Living Our Legacy

/Living Our Legacy

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.

Who We Are To Be



Seventeen young girls came to Vellore to join the new medical college for women that Dr Ida Scudder started in 1918. Her great desire was to train these girls to be excellent doctors with inquiring minds, gentle hands and compassionate hearts, who would, at the end of their training, go to places which needed women doctors. As the girls went through their training period, they realized that life would be tough;

Setting up the Nursing School



Dr Louisa Hart and her sister Lillian, a nurse, working in Ranipet, joined Dr.Scudder to help run the little hospital. Everyday new patients came and the three ladies were worked off their feet till late into the night. The first nurses were just helpers from nearby whom Dr Scudder and Lillian Hart trained to do simple nursing care. But it proved to be really difficult – the girls would dip their fingers in to test the temperature of sterile water and had little knowledge or experience of cleanliness and sanitation.

An Experience of Amazing Love



Very few people know about a gift that came to CMC from Mr. Herbert Martin and Mrs. Lora Fillebrown of USA.  The Fillebrowns were not wealthy people, but they had heard about the medical work in Vellore and were looking for a way to help support the work there.  It so happened that their only daughter  Rachel decided to get married and instead of using her wedding gift money to buy things for her and her new husband,  

Catching The Spark



As the first buildings came up for the hospital and the college, much of the finances for it were donated by ordinary American, English and European women, who attended church and mission meetings. On one such mission night, Dr Ida Scudder was speaking about her beloved Vellore where women and children from small villages had no access to medical care. The response to her speech that night was rather lukewarm. These were the war years and most people’s hearts beat for their young troop fighting in Europe.

Daring to Dream



It is hard for us today to imagine what Vellore would have looked like a hundred years ago. Clusters of huts and tiled houses; hardly any trees or shade. Famine, drought and poverty broughtdeadly diseases.

The young Dr. Ida Scudder and her team working day and night at the little hospital were run off their feet. Yet, Dr. Scudder found herself dreaming. What Vellore needed most was a bigger hospital!

The Sacrifice of Love



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.

How Do We Recognise A Calling ?



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.

God Has Been So Good To Me



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.  

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