In ancient India - that is 'Bharat' - the sacred land of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Budha, the feet have assumed a very special importance. In all dances of India, classical to folk and those meant for the temples to court-dancing halls, the role of feet has supreme importance. Bare-footed walking and working, so popular in Indian sub-continent, deserve special care in all respects.
With all the above considerations, the idea of forming a society of the Foot Surgeons of India was conceived as a challenge on the serene silent streets of Eastbourne, U. K. in 1979 by then young and dynamic Professor Sureshwar Pandey. With international support from Mr. B Helal and Dr. Valente Valenti, Prof Pandey ventured into the idea of forming an Indian Foot society. He dared to circulate a probing letter to 360 orthopaedic surgeons of India and got reply from only twelve surgeons. He however started digging his capabilities slowly and took the task to organize the Society of the Foot Surgeons of India. Again in 1983, he circulated another probing letter with more enthusiasms among the Orthopaedic Surgeons of India. This time reply was from 23 surgeons.
Professor Pandey along with Dr. Valenti, prepared the ground work of forming the Indian Foot Society. The Secretary General of C.I.P. announced the official formation of Indian Foot Society on 02.11.1987 at Calcutta Indian Orthopaedic Association Conference in the presence of Revd. Mother Teresa. He also declared that the Works body (C.I.P.) had authorized him to announce the affiliation of the newly formed Indian Foot Society to the C.I.P. on its merit, and he did the same on this occasion - thus was the born of the “Indian Foot Society” - a great day in the history of Indian Foot & Ankle Society.
It will not be out of place to mention that first sub-specialty section of Indian Orthopaedic Association was formed at Ranchi in 1986 and simultaneously the society of foot surgery was started as its maiden venture. Since then the annual meeting of Foot Society kept on being organized at different places of the country and the journal also published almost regularly. In 1998, the Indian Foot Society had the privilege of organizing 3rd Asia CIP Congress at Patna. Sadly the yearly activities could not continue on yearly basis till it was revived by active interest of Dr. R. A. Agrawal on the express request of Prof. Pandey and on very short notice, the Indian Foot Society was reborn at Gorakhpur in year 2005. With advent of more and more research work and understanding of patho physiology from around the world the foot problems were changed its focus from children to adults. The name of the society has changed as Indian Foot and Ankle Society and was officially registered in 2010 in Ranchi.
Indian foot and Ankle society started prospering from a small subspecialty to a rapidly growing subspecialty in from 2010 onwards. In 2017 the Indian foot and Ankle society has got alliance with Asian Federation of Foot and Ankle society and is progressing forward to its international and regional stamp of recognition.
Prof Dr. S. S. Jha
Director, Mahavir Vaatsalya Aspatal
Vice Secretary General, Asia-Pacific Society for Foot & Ankle Surgery
Past President, Indian Foot & Ankle Society
Patron & Founder President, Indian Orthopaedic Rheumatology Association
Patna, Bihar, India