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Legacy of the British Raj

Housing the vision of Dr Edith Mary Brown,over a century-old building of the Christian Medical College and Hospital have stood the test of time,emphasising the importance of medical care to the needy.

Written by Sameer Kumar Sharma | Ludhiana |
April 14, 2009 4:32:13 am

Housing the vision of Dr Edith Mary Brown,over a century-old building of the Christian Medical College and Hospital have stood the test of time,emphasising the importance of medical care to the needy.

Built in the late 1890s and early years of the 20th century, most of these buildings of the hospital remain intact even today and are largely in use. About 115-year-old building,which presently houses CMC Dental College is one such example. It was earlier being used as the Department of Basic Sciences before it was renovated to house the dental college in 1992.

Other buildings include the Lady Willingdon Hall which was also built about a century ago along with chapel and ‘Daihata’.

Donning the British Raj architectural look,the century-old buildings not only symbolise the progress of the medical care in the region,but it also stands as a testimony to the developments in medicine over the years.

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“It was in the Lal Kothi where Dr Edith Mary Brown stayed back then and worshipped in the nearby chapel,” said Dr A G Thomas,director of CMCH and also one of the oldest alumnus.

“The hospital buildings,most of which are still in use,are still reminiscent of the last century and tell the story of how the hospital came into being,” tells an old employee of the hospital.

It was in 1894,when working as trained doctor with the with the Greenfeild sisters who had set up a small hospital called Charlotte Hospital, Dr Edith Mary Brown set up the North Indian School of Medicine for Christian women which aimed at training the women.

The hospital went through major changes in the first half of the 20th century, and came to be known as Women’s Christian Medical College before it was rechristened to its present name CMC in 1953. Prior to this,it was being as a hospital and training centre for women. Later,it was upgraded to a co-educational institute and started offering MBBS degree in affiliation with Panjab University,Chandigarh.

“The building called ‘Daihata’ one of the earliest buildings which was previously used for the small hospital,is still in use for staff quarters. The new building of the hospital whose foundation stone was laid by the then Union Health minister Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur came into being in the year 1953 but the old buildings have been renovated from time to time to preserve the era gone by,” said the director.

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