N. Wig is amongst the foremost psychiatrists of India. He also holds a double diploma in Psychological Medicine –
one from England and one from Scotland. He is a fellow of India’s prestigious National Academy of Medical Science. In
1991, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, honoured him with the highest award of the Honorary Fellowship of the College.
Prof. Wig is the only psychiatrist from India to be thus honoured. In 1997, Dr. Wig was designated as Professor Emeritus,
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
Dr. Wig started the department of psychiatry at the Postgraduate
Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh in 1963 and he was its Professor and Head from 1968 to 1980. In a
few years, this became one of the leading centers of psychiatry in India. In 1976, the department got international recognition
as WHO Collaborating Centre for training and research in mental health. Among his various research studies, Prof. Wig will
be particularly remembered for his work in Community Mental Health in the villages of Raipur Rani Block in Haryana, which
became a model of Primary Mental health Care programme in India and in many other countries.
In 1980, Prof. Wig moved to the All India Institute of Medical
Sciences, New Delhi, as Professor and Head of the Department. In 1984, he joined World Health Organisation as the Regional
Advisor Mental Health and remained at Alexandria, Egypt, till 1990. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing mental
health programmes in 22 countries, from Pakistan to Morocco in the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr. Wig is a leading figure in International Psychiatry. He has
published over 300 scientific papers in different journals and books. He is currently a member of the WHO Advisory panel on
Mental Health. For the last ten years, he is on the Steering Committee of the World Psychiatric Association’s International
Programme to reduce stigma and discrimination due to mental illness.
Dr. Wig has won many national and international awards. In October
2000, on his 70th birthday, a book Mental Health in India 1950 – 2000: Essays in honour of Dr. N.N. Wig was
published in which many leading national and international mental health experts contributed. In April 2003, Bombay Psychiatric
Society honoured him with a Life Time Achievement Award. In September 2004, Fountain House, Psychiatric Centre at Lahore,
Pakistan, named a newly constructed building as Prof. N.N. Wig Unit, in recognition of his services to the development of
mental health in the countries of South Asia.
Dr. Wig has traveled widely to many parts of the world. After
his retirement he has settled in Panchkula. He continues to be active in clinical service, teaching and voluntary social service
activities. He is closely associated with the work of Servants of the People Society, Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Chandigarh, where
he conducts free mental health clinic twice a week and also organizes regular lectures and discussion groups on mental health
for the general public.