|HISTORY OF DIWAN CHAND GROUP
Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal
Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal was born in 1895 into a family of lawyers. The eldest of 6 brothers, he studied medicine from Lahore and subsequently started his practice in Lahore as a family physician. In the year 1924, he left his busy practice to do a course in Radiology, the then new field of medicine dealing with x-rays. He underwent training at Dehradun, in a course conducted by the British Army, which he passed with distinction.
After completing the course, he borrowed money from one of his friends , and bought equipment available from the army disposal, including 50 x-ray tubes manufactured by Siemens , Germany . He started his Radiology clinic at his residence in Lahore in 1924.The clinic was an instant success. The equipment with which he started, was an open induction coil and tube, the contacts of which would get black with soot after exposures were made, and had to be cleaned for the next patient.
Having a futuristic outlook, Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal knew that the field of Radiology would be fast growing. He subscribed to the main journals from U.K. and the U.S.A. , which are still preserved at the centre. His appetite for new technology was also un-ending. He pioneered in the introduction of new equipment in India , with purchase of Coolidge tube, four valve rectifiers and rotating anode tube as these products were launched into commercial use. His clinic at Lahore had 12 rooms for radiology equipment, including a deep x-ray therapy unit.
The clinic suffered a major setback in 1947, during the partition of India , and Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal was forced to move from Lahore , which was to become a part of Pakistan . The Aggarwal family moved first to Amritsar and then to Delhi . In Delhi , the clinic was re-established at its current premises, at 10-B Kasturba Gandhi Marg, and due to the combined effort of Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal and Dr Satya Pal Aggarwal, the clinic was soon re-established as a center for excellence in Radiology.
Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal was always a visionary, an example of which is always quoted by Dr. Sudarshan K Aggarwal, his youngest son. He recalls that, in the 1950s, while he was in medical school, he received a letter from his father stressing the need for him to lay emphasis on studying cross-sectional anatomy. This was a good two decades before the invention of CT scan and MRI, which have revolutionized medical imaging.
Dr Diwan Chand Aggarwal passed away in 1967, leaving behind a legacy of commitment to excellence, quality and integrity in Radiology.
In his memory, the Aggarwal family awards a memorial oration, which is presented along with a gold medal every year, at the annual conference of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association. Prominent radiologists from all over the world have delivered this oration including Dr Alexander Margulis, Dr Walter Fuchs, Dr Robert Steiner, Dr Joseph Lissner and Dr Morton Meyers.