Professor Zakaria and Cancer Treatment in Bangladesh

Published : 14 Mar 2023 08:17 PM

Rabindranath Tagore came to Patisar and realized that there was no treatment system

for the desolate, helpless, and poor people of this area when they fell ill.

Prayer to God was the only way to get rid of diseases. From that thought, Tagore

founded a charity hospital in Patisar. Rabindranath was diagnosed with prostate cancer

towards the end of his life, but cancer treatment was insufficient. These words were

spoken by Professor Golam Abu Zakaria, the writer, and researcher who received the

Bangla Academy medal and Ex-Chairman and Chief Medical Physicist, Gummersbach

Teaching Hospital, University of Cologne in Germany.

He paid tribute to Rabindranath Tagore's work and expressed his determination to

establish a "Rabindra Cancer Centre and Research Institute" in the poet's name in the

unrecognized, neglected Patisar.

The objective is to treat terminal diseases like cancer for the backward masses. People

in rural areas are still deprived of access to medical care. Even if rural girls are suffering

from terminal diseases like breast and cervical cancer, they do not want to talk about it.

Professor Zakaria and his established "Alo Bhubon Trust" will be forever honored for

planning such an institution in Patisar. It needs to be said that in Bangladesh, every

year about three lakh people are affected by cancer. Out of this, about two and a half

lakh people die due to the lack of proper treatment. Although patriotism and respect for

soil and people, it is possible to work for the beloved motherland in any part of the

world, and Rabindranuragi cancer scientist Professor Golam Abu Zakaria is an


When he was young Dr. Zakaria's grandfather Mr. Amir Ali used to call him "Gora".

Professor Golam Abu Zakaria was born on 31 December 1953, in Ikarkuri village of

Naogaon district. He had early education at Naogaon K.D.High School (1963-1968);

HSC at Rajshahi Government College (1969-1970). He was a student at the

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) during 1970-1972 and

after the independence of Bangladesh in 1972 he got an opportunity to study in

Germany on a scholarship. He studied Physics at the University Halle-Wittenberg

leading to a Diploma and Master's Degree with a specialization in Medical Physics


Dr. Zakaira was Research Fellow and completed post- graduate studies at the

Department of Radiation Physics and Biology, University Hospital, University of

Goettingen, Germany (1979-1980). He completed his Ph.D. from the University of

Heidelberg in 1985 and worked as Principal Medical Physicist at the Department of

Radiotherapy and Nuclear medicine at Gummersbach Teaching Hospital, University of

Cologne, Germany.

He founded the Bangladesh Study and Development Centre in Germany in 1996 out of

a strong affection for the people of the country and a sense of respect for the nation. He

started and

supervised a full-fledged Master's course in Medical Physics and Biomedical

Engineering officially at 2001 in Bangladesh. This renowned Medical Physicist has

published more than 100 research papers on medical physics in German. He is working

with various cancer experts and scientists in the world as a team, with the aim of

expanding cancer treatment in Bangladesh. Professor Zakaria has immersed himself in

literary pursuits outside of scientific studies.

He has established an organization called the "Bangladesh Study and Development

Centre " to introduce Bengali literature writers and poets to Germans. He has published

many books in German, edited "Life and Work of the Bengali Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam" in

German in 1999 based on the songs and poems of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. He

edited in Bengali "Globalization and Bangladesh" in 2001, and wrote in the German

language on Begum Rokeya in 2006. He wrote "Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain: Portrait of

a Bengali Female Humanist" and "Rabindranath Tagore: Wanderer Between Worlds" at

2011 in German on Rabindranath Tagore, which have been acclaimed all over the


Another research book "Founding Father, Social Reformer and Visionary" has been

published for advanced research on the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu, in

Germany. The honorable ambassador Mr. Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, NDC

unveiled the cover of the research book written on Bangabandhu. In the 2023 Amar

Ekushe Book Fair, the "Alo Bhubon Trust" has published a memoir book titled

"Professor Zakaria in Fan Memoirs: Pioneer of Medical Physics in Bangladesh" which

includes writings from many talented writers from Dhaka and outside Dhaka.

The book will help a lot to know the history of cancer treatment and cancer research in

Bangladesh. Out of social responsibility for the poor, helpless, and illiterate people of

tvillage, he established the "Ikarkuri High School" at Naogaon in 1999.

He also established a Maternal and Child Health Care Centre in 2009, where medical

care was provided to pregnant mothers and children. I got to know him through

Rabindra Research. Although he is a physicist by profession, he is passionate about

literature and has conducted extensive research on the literature of Rabindranath


In 2011, he played a leading role in the creation of the historical sculpture of

Rabindranath at the age of seventy-six, which is commendable. I said historical

because Rabindranath came to Patisar on July 27, 1937.

On that day, the sick poet addressed thousands of people. At the age of seventy-six,

four years before his death, the poet wept in his last farewell address from Patisar, and

thousands of subjects wept as the city carried away his beloved passenger in tears.

After that day, Rabindranath never had the good fortune to come to Patisar or Bengal

again. The sculpture was made to keep the painful memory of that day alive.

In the 90s, this physicist worked on the state preservation of Patisar Rabindra Kachari

House. His wish was to have a public university in Patisar. Our request is to establish a

public university in Naogaon and appoint this distinguished professor as its Vice


The writer is a Tagore researcher and activist