Preserving Bangladesh’s Medical Heritage: Doctor of Deen-Bengali Chandsi

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 11:16 am

The Bengali Chandsi, commonly known as the “Doctor of Deen,” is a distinctive method of medical treatment deeply rooted in the traditional practices of the Nomosudra community in Bengal. Originating from the historical context of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), the Chandsi method of treatment is a testament to human ingenuity born out of necessity. While the origins of this distinctive medical approach trace back to ancient times, it is largely believed that this healing system was bestowed upon the impoverished Nomosudra community as a divine gift. Confronted with adversity, the Nomosudra community crafted their own healing techniques, eventually referred to as the Chandsi method.

The genesis of the Chandsi method of treatment is shrouded in mythology and folklore, reflecting the cultural and religious beliefs of the region. It is believed that the practices of Chandsi treatment have their origins in ancient Hindu traditions, possibly originating from rituals associated with Hindu deities and goddesses. A devotee received a divine revelation in a dream, wherein the goddess Maa Kali bestowed upon him the remedy for a severe and incurable disease. This divine intervention served as the foundation for the development of the Chandsi method, which gradually evolved over time within the Nomosudra community and others.

The significance of the Chandsi method extends beyond its role as a form of medical treatment. It holds a profound historical relevance in Bengal’s cultural and social landscape. The name “Chandsi” itself is emblematic of its importance, with a district in Bengal’s Barisal region bearing the same name. This district has been historically associated with notable figures in the field of medicine, including Dr. Kadambini Bose Ganguly, the first female doctor of East Pakistan (Bangladesh). The presence of such esteemed medical professionals from the Chandsi region underscores the rich legacy of medical practice in the area.

One of the distinguishing features of Chandsi practitioners was their reputation for treating patients afflicted with exotic or seemingly incurable diseases. Their expertise in dealing with such challenging medical conditions earned them widespread recognition and respect within their communities. However, despite its historical significance, the practice of Chandsi treatment is gradually fading away in Bangladesh. Modernization, coupled with the influence of Western medicine, has led to a decline in the prevalence of traditional healing practices like Chandsi.

Nevertheless, there is a growing recognition of the importance of preserving and revitalizing indigenous medical traditions, especially in the face of global health challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The holistic approach of Chandsi treatment, which incorporates elements of spirituality, herbal remedies, traditional healing techniques, and treatment without surgery holds potential in complementing modern medical practices. By harnessing the wisdom of ancient healing arts like Chandsi, Bangladesh can develop a more comprehensive and culturally sensitive approach to healthcare.

Efforts to revive and sustain the practice of Chandsi treatment require collective action from both the government and civil society. Initiatives aimed at documenting and preserving traditional medical knowledge, as well as providing support for Chandsi practitioners, are essential in safeguarding this valuable aspect of Bangladesh’s cultural heritage. Furthermore, integrating Chandsi practices into mainstream healthcare systems can help bridge the gap between modern medicine and traditional healing modalities, offering patients a more diverse range of treatment options.

Dr. Shubhro Chakrabartty

World 3% Scientist and Philanthropist


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