The Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospitals (now Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College and Research Institution) - rooted in colonial era

A,B. Vajpayee, former PM of India.

Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College and Research Institution (Formerly Called as Bowring and Lady Curzon Medical College and Research Institute) has roots in the colonial time, particularly when the ruler, legal head of the Wadiyar royal  family  was made powerless (1831 and 1881). This led to deposition of Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar III and later due to minority of Yuvaraja Chamaraja Wadiyar X. The  Raj took over the kingdom and put the kingdom  under the administrative body -  Mysore Commission. The English rule began with Chief Commissioner  Gen. John Briggs, a controversial figure from the Madras Presidency.   Mr. Lewin Bentham Bowring was the last commissioner and he succeeded  Mark Cubbon. Only in 1881 after rendition, Chamaraja Wadiyar X was made the King.C.V. Rangacharlu CIE (c. August 1831 - d. 20 January 1883), took the credit of being the first Diwan of Mysore following the restoration of monarchy (rendition during the British rule). The Raj was highly criticized world over when they put the Mysore kingdom under the control of the Crown.  

Chief Commissioner of Mysore Bowring.(1824–1910)

Mary Victoria Curzon

The wives of many English men during the colonial days did not keep themselves at home all the time. They took time off and on their own initiative, engaged in social activities  particularly, they were interested in the welfare, health and empowerment of Indian women.  The Indian women, be they Hindus or Muslims were not progressive  and their world was their home and they lagged in the areas of education, healthcare, social activities and employment.

Marchioness of Dufferin,  wife of Viceroy Marchioness of Dufferin  and  Lady Curzon, wife of Lord Curzon, (a British Conservative statesman who served as Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905. He was a good administrator and strongly believed in good military and police force to run the government.  However, the division of bengal in 1905 into East and West got him into serious trouble), during the tenure of their husbands played a key role in the area of healthcare and establishment of hospitals to cater to the natives, including women and children. Progressive medical reforms initiated by them were of great help to the Indian women and children. Both of them saw to it the hospitals had  adequate doctors and nurses to take care of the patients. If there was a shortage of doctors, etc., they  would take action immediately. Thus both  ladies at different periods of time ran the hospitals effectively under their  leadership.  

The Lady Curzon Hospital in Bangalore was a popular one then in bangalore. A   Chicago journalist and author one William Eleroy Curtis,  dedicated his book Modern India thus: "To Lady Curzon, An ideal American womanMary Victoria Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston,May 27, 1870 – July 18, 1906) was a British peeress of American background who was Vicereine of India, as the wife of Lord Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy of India.

The Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospital came into being during the colonial period in a place now called Shivaji nagar. It was formerly     opened in 1868 by Mr. Lewin Bentham Bowring,  the then chief Commissioner of Mysore from 1862 to 1870. This was during the period between 1831 and 1881 when the Maharajah of Mysore had been dispossessed of his state by the British Raj and Mysore was being administered by the Mysore Commission.

The hospital was founded on the plan of the Lariboisière Hospital in Paris.  Originally, a medical institution belonging to Mysore State, in 1884, it came under  the Civil and Military Administration. Till 1890, it served as the only Civil Medical Institution of Bangalore with just . 104 beds, of which 80 were for men and 24 for women patients.  Public subscriptions and donations from  philanthropic citizens and by the Government of India helped the hospital to have additional beds and facilities for women.  This additional hospital was named a Lady Curzon Hospital
Coming under the administration of  one Superintendent in 1911 both hospitals came under one umbrella.  They  were fully equipped with X - ray and Pathological laboratory.  In 1947,after India's independence,  the management of  Bowring & Lady Curzon Hospitals along with other medical institutions of the area was  placed under the administration the Mysore Medical Department.