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By a Correspondent in New York
The friends and alumni of the Christian Medical College [Vellore] Board, USA, felicitated Dr George Chandy, the director of the CMC, in New York last week.
Vijay Nambiar, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Counsel General Parameshar Rath were also present at the event.
"Times have changed with globalisation and five star hospitals," Chandy said. "But the CMC is still continuing the work of Dr Ida Scudder [its founder] to help the needy and poor."
Dr Scudder's relatives had also gathered at the felicitation function.
Scott J Scudder, a chiropractic physician in New Jersey and the president of the Scudder family association, said that continuing the tradition of Ida the family collects and sends money to CMC and supports its activities.
The story of Ida Scudder's visionary mission began in 1892, when she was asked to help three women struggling in difficult childbirths in Tamil Nadu.
Ida, however, without training at that time could do nothing. Moreover, custom prevented the husbands of the struggling women to take the help offered by her father, John Scudder, a medical missionary from America.
Next day, Ida was shocked to hear about their death. She took it as a call from god to begin an institution dedicated to the health needs of the people of India, particularly women and children.
In pursuit of her mission, Ida went back to America, entered medical training and, in 1899, was one of the first women graduates of the Cornell Medical College.
Shortly thereafter in 1900, she returned to India and opened a one-bed clinic in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Two years later, in 1902, she built a 40-bed hospital, the forerunner of today's 1700-bed CMC.
The CMC was recently selected the best medical college in India in a poll by the news magazine India Today.
"Rich and poor alike get the same treatment in the CMC. Nobody is turned away. The rich give a little more, which becomes a source to help the poor," Dr Chandy said.
Incidentally, the CMC detected the first HIV infection in India. In CMC, the AIDS patients are also treated along with others and not segregated, he said.
The college spends $6250 per medical student a year, collecting $60 from each as fee. Three thousand outpatients and 2000 inpatients are treated daily. A staff of 5037 spread the message of Scudder.
Know more about Dr Ida Scudder
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