Mangaluru: 27 September 2023 will be a date to remember in the history of FMCI (Father Muller Charitable Institutions) and Mangalore where a new college emerges from the mother cocoon into a vibrant and driven college, the Father Muller College of Physiotherapy (FMCP). In the presence of the Director FMCI Rev. Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho and the galaxy of the Institution’s Management body, Advisory body, Faculty, Staff and students, the baton of a new college and the first principal was handed over to Prof. Cherishma D’Silva. Rev. Fr Ajith B Menezes who is the Administrator of the Father Muller Medical College (FMMC), Father Muller College of Allied Health Sciences (FMCOAHS) will also be the new college Administrator.
Physiotherapy at Father Muller’s started on July 15 1967 with the blessing of the then Director, Late Fr Marian Fernandes, and the joint efforts of Francis Fernandes and Sr Odillia M Jacob a rehabilitation nurse. The institution sent Sr Leenus Rodrigues for the Bachelor’s Degree in 1991 when she realized the importance of physiotherapy in efficient patient care. After her successful completion and return to the Institution, the first batch of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy course was commenced under the Mangalore University in 1994 with 40 seats. The year 1996 was another milestone year where The BPT course was affiliated with other medical courses under the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. By February 2002, the Department of Physiotherapy had two well-established and well-equipped outpatient and inpatient sectors.
The former Dean FMMC Dr B Sanjeev Rai, whose foresight regarding the need for physiotherapy in the forthcoming years prompted the institute to start a master in physiotherapy program in the year 2005 with 5 post-graduate seats with the specialities of Musculoskeletal, Cardiovascular sciences, Neurosciences and Paediatric Physiotherapy. And in the year 2007, the number of seats increased to 10 and now with an intake of 20. In the year 2019 under the able leadership of our present Director Rev Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, Administrator Rev Fr Ajith B Menezes and former Dean Dr JP Alva saw an increase in the intake of the undergraduate seats from 40 to 60.
The recent feather to the Physiotherapy College’s cap has been its international collaborations with the THIM Universities Netherlands and Switzerland and the Hekim University in Turkey.
Chronologically the Course Coordinators: Dr Alfred Aranha, Vinod Abraham, Sr Leenus Rodrigues, Prof Sanjeev Kumar Jha, Prof George Mathew, Prof Kanagaraj R, Prof Narasimhan S, Kavitha Vishal, Prof Sudeep Mario Joseph Pais, Prof Sydney R Rebello, Prof Cherishma D’Silva.
In her maiden speech, she invoked the scripture which says that everything has a time under God’s plan. Her journey nearly 20 years ago as a student in the Father Muller College Physiotherapy department has made her what she is today. She wholeheartedly thanked the former Dean for making her journey from faculty, and course coordinator to her present stature as Principal an easy step.
Rev. Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho in this presidential address was delighted to see the vast student body who wished for a separate college. The college journey from the Medical College to the allied college back to the Medical College and now a separate educational entity. The mantle bestowed by the management on her is because of her earnest work for her department and subject. The keen interest in seeking admission to this course from students from Goa, Maharashtra and Kerala to this course is noteworthy. This college has to lead the new-age students in academic excellence and co-curricular activities. The prominence of a person is known by the respect they show to their parents and loved ones, shown by the new principal.
Prof. Cherishma Dsilva, who now adornes the role of the Principal completed her bachelor’s in physiotherapy from Father Muller Medical College Mangalore in the year 2007-2008. Masters in Cardio Respiratory Physiotherapy from Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), 2009-2010 and is presently pursuing her Doctorate from NITTE University India. She is a member of the Postgraduate Board of Studies, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bengaluru and District coordinator of the Indian Association of Physiotherapy Women Cell, and is proactively been a part of many national and international conferences, workshops and webinars. As a part of other social contributions Prof Cherishma was the past Chairperson of the Mangalore Ladies Circle 82 and still continues to be a member of the same, which is a unit of the Ladies Circle India and International a charitable organization. She’s married to Sandeep Aaron D’Silva, HR manager of Infosys Technologies limited and is blessed with a cute son Master Cahill Moses D’Silva
The welcome was given by Kesiya Pinto, a final-year postgraduate. Jonica Johni a Post-graduate student compered the event and gave the vote of thanks.