International seminar on indigenous health care systems: The Asiatic Society, Kolkata – West Bengal

23rd & 24th February, 2017

A two day international seminar on “Tribal/ Indigenous Health care system: Tribute to P.O. Bodding”
Proposer: Ranjana Ray, Anthropological Secretary, The Asiatic Society

Concept note

Paul Olaf Bodding (1865 – 1938) was a Norwegian Missionary, linguist and folklorist. He was in India for 44 years (1889–1933). His head quarter was in Dumka town in the Santhal Parganas-district. Bodding is still remembered for his work among the Santal people. He created the first alphabet and wrote the first grammar for the Santali-speaking people in eastern India.

Asiatic Society published his famous work Studies in Santal Medicine and Connected Folklore in 1925 – 40, Memoirs of The Asiatic Society, Vol. X. Subsequently it was reprinted in 1986. The book is divided into three parts: part I – The Santals and Disease, part II- Santal Medicine and part III – How the Santals live. Rev. Bodding treated the concept of medicine of the tribe in view of the general attitude of the tribe in respect to life and death, God and spirit. Bodding had taken a holistic view in understanding disease.

The seminar aims at looking into the works on indigenous health care system by inviting scholars who have taken up the cudgel left by Bodding. However, the seminar will not restrict in Santal or other tribes only but in to concept of health, care, disease, cure and remedies both at the tangible and intangible levels with a wider span.

Source: Courtesy Boro Baski (M.S.W., Ph.D.) co-founder and principal of Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram,  personal message 23 Febrary 2017


23rd February, 2017

Inaugural Session: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

10:30: a.m.: Welcome address : Dr. Satyabrata Chakrabarti, General Secretary, The Asiatic Society

10: 40 a.m.: Introducing the seminar: Professor Ranjana Ray, Anthropological Secretary, The Asiatic Society and coordinator of the Seminar.

10:45 a.m.: Presidential Address : Professor Isha Mahammad, President, The Asiatic Society

10:50 a.m. Key-Note address: Professor Arabinda N Chowdhury, Consultant Psychiatrist,          Forward Thinking, Birmingham, U.K.

11:30 a.m.   Vote of thanks: Dr. Sujit Kumar Das, Treasurer of the Asiatic Society                                               

Academic Session – I

12:00 to 1:30p.m.

Chairperson: Professor Swapan K. Pramanik, former Vice Chancellor, Vidyasagar University

Speakers: Professor P. C. Joshi,  Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Dr. Suhrid Kumar Bhowmik

Academic Session – II

2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Chair person: Dr. Ranjit K. Bhattachary

Speakers: Professor Subhadra Mitra Channa, Professor Amrita Bagga, Ms. Rita Kumari, Dr. Suman Chakrabarti & Dr. Pratibha Mondal

24th February, 2017

Academic Session-III

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Chairperson: Professor A. N. Chowdhuri

Speakers: Professor Paolo Cianconi, Professor Buddhadeb Choudhuri, Professor B. V. Sharma

Academic Session – IV

12 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Chairperson: Professor Falguni Chakrabarty

Speakers: Dr. Sohini Banerjee, Dr. Amit Kisku & Shri Subhamay Kisku

Academic Session – V

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Chairperson: Professor Buddhadev Choudhuri

Speakers: Dr. A. K. Chattopadhyay, Sm. Nutan Jha, Dr. Rajanikant Pandey & Dr. Diptendu Chatterjee

Valedictory session

4:00 p. m. to 5p. m.

Chairperson : Professor Ranjana Ray

Speakers: Dr. Promodini Hansdak & Dr. Boro Baski                           

Vote of thanks: Professor Ranjana Ray, Co-ordinator of the Seminar


  • For more information, type “Anthropological Survey”, “Santal [Santhal] Pargana”, “Asiatic Society,”, Bodding”, “tribal health”, “healing custom”, “tribe remedy” or any other name and search term) into the search window here: Google custom search – Indian press coverage of tribal culture and education >>
  • Find publications by the above mentioned contributors, or on any of the topics covered in the seminar, in the search field seen below
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Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

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