“One small step for philanthropy, one giant leap for the Scudder Association.”
It is a distinct pleasure to launch our first fully integrated on-line charitable campaign. While our first, it is our hope that it will be one of many unique project awareness programs that will allow our members the opportunity to learn about and direct their donations to specific projects.
What Goes Round…
There is a certain symmetry to the idea that Dr. Ida Scudder returned to India to provide medical assistance to women denied care from male physicians. Today, 116 years later, her legacy continues to live on for the 80,000 indigenous mountain people of Tamil Nadu, 40 rugged miles from Vellore, India.
CMC’s CHAD – Outreach
CMC’s Community Health & Development, or CHAD, has provided comfort and care along with the
promise of improved health and sanitary conditions to the fiercely autonomous villagers of Jawadhi Hills, since the 1980’s. The villages are perched 4,000 feet above and to west of Vellore. They are strung along difficult mountain trails that are impossible to traverse without the aid of the most valiant of 4wheel-drive vehicles and intrepid drivers. Elephants are the comfort ride of choice.
The Jawadhi Hills are the ancestral home of the Malayali tribal people. These tribes predate the Aryan migration and are one of the earliest indigenous groups, native to the Indian Sub-continent. While their cultural and lifestyle presents an exotic contrast to bustle of modern life, their lack of running water and basic hygene, presents a clear health hazard, that each year results in countless unnecessary critical illnesses and deaths. To that end, CMC’s CHAD has begun to address the problem, literally from the ground up.
To accomplish this CHAD has adopted a “Model Village” approach to demonstrate to neighboring villages the advantages of increasing the quality of life for the Model Villagers. It is the basic “Keeping up with the Jones” marketing approach.
Four villages have been chosen to become “Models”. The first is Koiloor and is currently under construction. The program is far more than just plumbing though. It also has a major social and educational component that takes more care and patience than the installation of running water and toilets. For disease to decrease and economic progress to increase, CHAD has committed to a full time facility and staffing for the project. The goal of CHAD is long term and includes:
Reduction in infant/maternal morbidity and mortality
Reduction in enteric diseases that cause malnutrition, stunting, etc.
Adoption of clean water for cooking and cleaning
Cessation of open and public defecation
Full immunization of children
Awareness of the risk of alcohol abuse
Community leadership advocacy
For an excellent overview of the Health and Social Challenges” Link to Vellore CMC
The people of Jawadhi Hills have for too long been pressed to the fringes of civilization. The efforts of CMC’s CHAD are a wonderful step in helping these villagers step from the shadows of history and benefit from the positive aspects of modern living. It is not hard to imagine that the CHAD volunteers working with the Malayali tribes in the”Model Villages”, will in turn learn the the importance of harmony to live as a tribe. We could all use a few pointers in how to get along. As one recent Presidential candidate and First Lady wrote, “It takes a village.” I would hasten to add,”It also takes money.”
Please help and donate generously. Aunt Ida would be proud.