The area from Kotwali Chowk to Satti Bazaar Chowk is known for big jewellery showroom, but once upon a time, it was the go-to place for medicines. Need any medicine, just go to Sadar Bazaar.
There were two big names in the field of medicine and medical here, one were Dr BG Manik and another Dr BC Gupta. Dr Manik was the man who had opened Raipur’s first pharmacy store. The oldest pharmacy store of Raipur, CP Medicals was established by Dr Manik in 1929. The store will function here.
His father Goverdhan Das had arrived from Jamnagar of Gujarat to run a business of Ghee in Raipur. Nearly 100-year-old building constructed by him still stands at Sadar. According to Dr Manik’s nephew Shanti Bhai Manik, his Uncle (Bade Pitaji) had studied medical degree of LPS. He started work as a practitioner, which later turned into a pharmacy store.
It just so happened that till 1957, no medicine was manufactured. At the time, there was one “Silver Jubilee Hospital”, which was later transformed into DK Hospital. Dr Keli was the surgeon at the Silver Jubilee Hospital. Dr Keli encouraged Dr Manik to import medicine from abroad. CP Medical is a historical name of Raipur.
Erstwhile Raipur was part of Central Province & Barar i.e. CP & Barar with Capital in Nagpur. The medical store was named CP Medical for it was situated in Central Province.
In addition to Silver Jubilee Hospital, Dr Dabke, Dr Bhagwat, Dr Bais, Dr Bhalerao, Dr Dani, Dr Dadhe, Dr Wadia, Dr Chauhan and pathologist Dr Dave were famous names. Another big name of the city’s medical landscape was Dr Chaudhary at Kankali Hospital of Raipur Municipal Corporation at Brahmanpara. Dr Chaudhary’s Government residence was also at the same place.
CP Medical slowly became the main pharmacy store of not just Raipur but the Madhya Pradesh. CP Medical opened in 1929. Dr Manik’s nephew Shanti Bhai Manik, who is now 72-year-old, while recalling the old day, tells that medicine manufacturing didn’t start in Bharat till 1956-57. His uncle knew the method to important medicines from abroad, which is why medicine supply to government hospitals also used to be done from his medical store. After the untimely demise of Dr Manik, his younger brother Jhanvarlal Manik took over the work. His son Shanti Bhai Manik is the present-day owner of the shop.
The CP Medical was so famous that it opened at 7 am, but people queued up from 6 am and waited hours to get the medicines even when there other medical stores had already opened in the town. If a medicine mentioned in the prescription slip wasn’t available at the time then it was brought from other shops. Customers could get medicines till 2 am in the night.
Owing to the fame of his medical store, other pharmacies like Vimal, Uma, Vyas, Raipur and Wardhman medicals opened up. All shops ran well, but they all shut down over time. Presently, only CP Medical and four others still operates.
The second famous physician of the area was Dr BC Gupta’s father Dr Harinarayan Gupta, who was the first Civil Surgeon of Raipur. On the invitation of the king of Khairagarh, he had arrived here around 90 years ago from Bengal. Dr Gupta studied Homeopathy in Kolkata and started practising in Raipur. Many serious cases came to him for treatment. His home is an alleyway in front of Sapre School main gate. His dream was to build an Ashram for elders, but for some reasons, it could never be fulfilled.
To be continued….
(Writer is a record keeping in Raipur Municipal Corporation)