Come with us as we take you back to 15 August 1947, the 1st Independence Day celebration in CMC Vellore. The students were excited to be a part of this nationwide celebration. There was a whole evening of entertainment planned with delicious dinner in the hostel.
Here is an excerpt* written by a medical student who reflects on the happenings of the day.
“We in Vellore, rejoiced with the rest. We wanted August 15th to be a never forgotten day – a day which we could look back on as being the greatest day in our lives.
14 August, 7.00 P.M. The sunken garden – the scene of much gaiety and festivity – once again brightened and smiled its sweetest.”
15 August dawned fresh and fair. At 6. A.m. we gathered in the Chapel to give our praises to God first and from there processed to the front of the college ready for the flag-hoisting ceremony. We stood in a semicircle in front of the flag-post. Dr. Lazarus marched in true military style to the post and saluted. We in turn saluted and then the strains of our National Song, filled the air as the flag was hoisted. A great joy filled us as we saw at last our brave tricolor flag flying in the breeze of a free India.”
Lt. Colonel Dr. Hilda Lazarus, who hoisted the flag on that day, had served during the Second World War as the first Indian Head of the Women’s Medical Service. She had just become the Director of CMC Vellore and was also the Principal for the Medical College. While the country celebrated a free India in 1947, the year also marks the first co ed class of students in CMC. 23 women and 10 men were part of this class.
Today, the Medical College has grown from a class of 33 medical students in 1947 to 315 students in 2021. Over the years, the other courses have progressed alongside. The Nursing College has 870 students on roll today and the Allied Health Services have 513 students.
From the excerpt, the student also writes, “At midnight we heard over the radio the loved voices of leaders, bidding us to go forward with courage and love in our hearts and as we heard, each girl silently pledged herself to the service of this her beloved country.”
True to their commitment we see our students as a beacon of healing and hope, serving the remotest parts of our country and every corner of the world.
*Taken from pg 221 of the book, ‘One step at a time’ – written by Reena George