Prof. Deba Prasad Mukherjee (02 February 1931 to 01 July 2015)
Prof. Deba Prasad Mukherjee was an internationally reputed professor and stalwart in Physical Anthropology and Human Genetics. The great soul left for heavenly abode on 1st July, 2015.

Wherever one talks of palm prints and sole prints and it human genetics, one has to talk of Professor Deba Prasad Mukherjee. He devised methods of detecting inheritance through the study of Dermatoglyphics and diseases. He was an external expert with the WHO in the 70’s and a past President of the Indian Science Congress for Anthropology. He was a true researcher and worked to raise the value of Anthropology as a vital subject to be studied for improving the health and development of the disadvantaged groups of India. He was a strong proponent of including anthropology and human genetics into medicine, which was not common at his time. Professor D. P Mukherjee as he was mostly known, spent his early life in East Bengal of erstwhile undivided India. He the eldest of 10 siblings. He was a commonwealth scholar and had professor LN Penrose as his PhD Guide in University College London. (1964-1967). He taught there for a short while till 1969 after which he returned to India because he wanted to introduce Human Genetics in India in a big way. He later became the Assistant Director of The National Family Planning Institute where he worked in applying human genetics to its work. He developed two departments of Anthropology and Sociology in the Sri Venkateshwar University in Tirupati, India (1972-1975), was the Deputy Director and then acting Director of the Anthropological Survey of India,(till 1980). He eventually retired as a Professor of Anthropology (1981-96). He was the Founder Director of an NGO called School of Human Genetics and Population Health in Kolkata (1993-) which is still carrying on its good work and has now developed a genetic lab.

He was an amazing homeopath. A subject, which he has started studying as a hobby became a serious involvement of his. There are thousands who have benefitted from this healing touch.

He used to say that knowledge should be free. Outside his teaching hours, he used to teach whoever approached him for knowledge and always for free.

He used to love the philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore who had spread internationalism way before his time. Prof. Mukherjee too felt the whole world should be united and work as one.

He was a strong proponent of simple living and high thinking and that humility is the path to greatness.

Professor Mukherjee was an artist, philosopher, photographer, and poet himself. In him one could see the mingling of science and art.

His students, colleagues , friends and extended family remember him fondly. He is survived by his wife and four children.

May his soul rest in peace.

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