Gandhi Heritage Sites - Writeups

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Dr. Mehta’s Nature Cure Clinic, Pune

Connection with Gandhiji 
A staunch believer in naturopathy, Gandhiji availed services of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta several times during 1934-1946 and stayed at his clinic for weeks in 1944 and 1945.

Dr. Dinshaw K. Mehta (June 5, 1903- September 19, 1993) was an eminent Naturopath. He started ‘Nature Cure Clinic and Sanatorium’ at Todiwala Road, Poona in 1929 and practiced there till 1953.

He met Gandhiji for the first time on January 3, 1932 at Mani Bhavan, Mumbai. It was the beginning of a close relationship with a fellow believer on the path of naturopathy. Gandhiji was arrested the very next day and taken to Yeravada Jail, Poona. Dr. Dinshaw looked after Gandhiji’s health during his several fasts including two fasts for 21 days each in May 1933 and February-March 1943. He also gave massages to Gandhiji.

Gandhiji referred many colleagues and associates to Dr. Mehta. He had lively communication with Dr. Mehta through letters in Gujarati as Dr. Mehta was a Parsi. He also issued an appeal for funds for Dr. Mehta.CWMG Vol. 58: p. 109

During Gandhiji’s last imprisonment in Aga Khan Palace Jail, Dr. Mehta also treated fellow prisoners Kasturba and Sarojini Naidu.

Gandhiji’s Stay at Nature Cure Clinic
After his release from Aga Khan Palace Jail, Gandhiji intended to stay at Dr. Mehta’s clinic at Poona. Dr. Mehta told him that the clinic was ‘neither a hut-like Sevagram nor a palace-like Parnakuti.’ But Gandhiji’s requirement was just a separate room.

Gandhiji arrived at ‘Nature Cure Clinic and Sanatorium’ on June 15, 1944 and stayed there for 15 days before going to Panchgani along with Dr. Mehta on July 2, 1944.

Next year Gandhiji came for a longer stay. He arrived at the clinic on August 21, 1945 and took a course of nature cure treatments as an in-patient. Dr. Mehta prescribed the schedule from morning to evening. Gandhiji gained 6 pounds (approx 2.72 kg) in weight. He stayed there till September 20, 1945. After a four-day visit to Mumbai, he came back on September 24, 1945 and stayed till November 18, 1945.

Gandhiji conducted all his activities on the premises of the clinic. The All India Congress Working Committee meetings were held at this place from September 12 to 20, 1945.

The last Trust founded by Gandhiji
• As nature cure was affordable only to the rich, Gandhiji wrote to Dr. Mehta to establish a new institution near a village and suggested to form a trust in which he would be a trustee along with Dr. Mehta and Ghanshyamdas Birla.

• All India Nature Cure Trust was founded by Gandhiji on November 18, 1945 with Nature Cure Clinic and Sanatorium, Poona as its nucleus. Its trust deed was signed by three trustees namely Gandhiji, Dr. Mehta, and Shri Jehangir Patel. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Dr.Sushila Nayyar signed as a witness.
• In January 1946, the trust deed was registered and Gandhiji took complete administrative and financial control of the Poona institution in his hand. An account was opened in the name of three trustees at Bank of India Ltd., Poona.

Present Structure
• The present complex was later handed over to Govt. of India on March 17, 1975 by Dr. Mehta for starting the National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) and as a living memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.

Site Address
Dr. Mehta’s Nature Cure Clinic, Pune
Bapu Bhavan Matoshree,
Ramabai Ambedkar Road,
Pune, Maharashtra - 411 001
Phone: +91 020 2605 9684

 Additional Details 
• The details of Dr. Mehta and the trust have been extracted from a book compiled by Dr. Mehta’s granddaughter Dr. Sundari Vaswani: “Mahatma Gandhi: The Beloved patient Revered Dadaji Dr. Dinshah Mehta”. Published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, it chronicles the relationship between Gandhiji & Dr. Mehta. • The above-mentioned book also contains a somewhat detailed description of the clinic buildings when Gandhiji stayed there • A list of personalities who visited the clinic.  • One more book on the subject: “Nature Cure "Home" of Mahatma Gandhi: Nature Cure Clinic and Sanatorium of Dr. Dinshah K. Mehta Matures Into India's National Institute of Naturopathy”, Published by Society of Servants of God.; • Indian post has issued a postal stamp of Rs.5 honouring Dr. Dinshaw Mehta.