World Brain Day Celebration in India

By Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram and Dr. Sanjeev Thomas

WBDIndiaOn July 22, 2014, the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) launched the first World Brain Day – Our Brain, Our Future. It was dedicated to bring more attention to the importance of human brain in health and disease and highlight the need to prevent the neurological and psychiatric illnesses prevalent in the society. In India, the first World Brain Day was celebrated under the aegis of Indian Academy of Neurology all over the country with great enthusiasm. The banners, brochures and press release from WFN were circulated to all IAN members. The event helped in spreading the awareness regarding brain health, brain diseases and their prevention. A breakdown of how different centers celebrated activities follows.


Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram, president, Indian Academy of Neurology, convened the meeting of neurologists, neurosurgeons, physicians, psychiatrists and media. It was decided that looking at the magnitude of the issue deserves more than one day so the activities were held for the whole week. A press conference was held on July 18 and a press release in English and local languages was distributed to media. Accordingly, on July 22, a symbolic rally walkathon was organized in the city which was flagged off by Commisioner of Police, K.K. Pathak. Three hundred persons including doctors, school children and senior citizens wearing World Brain Day t-shirts and caps, holding banners and playcards participated in the rally despite the rain. An interview with Dr. Meshram was broadcasted by Aii India Radio.

Three billboards carrying the message of World Brain Day were displayed at prominent places in the city.

Lectures for common public and interactive sessions were organized at ESIS Hospital, Government Medical College and Hospital, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital on July 23-30, respectively. Dr. Poornima Karandikar, Dr. Pravir Waradkar, Dr. Avinash Joshi, Dr. Fulare and Dr. Anand Saoji delivered the lectures and answered questions .

On July 25, a program was organized at Dayanand College. Dr. Meshram presented Talks on Brain Health Supreme Wealth and Neurosurgeon Dr. Nilesh Agrawal presented on Head Injury. It was attended by 500 college students, their parents and teachers.

On July 26, a large public forum was organized at IMA Auditorium. Members of parliament Vijay Darda and Ajay Sancheti and Senior Neurologist Dr. G.M. Taori graced this occasion and addresed the gathering. Dr. Meshram highlighted the importance of World Brain Day celebration. Lectures on stroke, dementia, brain functions, epilepsy and head injury were delivered by Dr. Dinesh Kabra, Dr. Prafull Shembalkar, Dr. Poornima Karandikar, Dr. Sangram Wagh, Dr. Nilesh Agrawal and Dr. Lokendra Singh. Dr Nitin Chandak showed clippings of movies.The program was attended by about 400 people. Television channels covered the program and televised it.

On July 27, a painting competition for school children was organized in collaboration with Basoli group. 150 children from 65 schools displayed their creativity on the theme “Our Brain — Our Future.” 11 prizes were given to the students by Girish Gandhi and Dr. Meshram.

Visits to the Brain and Mind Museum were organized daily for students and common public. Specimens of human brain and some animal brains were shown, while brain structure, function and manifestations of various diseases were explained to visitors with the help of models and charts by neurologists, psychiatists and neurosurgeons.

World Brain Day and Brain Awareness week was celebrated under the aegis of Indian Academy of Neurology in collaboration with Nagpur Neuro Society, Indian Psychiatry Society Nagpur branch, Indian Medical Association Nagpur, Academy of Medical Sciences Nagpur, Nagpur Union of Working Journalists and Basoli Group.

The activities for the whole week were extensively covered by all newpapers in the city with publlication of articles, interviews, news items and photographs.

Janakpuri Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi

World Brain Day was celebrated at Janakpuri Superspeciality Hospital on July 22, 2014, under the aegis of Advocacy Subsection of Indian Academy of Neurology. More than 250 persons with neurological disorders and their caregivers attended the program and asked the queries related to neurological disorders. The activity was organized by Dr. Man Mohan Mehndiratta, past president of Indian Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sumit Singh, Dr. Shamsher Dwivedi, Dr. Anuj Mittal, Dr. (Brig.) S.P.Gorthi, Dr. Rajeev Anand, Dr. Vikash Gupta,Dr. Subodh Gupta, Dr.Solanki and Dr. Nilesh Kurwale participated in the panel.

A highlight of the World Brain Day celebration was the address by Prof. Raad Shakir, president, WFN, from London, and Prof. Mohammad Wasay, chairman advocacy subsection, WFN, through video conferencing and distinguished faculty comprising of neurologists, epilepsy surgeon, psychiatrist and neurosurgeon from the public and corporate hospitals. Prof. Shakir and Wasay answered the issues raised by the public, and the faculty members had an introduction session with the president.

Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi Cantt

World Brain Day was celebrated by Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi Cantt on July 24, 2014, due to service commitments. The program was chaired by Maj. Gen. CS Narayanan, dean, Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi, and the following talks were delivered.

  1. Neurology from Bench to Bedside – Brig. SP Gorthi, professor and head of department of neurology
  2. Approach to Headache – Dr. Sumit Singh, professor neurology, Medanta Medicity
  3. Deep Brain Stimulation in Movement Disorders – Dr. Vinay Goyal, professor neurology at AIIMS

The program was well attended.

A cap was released in honor of the occasion to popularize the day.

In addition, stroke club was organized on July 25 and multiple sclerosis meet was organized on July 28 as part of promotion of World Health Day.

The event was organized by Brig. S.P. Gorthi, Col. Y. S. Sirohi, Lt. Col. Pawan Dhul and the Neurology Team at Army Hospital (R&R) Delhi.

NIMHANS, Bangalore

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) at Bangalore, a premiere institute in the country dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders is also committed to promoting positive mental health. NIMHANS has established a unique facility “Center for Wellbeing” away from the hospital environment, but managed by NIMHANS’ senior faculties from the Departments of Social Psychology and Psychiatry to counsel the seekers in psychological stress. NIMHANS has been actively involved in assisting the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India in planning and execution of National Mental Health Programs, especially in the areas of neurotrauma, epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. NIMHANS has also established Human Brain Bank for research and Neuropathology Brain Museum to promote public awareness about neurological disorders and the strategies to prevent them.

Keeping in the spirit of World Federation of Neurology, NIMHANS celebrated World Brain Day – Our Brain, Our Future on July 22, 2014.

An event was organized at Neurobiology Research Center, NIMHANS, addressing 200 school children and teachers who visited the Human Brain Museum. In addition, a few from the general public and senior citizens also joined the celebrations. We dedicated this first celebrations to the children in whom we are kindling curiosity in the field of neurosciences. The students were from Class X and XI, preparing to enter college, thus representing the young minds who can participate in leading the country.

Director/Vice Chancellor Prof. P. Satishchandra and In-charge Registrar Prof. S.K.Chaturvedi, professor of psychiatry, addressed the students highlighting the need to understand the brain-mind axis and their role in neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition, they stressed healthy living by proper food intake, exercise and strictly avoiding addiction forming drugs. The session was interactive; the students actively participated in the discussion.

Dr. S.K. Shankar, emeritus professor, neuropathology and principal coordinator of Human Brain Bank, addressed the gathering on the topic “Let Us Learn Neuroscience Together” talking through the evolution of nervous system in animals and human and human brain in disease states. Subsequently, the structure of the human brain and the internal anatomical areas with their physiological and psychological functions were demonstrated using the human brains collected at autopsy with informed consent of close relatives.

“Human Brain in Health and Disease” was conducted showing the real human specimens, including the human articulated skeleton. The faculty, post doctoral fellows of Department of Neuropathology, staff of Human Brain Bank and volunteers from Neurovirology Department explained the specimens in an interactive basis. Finally the young students were thrilled touching the real human brain, heart, lung, kidney and intestine and had the real feel of the organs in their hands.

Simultaneously, the College of Nursing, NIMHANS organized a day-long exhibition with health awareness posters in English/Kannada and human brain specimens in the outpatient section of the hospital. The exhibition was inaugurated by Prof.Lalitha, head of the Department of Nursing. The faculty and the tutors of nursing college actively participated taking the knowledge about the brain to the common man visiting the hospital for treatment.

The public greatly appreciated the opportunity to see and touch the real human brain and fruitful discussion about food habits, the common infections of nervous system and the useful strategies to prevent them.

The Director/Vice Chancellor visited the exhibition organized by the Nursing Department and appreciated their efforts for taking the knowledge to the common man.

NIMHANS, Bangalore, decided to continue the tradition with greater scientific inputs in the future as well.

St. Paul College, Kolkata

The Institute organized the World Brain Day in a prominent school locally at Burdwan on July 22.

It was attended by students from class six and above along with teachers. Dr. Shyamal Kumar Das and two of his residents gave nice speeches about nervous system and their importance including basic illness such as epilpesy, stroke, dementia, etc. The meeting was well organized by the school authorities. It was a very stimulating experience, and the students and teachers enjoyed the program.

We have planned to celebrate next year as well.

Calcutta Medical Research Institute, Kolkata

World Brain Day was celebrated at Calcutta Medical Research Institute, Kolkata, on July 22 under the aegis of World Federation of Neurology and Indian Academy of Neurology. The goal was to increase the awareness regarding common neurological diseases. The half-day program consisted of a seminar where eminent neurologists of the city discussed on topics like stroke, epilepsy, dementia and neurotrauma. The seminar was attended by about 75, including doctors, patients, social workers and press.The event was organized by Dr. Arabinda Mukherjee, president elect, Indian Academy of Neurology.

The event was extensively covered by print and electronic media like Times of India and Door Darshan TV .

Madras Medical College, Chennai

World Brain Day was celebrated at Madras Medical College. Dr. Bhanu, head, Institute of Neurology, welcomed the gathering. Dean Dr. Vimala delivered the presidential address. Dr. A.V. Srivasan, emeritus professor, Dr. Lakshmi Nrasimhan, Dr. S. Balasubramanian spoke on the importance of brain functions. The event had wide media coverage in The Hindu, dinamaalar, dinathandhi etc. About 200 people participated and benefitted.

It is a good initiative to talk more on protection than on treatment of illness, though that is also important.


The first World Brain Day with the theme of Our Brain – Our Future was celebrated by Epilepsy Foundation India, on the July 22, 2014. Chief guest Dr. B. K. Upadhyay, Jt. Commissioner of Police, (Traffic) inaugurated and Dr. Nirmal Surya chaired the program.

A total of 150 people attended the program, most of them were patients suffering with epilepsy and other neurological disorder and their caregivers.

Dr. Nirmal Surya, founder trustee and chairman of Epilepsy Foundation in his presentation, informed the audience about the brain, its function and its disorder and how the injury to brain can affect the individual life in local and regional language. He also explained about the early intervention and treatment in disease like stroke epilepsy and head injury.

Dr. B. K. Upadhyay, Jt. Commissioner (Traffic) Mumbai, Chief Guest was delighted to be part of this function. He mentioned the importance of protecting brain while riding a bike, using a seatbelt while driving car and obeying traffic rules. He made the audience aware about following four simple traffic rules and stressed the need to safeguard your brain like gold, which is the most important organ of body. In the end, there was a session where the audience participated to know more about brain and its disorders.


World Brain Day was celebrated at the Department of Neurology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University Varanasi, a central government university, on July 22 under the aegis of advocacy subsection of Indian Academy of Neurology.

About 150 persons with neurological disorders and their caregivers were present.

Prof. M.K. Thakur, Prof. R.K. Goel, Prof. Deepika Joshi, Prof. S.P. Singh, Dr. N.K. Agarwal, Dr. V.N. Mishra and Dr. R.N. Chaurasia participated in the activity. They addressed the public and gave knowledge about our brain and its importance in life and how we can keep our brain healthy and answered the questions asked by public.


On the occasion of World Brain Day, Dr. Pawan Sharma organized public awareness program in Rohtak.


On the occasion of the first World Brain Day Neuro-Club Indore and Rotary Club of Indore Uptown organized a series of lectures at secondary schools where Dr. Apoorva Pauranik addressed hundreds of adolescents (class 10-11-12) about the anatomy and physiology of brain along with introduction for common neurological diseases. The presentation and interaction was lively and interesting with the help of charts, posters and models. The curiosity, intelligence, inquisitiveness of the boys and girls was impressive.


World Brain Day was celebrated in Vijaya Hospital. Dr. E. Pawankumar conducted awareness program on hospital premises on the  importance of brain and disorders of brain, mainly stroke, epilepsy and head injury and risk factors in our local language i.e telugu. Around 100 people were educated and given advice to prevent brain diseases.They really appreciated the program, and it was a grand success.

He prepared 4,000 posters about symptoms, risk factors, prevention and treatment of stroke and pasted it across various public places, offices and local hospitals in our entire district to bring awareness about stroke and received good feedback from many people.

The event was also celebrated at other centers, but they were late in sending the report.We would like to compliment WFN for this very impotant public health initiative. It was the best way to reach out to the people and interact with them.Some members expressed that they did not get enough time to organize the activity to their potential and expectations. We are sure next year the event will explode and reach greater heights as some members have already started planning.

Dr. Meshram is the president of Indian Academy of Neurology. Dr. Thomas is the secretary of Indian Academy of Neurology.