Recognition of Coloproctology as a specialty started with the zeal and enthusiasm of senior contemporary surgeons of Mumbai, who not only established department of Colon & Rectal Surgery in hospitals of Mumbai, as early as 1960 but also made efforts to bring surgeons of similar interest for sharing of thoughts and experience, in this part of the world. In the year 1968, Dr. R.K. Menda, Dr. S.J. Aptekar and Dr. I.D. Sood organized the International Seminar on the Diseases of Colo-Rectum and Anus at Taj International Hotel. The proceedings of the congress were published in a book form “Advances in Colo-Rectal Surgery”.
Dr. Menda formed the Asian Federation of Colo-Proctology with Dr. Menda as its Director & Dr. Jassawala as its President. In 1974 under the banner of the Asian Federation Society of Colo-Rectal Surgery, the First Triennial Conference of the Asian Society of Colo-Rectal Surgery was held at Hotel Taj International Bombay.
In the year 1977, the Adhoc committee of the Association of Colon and Rectal Surgeons was constituted with Dr. R.K.Menda as its Founder President, Dr. H.L. Chulani as its Hon. Secretary and Dr.P.N.Joshi as its Hon. Treasurer. Dr. S.A. Momen was elected as the Vice-President. The Constitution of the ACRSI was framed in the year 1977 by the Adhoc committee. It was decided that the tenure of office bearers should be for two years, after which the elections to be held. The Adhoc Committee was requested to continue for three consecutive terms and the first election was held in the year 1982.
The Association of Surgeons of India ASI was formed in the year 1934. As its strength increased it encouraged to form specialty sections, however, Colo-rectal surgery was not considered for promotion as a separate specialty, hence the group of senior surgeons who successfully formed the Asian federation of Coloproctology also decided to introduce this specialty within the ASI. In the years 1974 and 1975 two unsuccessful attempts were made to get the sanction from the Association of Surgeons of India to form the Colo-Rectal Section of ASI. However, in the year 1976, the historic decision was taken at the Annual Conference of ASI at Delhi on 28th December, when the Annual General Body finally approved the formation of the Colo-Rectal Section of ASI. In the year 1977, the Adhoc committee of the Association of Colon and Rectal Surgeons was constituted with Dr. R.K.Menda as its Founder President, Dr. H.L.Chulani as its Hon. Secretary and Dr.P.N.Joshi as its Hon. Treasurer. Dr. S.A.Momen was elected as the Vice-President. The Constitution of the ACRSI was framed in the year 1977 by the Adhoc committee. It was decided that the tenure of office bearers should be for two years, after which the elections to be held. The Adhoc Committee was requested to continue for three consecutive terms and the first election was held in the year 1982. This provided sufficient time to increase the membership and establish the specialty section on a firm footing.
In the year 1978, the first sectional program of ACRSI was organized along with the annual conference of ASI at Gauhati. Dr.R.K.Menda, Dr. Arthur Desa, Dr. T.E.Udwadia, Dr.J.N.Ravalia, Dr.P.N.Joshi, Dr.H.L.Chulani, Dr.Rangabashyam, Dr.R.S.Sinha, Dr. Momen, Dr.I.T.Khubchandani, Dr.D.P.Sanan, and many other members contributed a lot at this conference and later on to the association at its annual programs. From 1982 onwards (Mid-term) National conferences were organized which were independent of ASI conferences. In the year 1993 five zones were created and five posts of vice-presidents were created.
With the ever-increasing popularity of the specialty section of Coloproctology, the ASI granted a big hall during its annual conference, the ASICON, to accommodate the delegates. Needless to mention but proceedings in the designated hall always attracted enormous crowds and overrunning of timing.
At the annual midterm conference of ACRSI, in 1993 held at Mount Abu, an unprecedented historic decision regarding imparting regular training in the specialty with the institution of Fellowship program on National level was taken and Dr. Ashok Ladha has entrusted the responsibility of preparation and execution of this important program.
It took 4 years of hard work and in 1997, the first time in the history of ASI, its section of Colon & Rectal Surgery, very successfully carried out a week-long hands-on training program in Ajmer. Subsequently 2 years later, in 1999, the Fellowship Program of ACRSI, the FACRSI, was started. This year in 2016, this successful and immensely popular teaching program has completed its glorious 20 years.
In subsequent years, the ACRSI, with the support of the Pharmaceutical Industry, created various National and International visiting fellowships, and these are granted to successful members after stringent screening and qualifications.
In its journey of decades, the ACRSI has not only achieved many landmark objectives but also has played an instrumental role in establishing the specialty of Coloproctology in India book form “Advances in Colo-Rectal Surgery”.