Ida Scudder 150th Birthday Celebrations

Being Ida

Celebrating 150 years of Dr. Ida Scudder

One woman, Many roles.

Ida has played many significant roles in her life. The one the world is familiar with is her role as a doctor.

But beyond that, what made her a perfect doctor was her complete dedication to all her other roles as well. She had been a perfect daughter, a kind companion to her friends, a well-wisher to her supporters, a shoulder to lean on for her siblings, a constant backbone for her mother, an efficient and caring doctor, a good tennis player, an ardent dog lover, a dedicated gardener, a convincing orator, a persistent fund raiser, a strong advocate for woman, a strict disciplinarian, a thorough teacher and above all a good, gentle, and loving mother.

All her roles she played well to the best of her God-given abilities. This is where the holistic approach of CMC comes in. Our founder was not just treating wounds and healing the body; she went beyond her studies and medical experience and understood people. Her humane touch, her genuine concern for the needy and her love for people are beyond comparison. Most often, she went miles – literally; to take care of the needy even though it might have not been her responsibility.

Given below is a beautiful and loving extract from the book, ‘Dr. Ida Passing on The Torch of Life’ by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, showing the tender and gentle nature of Aunt Ida. Reading this, one can’t help but smile and wonder at the length and extend of her service to others.

“Her ‘adopted’ children at last had a home of their own, this out-building behind the students’ house, with two rooms, a kitchen, plenty of veranda, trees to play under, and an open courtyard ablaze with marigolds. No more scolding or shushing when they made too much noise and might disturb the patients!

Mana, one of the orphans bequeathed by the influenza epidemic, sidled close, big dark eyes fixed with fascination on the while-gold halo of Ida’s hair. “Is it real? She asked shyly. “Mana touch?”

 Laughing, Ida pulled the child to her lap, leaned over so the small fingers could bury themselves in the soft fluffiness…

Starting with Mary Taber and Keziah, a little albino girl brought to them years ago by Ida’s cousin, Dr. Lew Scudder, the family of Children had grown from time to time, until now there were twenty-three, ranging from six months to sixteen years. Ida looked fondly about the group, remembering how many of them had come: the two motherless babies she had found on roadside, mere scraps of skin and bones; Padmathi, thrown into a thorn bush right after birth, found crying and helpless by a cowherd, reported to the police, and brought to Gudiyattam; Esther Thayamma, handed over by her consumptive mother on her death