The history of the foundation of the Indian Menopause society the story goes this way, Dr. Urvashi Jha, then the chief Gynecologist at Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai 1995, asked Dr Rama Vaidya if it would be a good idea to launch an Indian Society for the study of Menopausal Health! We thought it would be a good platform to exchange our knowledge and experiences related to menopausal health in Indian context. We also thought that it would be appropriate to have the proposed society to be multidisciplinary. An intent meeting was then held at Hinduja hospital , Mumbai (in Manu Shroff's office) with founding members belonging to diverse discipline and/super specialty. The pictures of the intent meeting held in 1995 where, all must have looked much younger than the pictures.
At that meeting Dr Rama Vaidya was nominated as founder president, Dr Urvashi Jha as founder secretary and Dr. Manoj Bharucha as a founder treasurer. You can see the other founding members in this picture. We all decided to become life members. Dr Urvashi Jha and Dr Rama Vaidya wrote the draft constitution of IMS with major inputs from Dr. Ashok Vaidya, he is also one of the first 25 founder members. He had deep interest and had worked on the subject of menopausal health. Dr Asha Kapadia, became the first founder member (IMS membership no 1.)
Later on while Dr Urvashi moved to Delhi, IMS was spreading its wings to become a national body. At this juncture Dr Rama Vaidya approached the charity commissioner and obtained recognition for the society for tax exemption. A paragraph was added in the constitution that the society will provide services to underprivileged women.
The first meeting of a multi-speciality nature, on menopause, was organized at Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai, in early nineties. Several leading Gynecologists, Orthopedic surgeons, Rheumatologists, Dermatologists and Cardiologists had well-attended the evening seminar. Dr Rama and Dr Urvashi participated quite actively in the discussions on trans-disciplinary expertise needed for the care of mature women. The Group dispersed as "Menopause Study Group". But the seed was planted for the Indian Menopause Society (I.M.S.),with an ethos of all types of expertise-medical and non-medical being represented.
Soon after the society was launched, a meeting was held at Bhavan’s SPARC (where Dr Rama Vaidya) had served as a Dean and was In-charge for women’s health 1985-2007) created MAITREYI, a module for the health--care of women at 40 yrs and above. The vision of MAITREYI was to provide holistic multi-system & multi-speciality health care for physical, social, mental & spiritual health for women passing through mid-life and those who were beyond (40-70yrs). The MAITREYI group worked on the last Sunday of every month. It had become a multicentric, multisystem and multidisciplinary group taking turns and ran the services till 2007 at Bhavan’s SPARC and now at Medical Resarch Center of Kasturba Health Society (MRCKHS) . Dr. Ashok Vaidya (Research Director SPARC), Dr. Rama Vaidya, Dr. Jayashree Joshi & Dr. Shefali Pandey (Women’s Health group from SPARC), Dr. Ashwini Kumar Raut and Dr. Nutan Nabar Ayurvedic MDs (Kayachikitsa-General Medicine and Musculoskeletal health SPARC) Dr. Nivedita Maulick (Endocrinologist &Diabetologist) from LTMG and Sion Hospital, Dr. Sankari & Dr. Preeti Galavankar (Gynecologists) from Sir Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Dr. Sanjeev Shah and Dr. Akshaya Mehta (Diabetologist and cardiologist respectively) from BNH, Dr. Pratibha Mehta (Psychologist and Qualified Counselor Dr. Kalpana, Yoga teacher (a scientist qualified in Advanced Yoga), Dr. Bipin Shah, Dr. Bharat Parekh and group (Sonologists from BNH and private clinic), Laboratory colleagues from SPARC (Dr. SC Talawakkar and Ms Shubhada Agashe). Dieticians (Jayashree Desai from SPARC ) .
Shaping of "Model Menopausal Health Clinic" was debated during those initial years with the society members. The group had presented outcome of many research projects and were awarded ICMR grant for “The study of phytoestrogens for menopausal health”.