International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Bhau Daji

    Status Physician
    Country India


    Bhau Daji (1822-1874, previously also spelled "Bhow Dajee") was an Indian physician and Sanskrit scholar who researched a cure for leprosy.

    He was born in Mandrem, Goa, and was sent to Bombay (now Mumbai) to be educated at the Elphinstone Institution, where he also taught after graduation. He then studied at Grant Medical College, and graduated in 1850. He established a medical practice in 1851, which quickly became successful.

    Daji studied the ancient Sanskrit literature of medicine and conducted experiments to test drugs that these texts described as having medicinal value, including those that were supposed to cure leprosy. After his death in 1874, Nature reported that he had been ‘on the point of perfecting’ a cure for leprosy, but was ‘seized with paralysis’ and soon died (271).

    Daji championed the cause of women’s education, and a girls’ school was established in his name. In 1852, he was elected to the Bombay Board of Education. He also served as President of the Grant Medical College Society, and was a member of many scientific and medical societies around the world.


    "Dr. Bhau Dajee." Nature 10.249 (1874): 270-1. Web.


    Maharashtra State Archives   The Maharashtra State Archives contain correspondence on Dr Bhau Daji's cure for leprosy. There are letters asking him for photographs of patients undergoing treatment.
    National Archives of India (NAI)  

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