Living our Legacy, by Mrs. Usha Jesudasan, is a thought provoking series that introspects our history and legacy through the experiences and challenges that our founder, Ida Scudder and other stalwarts of CMC faced, and draws meaning and encouragement for us in the present.
The idea for a hospital for women in Vellore came from Dr Louisa Hart, a Canadian missionary working in Ranipet alongside Dr. John Scudder. When Dr Ida Scudder heardthis news, she had just qualified as a doctor from Cornell University and was looking forward to joining her father in India. The hard task of raising the money needed for the hospital – 8000 US dollars – fell on her young shoulders.
It was a tragic night, just before the turn of the 20th century, when three young women whose names we do not know, died. Young Ida Scudder had come from America to be with her missionary parents for a while before going to college. She did not want to be a missionary like her parents. She disliked the poverty, dust and sickness that pervaded India’s villages. Her desire was to return to America and live the good life of an educated lady.
This year, 2018, we celebrate the Centenary of the Christian Medical College, Vellore. For those who live and work in CMC Hospital and College, life is a busy routine of activities – whether one is a doctor, nurse, allied health worker or one of the many clerical and service staff. There is very little time for deep soul – searching moments. Even less time for discussion. Whoever you are, it is good to stop and think for a moment.