social issues.


Daya began or supported many progressive organizations like IPANA, Kabir Cultural Center, South Asia Women’s Community Center, and the Teesri Duniya theater group. He was steadfast in support of peace and good relations between India and Pakistan.

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