Dr Ilias Ali | M. S.
Professor of Surgery
Head of Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma Centre
Gauhati Medical College and Hospital
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About Dr Ilias Ali Testimonials

It is not easy to gain acceptance for your radical ideas and methods in a conservative society such as ours, things only get more difficult when people believe that religion is not on your side. But when the mission is noble you do find ways to accomplish what you set out to achieve. Dr Ilias Ali, the nodal officer for no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) in Assam has come a long way from just 16 cases of male sterilisation in 2008 to over 40,000 between 2009 and 2013.

Back in the late 90's when the state was staring at single digit numbers of sterilisation cases achieved in a year it faced the daunting task of making family planning familiar and acceptable to the masses. Forward now to 2013, when Dr. Ali has been successful in persuading people that the holy books are not against family planning, a deliberation that has helped people take to the programme with a positive approach.

Dr. Ali's recourse to religion and its teachings are being emulated in various other countries across the world, where he has been invited to share his experiences and help perform NSV in tandem with their respective family welfare measures. He has also received accolades from representatives of government and non-government organisations for the holy mission that he has undertaken.

Dr. Ilias Ali, a professor of surgery and head of department of emergency medicine and trauma centre at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, is a man who knows no limitations. With a motive to arrest the booming population in Assam he has traversed far and wide across the state armed with that which is sacred to all, the holy book.

A foot soldier in the campaign to promote family planning, Dr. Ali took to the task in 2007 when Assam's first no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) camp was organised in Sonapur, 30 kms from Guwahati. Only 19 people turned up for the programme. Among various other things, what came to the forefront was the reluctance of the people to undergo sterilisation in fear of facing God's wrath. When Dr. Ali was appointed the state nodal officer of NSV programme in 2009 Dr Ali made it his mission to educate and assist the people to see above prejudices and religious superstitions.

NSV is a minimal invasive method of birth control, which is hassle-free, painless and quick. It requires making a single hole in the scrotum and blocking two sperm-carrying tubes, a task which can be achieved in less than 10 minutes. What makes it even more acceptable and popular is that it is can be reversed for those who wish to be fathers' again.

Male sterilisation is quite a sensitive issue in India, a country that believes the onus of family planning lies with the female. The biggest challenge to population growth in Assam is from the non-indigenous Muslim population that inhabit the river islands on the Brahmaputra and its tributaries. When Dr. Ali began with the programme the holy clerics were quick to issue a fatwa against him. It was a huge setback to him and his family as they feared for his life. But innovation is the name of the game and Dr. Ali took to an unconventional route. He took to quoting from the Quran to convince people that sterilisation is not anti-Islam.

It was not long before the clerics and the people shed their inhibitions and came forward to adopt family planning and thus undergo sterilisation. Between 2009 and 2011 Dr. Ali and his team successfully conducted NSV on more than 33,000 people, of which 43% were Muslims. Assam achieved 15-19% of its target sterilisation during this period, compared to the national average of 5.5%. Buoyed by the response to NSV in Assam the National Health and Family Welfare asked the other states to fall in line and take a cue from Dr Ali.

For the noble mission that Dr. Ali has undertaken recognition has flown in for him from far and wide. On 18th October 2013, Dr. Ali was invited to attend the first ever World Vasectomy Day in Adelaide, Australia. He was also invited to various countries like Philippines and other African countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia to render his service in population control measures.

Dr. Ali has also been conferred with the "Agents of Change" Award by Hindustan Times and Tata Tea and the prestigious "Prof. Jogesh Mahanta Award" by the Down Town Hospital, Guwahati.






















                   
  • Honourable Minster of Environment & Rural Development Sri Jairam Ramesh presents the India Awakened "Agents of Change" Award of Hindustan Times & TATA Tea to D. Ilias Ali on 4th June, at New Delhi.

  • Dr. Ilias Ali is being awarded with the prestigious "Prof. Jogesh Mahata Memorial Award in February, 2012, by The Down Town Hospital Limited, a premier private health institute of Assam

  • Dr. Ilias Ali is being felicitated by Actor Puja Bedi and Honorable M. P, Sri. Nabin Jindal at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 11th July, 2012, in a function organised by an NGO named Citizens' Alliance for Reproductive Health & Rights.

  • Dr. Ali is being felicitated during North-East Medical Officer's Conference at Composite Hospital, CRPF Head Quarters, Guwahati.

  • Dr. Ilias Ali was awarded with a national award named, "Samaj Sewa Padmashri Sanman of 2013", by a Maharastra based- NGO, "Malati Devi Manab Bikash Samajik Trust.

  • On 2nd March,2014 Dr Ali was felicitated by Sadharan Jati Unnayan Parishad of Government of Assam.



Ahivements

  • Training of doctor: 120 doctors.

  • Nearly 40,000 NSV operations have been performed since Jan, 2009 to October, 31st, 2013.

  • Female Participation: There are significant increase in female sterilization with overwhelmed participation from Muslim community. More than 2.5 lacs female participate in sterilisation in the same period.

  • Training of Meghalaya doctors: Dr Ali has also trained 3 (three) doctors from Meghalaya and he is also instrumental for initiating the NSV programme there.



Publication

  • Co-Authored a book on AIDS in Assamese Language for common people named " - AIDS "And it was the first kind of literature in Assamese and which highly acclaimed by the press and the intellectuals of the state.

  • Article on the subject " Role of No Scalpel Vasectomy in Male Srerilisation" published in August, 2012 in the pestgiousjounal - "Indian Jounal of Surgery" . Dr Ali is one of the co-authors of the article.


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