Brief History Of SARAD

Brief History Of SARAD

Friendly chats, purposeful conversations and earnest contemplations among some of the leading dermatologists of the South Asian countries, especially when they managed to meet at international gatherings, began to sprout an idea that they should have a forum to discuss and exchange observations  about dermatological disorders that are prevalent in, and sometimes peculiar to, this part of the world in keeping with the spirit and ideals of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation).


These admirable feelings led to the   launch of the first South Asian Regional Conference of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology (SARCD) at Kathmandu, Nepal from 1st to 4th, October 1999 by SODVELON (Society of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists of Nepal) under the able leadership of Dr.Vijaya Bahadur Rajbhandari.  Dermatologists from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal attended the conference.  


A meeting of all the delegates attending this meeting was called on 2, October 1999. This august assembly was chaired by Prof. Gurmohan Singh from India and all those who were present unanimously and enthusiastically agreed to form a South Asian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (SARAD) forthwith. Therefore, it was on October 2, 1999 that SARAD was born. An ad hoc executive committee was formed with Dr. V.B Rajbhandari as President, Prof. AZM Maidul Islam of Bangladesh as Vice-President and Dr. Anil K Jha of Nepal as the Secretary General. Indian Dermatology was represented on the executive committee by Dr.Subrato Malakar, Prof. Rishi Bhargava and Dr. Amarkant Jha ‘Amar’. The ad hoc executive committee met on the same day and decided to adopt the logo of the first SARCD, with seven petals of different colors representing the seven countries of the SAARC with a cross section of skin and hair and two snakes coiling around, as the official logo of SARAD. It was agreed that the registered office would be located at Kathmandu, Nepal. Prof. WDH Perera of Sri Lanka was requested to prepare a draft constitution for the nascent organization.


The second Executive Committee (EC) meeting was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 11th November 2000, during the annual conference of the Sri Lanka Association of Dermatologists (SLAD). After much deliberation, the draft constitution was approved with some modifications The  essential principles  of the constitution, as agreed, are:

a)     to establish and promote close personal and professional relations among dermatologists, venereologists and leprologists of the SAARC countries,

b)    to encourage common strategies towards advancement of education, care and prevention of skin diseases, leprosy and sexually transmitted diseases of the region,

c)     to promote research, training and mutual exchange of knowledge and data for the benefit and care of the communities of the SAARC countries, and

d)    to  represent dermatology, venereology and leprology of the region in international organizations.

A membership fee of US$ 100 per annum was fixed and all the official societies of the member nations of SAARC were invited to join. It was also decided to hold a SARCD every two years in the constituent countries by rotation.


The second SARCD was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh between 7th and 9th February 2002. Prof. Bhushan Kumar, Immediate Past President of IADVL was a special invitee for the SARAD EC meeting. At the general body meeting held on 7th February 2002, Prof. AZM Maidul Islam of Bangladesh was elected as President, Prof. WDH Perera of Sri Lanka as Vice-President and Prof. MA Wadud of Bangladesh as Secretary General. As IADVL had not become an official member of SARAD, Prof. KK Raja Babu, the then President of IADVL, and Dr. S Sacchidanand, the then Hon. General Secretary of IADVL and Prof. Bhushan Kumar were co-opted to the EC.  It was also decided to hold the next SARCD at Colombo, Sri Lanka in October, 2003.


While this was so, a general consensus was emerging among IADVL members that IADVL should be officially enrolled as a member of SARAD. The general body of IADVL requested the then national executive to make efforts in this direction and do what is needed. With this mandate, Prof. KK Raja Babu and Dr. S Sacchidanand invited all the EC members of SARAD to participate in the 31st annual conference of IADVL to be held at Kolkata in January 2003 and also requested them to hold the next meeting of the EC of SARAD at Kolkata during the conference time. A detailed face-to-face discussion took place between the executives of SARAD and IADVL on the 30th January 2003 and the deliberations of this meeting were presented to the CC and the general body of IADVL for their approval. In essence, these were: IADVL will write a formal letter to SARAD expressing its   willingness to join the organization, IADVL would be the sole and official representative from India, no other organization from India would be encouraged to become a member of SARAD, and that the next SARCD will be held in New Delhi along with the 33rd annual conference of IADVL in February 2005. Both the CCM and AGBM gave its overwhelming support to these proposals.


In pursuance of this direction, the National executive led by Prof. AK Bajaj sent a formal letter to the SARAD Secretariat about IADVL’s willingness to join the organization. This came up for consideration at the SARAD EC meeting held on the 10th October, 2003  during the 3rd SARCD at Colombo, Sri Lanka and IADVL was unanimously and wholeheartedly welcomed into the SARAD fold. IADVL’s and New Delhi’s bid to organize the 4th SARCD in 2005 was approved. Prof. WDH Perera was elected as President, Prof. KK Raja Babu as Vice-President and Prof. Ganga Sirimanna as Secretary General for a 2-year term. IADVL was represented on the executive committee by Prof. AK Bajaj and Dr. S Sacchidanand. Therefore, it was during Prof. AK Bajaj’s tenure as President that IADVL has become an official member of SARAD.




The next SARAD EC meeting was held in Mumbai, India in conjunction with the 32nd annual conference of IADVL in January 2004 and Prof. Perera and Prof. Sirimanna from Sri Lanka took time off from their academic duties and conducted the meeting. The entire IADVL team on the EC was present. The modalities of organization of the 4th SARCD at New Delhi were discussed with the core members of the organizing committee of the New Delhi conference.


The combined meeting of IADVL and SARCD was held from 3rd to 6th February 2005 at New Delhi, India and was a resounding success. Besides a phenomenal participation of IADVL members, the meeting was attended by a large number of delegates from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Prof. WDH Perera, President of SARAD addressed the gathering at the inaugural function explaining the history, current status and future aims of SARAD. An EC meeting of SARAD was held on the 4th of February and IADVL was asked to take the reins of leadership of SARAD from October, 2005. This was brought to the notice of the combined CCM and AGBM of IADVL and the house in its wisdom requested Prof. KK Raja Babu to take over as the President and Dr. S Sacchidanand as the Secretary-General of SARAD. It was also decided that Dr.Suresh Joshipura, the outgoing President and Dr. VP Kuriyipe, President, IADVL would represent the national association on the EC of SARAD.    Prof. KK Raja Babu, Vice-President and the incoming President of SARAD addressed the valedictory function outlining the goals of the organization in the future years, specifically delineating the role of IADVL in the continued functioning of SARAD.


The new executive committee with Prof. KK Raja Babu as President, Prof. Badr S Dhanani of Pakistan as Vice-President, Dr.S.Sacchidanand as Secretary-General and Dr. Hari Narayan Gupta of Nepal as treasurer, along with other members, took office on the 15th October 2005 for a 2-year term. The secretariat was located at Bangalore, India. An EC meeting of SARAD was called during the 34th annual conference of IADVL at Hyderabad on 2nd February, 2006 to discuss among other things the introduction of a teledermatology program and SARAD dermatology exchange fellowships among the SAARC countries. The latter has been the initiative Dr. Suresh Joshipura, the new President of IADVL. The meeting was attended by members from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Due to Visa problems, EC members from Pakistan could not attend. Dr. VP Kuriyipe, outgoing President of IADVL, and Dr. VK Upadhyay, Organizing Chair-Person and Prof. Vijay K Garg, Organizing Secretary, 4th SARCD were inducted as honorary members of the EC. A tentative nod was given to tele-dermatology and exchange fellowships. It was also decided to request PAD (Pakistan Association of Dermatologists) to hold the next SARCD in 2007.


At the mid-term CC meeting held at Hyderabad under the chairmanship of Dr. Suresh Joshipura in August 2006, IADVL had been gracious enough to allocate Rs.40, 000 per annum towards the SARAD exchange fellowships. This was subsequently ratified in the AGBM. The idea simply is to send two postgraduate students of dermatology of one country to centers of excellence (such centers are to be identified) in another country for a month’s hands-on training in specified areas of dermatology. Each student is expected to receive Rs.20, 000 stipend towards travel and food, and the host center would provide a decent hostel-type of accommodation. The modalities of selection of the trainees are to be worked out.  Although SARAD had approved these fellowships in principle, budgetary constraints on the part of some national associations could not, at present, take this wonderful program forward.


SARAD received official recognition from the SAARC secretariat in January 2004, thanks to the efforts of Dr. VB Rajbhandari. There was a distinct turn in SARAD’s fortunes during IADVL’s leadership. In October 2005, the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) welcomed SARAD into its fold approving its membership in the international organization (Prof. KK Raja Babu, President represented SARAD in the assembly of ILDS delegates meeting at Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2007 and cast his vote). As  promised by IADVL, an amount of Rs.500,000 (SARAD’ share of the savings from the New Delhi IADVL-SARCD meeting in February 2005) was handed over to the SARAD treasurer Dr. Hari Narayan Gupta at Chandigarh in Jan 2008 by Prof. Arijit Coondoo, the then treasurer. What a relief it was after the fiasco of transferring funds to ISD (International Society of Dermatology), funds that were due to them after the ISD meeting in New Delhi in 1994. That the money was ultimately transferred to ISD (after the courageous efforts of some senior members of IADVL and the graciousness of Prof. Coleman Jacobson and ISD) is another story.


A feather in the cap to SARAD and PAD was the organization of the 5th SARCD at Lahore, Pakistan from 14th to 18th November 2007. After much reluctance (perhaps because of the political turbulence prevailing at that time), PAD came forward to host the meeting combining it with its 26th national conference. What was remarkable was that the entire meeting was a SARAD show with considerable importance given to SARAD delegates. The presence of a large international attendance was an added bonus. Though the Pakistan Government cleared more than 70 visas for the Indian delegates, only 6 could make it to Lahore. This was largely because the visas were issued only a   day before the commencement of the scheduled conference.  All the delegates were well looked after by the Lahore hosts. Prof. KK Raja Babu delivered the Presidential address exhorting the assembled delegates to do their bit to extend total dermatological health care to the needy people of the region keeping in mind the dire economic situation in which large majorities are placed. Prof. S Sacchidanand, the Secretary-General of SARAD, and the President-Elect of IADVL, spoke on behalf of the national association outlining its goals and objectives and what the association had achieved in the last 35 years. He avowed the continued commitment of IADVL to the success of SARAD. He invited all the SARAD members to attend the ensuing annual conference of IADVL at Bangalore, India in January 2009. Prof. AK Bajaj was given a life-time achievement award along with the other dermatological luminaries of the SAARC countries recognizing their contribution to the growth of SARAD. The conference ended with handing over the reins of office to PAD for the next 2 years. Prof. Badr S Dhanani, from Karachi, Pakistan was elected as President, Prof. Anil K Jha from Nepal as Vice-President, Prof. Syed Atif Hasnain Kazmi from Lahore, Pakistan as Secretary-General and Dr. Hari Narayan Gupta from Nepal as Treasurer. IADVL is represented on the executive board by Dr. Suresh P.Joshipura, Prof. Chetan Oberai and Dr. Koushik Lahiri. It was decided to hold the next SARCD in Kathmandu, Nepal from 13th to 15th November, 2009.


The 6th SARAD Conference was held at Kathmandu, Nepal in November, 2009 under the auspices of SODVELON. Nearly 500 delegates from the SAARC countries, including 50 from India, attended the meeting. His Excellency, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of the Republic of Nepal inaugurated the conference. Dr. Suresh Joshipura, Past President of IADVL represented the association at the meet and in an evocative speech at the inaugural function exhorted the delegates to carry forward the ideals of SARAD and urgently initiate the SARAD exchange fellowship program for the benefit of the younger generation of dermatologists. He also passed on the good wishes of IADVL members for the success of the 6th SARCD. Prof. Anil Jha of Nepal took over as the new President of SARAD for a two-year term and Dr. Harinarayan Gupta of Nepal as the Secretary-General. Prof. V.K.Sharma, the President of IADVL, Prof. Hemangi Jerajini, the President-Elect, and Dr. Suresh Joshipura were the new members from IADVL on the executive committee of SARAD. What, however, is most gratifying was the induction of Maldives into the SARAD fold at the 6th SARCD and, in the fitness of things, Dr. Nuzha Mohammad from Maldives was elected as the new Joint Secretary.


The 7th SARAD conference was held at Dhaka, Bangladesh in December,2011 at Hotel Ruposhi Bangla. In the 15th executive meeting of SARAD held at 7th SARCD it was decided that for the

SARAD young dermatologist exchange program – It was mentioned that India, Nepal and Sri Lanka were ready to start the exchange program. Pakistan also agreeed to start this program. It was decided that the new executive committee will further look into this matter in future.

Regarding Collaborative Research Program – All the executive members agreed to start this program. To make it easy advisors were selected from each country.i) Prof. Dr. A. Z. M. Maidul Islam from Bangladesh ii) Prof. Dr. Gurmohan Singh from India iii) Prof. Dr. Anil Kumar Jha from Nepal iv) Prof. Syed Atif Hasnain Kazmi from Pakistan v) Dr. Jayamini Seneviratne from Sri Lanka.

Global Dermatrend was going to be held in Kazikasthan between 19th & 22nd April 2012 - all the executive members agreed to allow the organizers to use the logo of SARAD under the condition that they allow to hold the next executive meeting of SARAD during Global Dermatrend. The new executive members (2011-2013) will attend it under the sponsorship of the organizers.

It was decided that the 8th SARCD will be organized by Sri Lankan College of Dermatologists in 2013 (tentatively August 2013).It was also decided that the 9th SARCD will be organized by Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists & Leprologists  in 2015 either at Bangalore or Mysore. It was also proposed to organize the future SARCD in the month of August/September/October and separate from national conference.

The executive members requested Bangladesh Dermatology Society to become a member of ILDS. It was decided that the new executive will decide on who will represent SARAD at the ILDS Summit Meeting to be held from 3 – 5 June, 2012 in Berlin, Germany and nomination(s) for the 2012 ILDS Certificate of Appreciation.

Prof. Dr.Anil Kumar Jha shared the information that Dr. Hemangini R. Jerajini has been elected as Regional Board Member (South Asia, Middle East & Africa) of ILDS and congratulated her for this achievement.

Dr. S. Sacchidanand requested all the executive members to extend their support when IADVL bids for next World Congress of Dermatology 2015.

SARAD Logo at present has 7 petals. It was decided that if possible one more petal should be added to the logo to represent Afghanistan. Besides it was also decided to change the name in it to SARAD instead of SARCD.

Finally Prof. Dr. Anil Kumar Jha expressed his gratitude for the continuous support extended by all the members during his tenure of last 2 yrs.

Following this executive meeting, General Body Meeting of SARAD was organized.

Secretary General Dr. Hari Narayan Gupta presented the secretary's report of the last 2 yrs.

Treasurer Dr. Shristi Shrestha presented the treasurer report.

The agenda discussed in the executive meeting were further discussed and was endorsed by the General Body meeting. Prof. Gurmohan Singh proposed and Prof. Kalyan Banerjee seconded.

Finally Prof. Dr. Anil Kumar Jha congratulated Prof. Dr. A.Q.M.Serajul Islam and Dr.Ehsanul Kabir and their team for organizing 7th SARCD successfully.


Inauguration ceremony of the 8th South Asian Regional Conference of Dermatology, Leprology and Veneriology was held on 1st of August 2013 at Waters Edge, Colombo. The ceremony commenced with a traditional procession which lead the chief guest and guest of honor to the head table, after lighting the oil lamp. Chief guest was honorable minister of health Sri Lanka, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. Eminent dermatologist from UK, Dr. Peter Motimer was the guest of honor. President SARAD Prof. Serajul Islam and Secretary General of SARAD Dr. Eshanul Kabeer and Exco members of the SARAD were among other distinguished participants. In the audience there were around three hundred participants including delegates from all SSARC countries.

Chief guest in his speech, admired the effort of the dermatologists in the region in uplifting the level of dermatology care in the region.  Guest of honor elaborated on the academic bonds between UK and Sri Lanka. President of the Sri Lanka College of Dermatologists Dr. Chalukya Gunasekara in her speech emphasized the value of cooperation among SAARC countries. Organizing Chairperson of 8th SARCD Prof. Jayamini Seneviratne mentioned about the progress of SARAD. President of SARAD talked about common and unique features of the dermatological diseases in the region. Country representatives from other SAARC countries in there short speeches expressed their good wishes for 8th SARCD. Secretary of SLCD delivered the vote of thanks. It was followed by few cultural items and cocktail and dinner.

Inauguration ceremony was followed by two and a half day conference of high academic content.

In the SARAD EXCO meeting held on 03/08/2013, the secretary general, Dr. Eshanul Kabeer Jaglul presented the report of the secretary and read out the minutes of the last EC meeting held in Ahmedabad, on 25th of January 2013. In the SARAD Exchange program, the registration fee for SARCD was decided to be waived off for two PG trainees nominated by each member country.  The collaborative research program was postponed due to various practical difficulties in its implementation.

It was decided not to take up the allocated time in ICD 2013 for the sister society meetings considering the practical difficulties in participation.


9th SARCD was held from 4th to 6th September 2015 in Mysore India. General Body meeting of SARAD was held  on 5th September 2015.The Secretary Dr. Janaka Akarwita read the reports of activities of SARAD. He high lighted the efforts done regarding re-recognition of SARAD by SAARC. The general body appreciated their efforts and agreed to renew the effort in future. The treasurer’s report was read by Dr.Sudip Parajuli in the absence of Treasurer Dr.Shristi Shreshta. It was decided to enhance the contribution. He requested all the member countries to pay their fees regularly.         Dr.Jayadev Betkerur  informed that for SARCD 2015 the registration fees was reduced to USD 180. However the participation from other SAARC countries was poor. The president remarked that it might be due to the recently held WCD. He also opined that the present trainee exchange programme to be continued and can be expanded to other conferences. Only trainees from srilanka and India are availing this benefit.The response from other countries is very poor, this needs to be looked into. We need to popularize this programme. Dr.Sacchidanand suggested that various lectures of SARCD to be webcasted. He also suggested that various lectures held in member countries can be webcasted for the benefit of members of SARAD. Dr.Joshipura was of the opinion that there should be deadline for nominating EX-Co members from various countries. He also proposed that there should be an SOP for selecting EX-CO members.         Dr.Jayadev Betkerur informed that the logo of SARAD has been changed, to have eight petals to represent all 8 countries of SARAD. The GB elected the following memebers as Executive Committee members of  SARAD for   2015-2017


The 10th SARCD was held at Lahore, Pakistan at Pearl Continental Hotel during 17-19 November 2017. This was combined with 36th PADCON. The chairman of Organizing committee was Prof. Ijaz Hussain and Prof. Tahir Jamil Ahmed was Secretary Organizing committee.


The 11th SARCD was held from 15-17 November 2019 at Hotel Grandy, Pokhara, Nepal. Theme of the conference was ‘Diversity in Dermatology’ . The chairman of Organizing committee was Prof. Hari Narayan Gupta and Prof. Sudha Agarwal was Secretary Organizing committee.

All the Past Presidents and Secretaries of SARAD (till SARCD X) were felicitated during the conference. Altogether 371 participants participated. Participants of workshop on Autoimmune blisetering,   Dermoscopy  and  Botox were 110, 60 and 45 respectively.

The new Executive Committee 2019-2021 of SARAD was finalized.


Dermatological Society of Maldives has been requested for the next conference.