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 bed; children Annie Hancock had brought from the jail when their mothers died. Her gaze rested with special fondness on a slim bright-eyed boy brimming with health and energy. She had been sitting at dinner one night when she had heard a sweet high voice singing. Going to the door, she had found a little naked boy of four clinging to a tall policeman?s hand. Of course, she had kept the little lad”.

?We could keep fifty instead of twenty-three?, she thought yearningly, ?If we only had a bigger house!?

One fifty years have gone by; her story has become a well-known anecdote, the three knocks a common stage play and ?Be thou my vision? a customary hymn. Dr. Ida has become a household name in our community, which shows that how many ever years may pass by, the founder and her vision can never be forgotten. Learning from her stories and incidents, it?s up to the 10000 staff of CMC to take it upon them to carry on her vision down to its every little detail.

One woman and her nature to go beyond the call of duty created a historic impact and changed the future of medicine in Vellore.

Did you know that her love for the needy in India was so well known that reaching her through post was as simple as writing on the cover.

CMC Newsline Dec. 2020

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