Story Contest 2016 #2 - Outstanding Stories » A Desire to Help

Short Story - A Desire to Help

“A Desire to Help” is one of the outstanding stories of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2016 written by P.Joshna Priya, Telangana, India.

A Desire to Help

It was the year 1900. There were no hospitals in India, and many people died because of lack of medical care. Many young women died giving birth to their children.

It was in this scenario, that a young American girl, named Ida Scudder, came to visit her grandfather in a town called Vellore, in the state of Tamilnadu, in South India. Little did she know that her visit was going to be a turning point in many ways.

One night, a man came running to their house, at around 12 a. m. He said, “My wife is going to have a baby. I need a lady doctor. Can you help me?”

Ida replied, “I cannot help you. There is no lady doctor over here. Sorry!”

In the days that ensued, three more such calls came, looking for a lady doctor. But those calls were in vain.

Later, Ida came to know that all those women who were in need of a lady doctor had died, while giving birth.

Ida was devastated. She knew that she had to do something to change this situation.

She went back to America, studied medicine, and became a doctor. She came back to India after seven years. Nothing much had changed in Vellore. Ida’s grandfather himself had died of cancer.

Ida did not give up. She rented a room and started a small clinic for women and children. She inspired a lot of other villagers, and the village began to prosper.

Now that small room that Ida rented years back has become a university called Christian Medical College, Vellore. Today, this university has become a historic place for many foreign visitors.

It all began with a young girl’s genuine desire to help people in need.