Dr NN Wig, PGI’s father of psychiatry and the poor’s messiah passes away at 88

The Hush Post: For the last 20 years, he would regularly and eagerly visit his free mental health clinic at Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Chandigarh. It was his mission to give free and dignified mental health services to the poor. This crusader, Dr NN Wig, the father of psychiatry as he is known as, is no more. He died at the age of 88 on Thursday night in the precincts of the same institute he served for so many years. He used to love working and even at this age, he used to work for three days at the CMC hospital and would run his charity clinic for two days.

Dr Wig was ailing since November last year after he suffered a mild cardiac arrest. “In February, he realised that he cannot go back to work because of his falling health and this thought had a bearing on his health. His health never improved after that,” said Anant Mann, Dr Wig’s daughter-in-law while talking to a national daily. He was admitted to the Advanced Cardiac Centre, PGI, Chandigarh a few days ago.

He is survived by two sons, Siddhartha Wig, who is an architect and lived with him and Anish Wig, who stays in Switzerland.

Dr Wig did his MBBS from Lucknow, took training at the All India Institute of Mental Health (now NIMHANS), Bangalore; worked as a lecturer in neuropsychiatry at Medical College, Lucknow where he also started the first general hospital psychiatry unit in India. He founded the psychiatry department at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in 1963.

His colleagues, juniors and students remembered him with a lot of respect and love calling him a living legend of Indian Psychiatry.


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