Delaware County Daily Times from Chester, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1969 · Page 9
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Delaware County Daily Times from Chester, Pennsylvania · Page 9

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Chester, Pennsylvania
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Monday, August 25, 1969
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Page 9
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DELAWARE COUNTY (PA,)'':DAILY , TIMES Monday, August 25^ 1969 9 AMERICAN MB BECOMES CITIZEN OF INDIA CGMC Doctor Gives New Life To ndian Lepers With Work*' Love and Not a Few Mirac r^rrrkTltr-vr /-,TT * nrm Daily Timos Photo ty PRANK DI GIACOMO . · . u l x U J J l i kHACKO displays posters with photographs of people and places in Bethany village, the rehabilitation colony she helped to found in India for leprosy sufferers. Bethany village is God's answer to.prayer. So says a C h r i s t i a n physician who asks God what His will may be, then depends upon His help to make it come true. ' B e t h a n y Village may light the way to an end of the dread malady, leprosy. The Village evolved from "an idea" of Dr. Dorothy Chacko,. now a resident in medicine at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. She was one of the founders and the first director of the colony. It happened like this: Dr. Chacko is the daughter of New Englanders who were missionaries in Japan. She spent most of her first 15 years there. Later she was graduated · from Radcliffe Academy, from Smith College and earned her medical doctor's degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. In 1930 she automatically became a citizen of India when she, married Dr. C, J. Chacko. He is a Syrian Christian, a member of the Church established in 52 A. D. by the Apostle Thomas. Two years later the couple went to India to live. Asked whether , she started her medical practice then, Dr. Chacko shrugged, and smiled. "Joe was born in 1933, John in '34 and Mary in '35 so you 'see . . ." ..She did start a private practice when her youngest was; four. But when in 1951 her husband became head ol the p o l i t i c a l science d e p a r t m e n t in Demi University, the physician began to serve in {wo village clinics for the Methodst Mission. I t ' was then that the idea of a Bethany Village-type settlement came to her. She sought to befriend 36 beings who had no income and, at that jtime, no chance to earn one. They were human beings, but in their country they were treated as less than the lower animals. Most of them were lepers. Dr. Chacko explained: In India, when it is discovered one has leprosy, that person is thrown out of his job, his family, his town. Traditionally he resorts to begging. Thre are many cases of leprosy in the Southern part of India, in the hot, wet parts. But there arn't many tourists threre. ( T o u r i s t s are generous). So about 800 beggers migrated north to Delhi to ply their sorrowful trade. · Delhi didn't want them. They were trucked out of the city and literally dumped into the sunp'arched fields on a hot June day. They were p r o v i d e d materials to build shelters, bt when they asked wages to construct them, the money was refused. Eventually two colonies were formed, although living conditions were deplorable. · " I t occurred to me- they needed a place . w li e r eY they really could settle down (and earn' their livelihood); instead of begging," the doctor said. The government w a s approached. But ". .. official wheels move very slowly. "Then some local Christians persuaded the village of Teha to give us land. It was across the road from the site asked of the government. Thus Bethany Village, 37 miles north of Delhi on the Grand Trunk Road, was founded as a rehabilitation center. Its pioneers were an assorted lot. T h e c o u p l e s w e r e unmarried. Some of the mates had no leprosy and none of the children did. But this group had signified a desire to try to. become self- supporting . . . a startling development for t h o s e suffering leprosy, in India. Dr. Chacko declared that desptie the lethargy in fighting the disease and the false a s s u m p t i o n s of t h e uneducated, "leprosy could be wiped out in one generation if we could treat all, the cases." Children are not born with leprosy, but they are more susceptible to it than adults. The disease affects only humans, thus is not spread by animals. Nowadays, patients having infectious leprosy (only three- fourths of them have)" can be r e n d e r e d " non-contagious within four months. After four months' isolation patients may go back to their families and their jobs. They may need treatment for five to seven years. Good, nutrition a n d - ' living conditions are important, because l i k e tuberculosis, l e p r o s y is chronic. It can be held in abeyance, arrested . . . but is considered incurable. Six United States dollars provide medicine for one year for a sufferer and caught in time, the disease loses its chance to cripple a n d disfigure. . ',, ,' /. ' v ^ ,.., It was "'knowledge · of '4hose'., · facts and the faith that 'God wanted them to found Bethany.' Village that led Dr. Chacko "and four or five other Christians" to start the project with "absolutely no money." Even now, Dr. Chacko relates gleefully that she never has asked a person 'for a penny." "I prayed very hard. Some of the miracles . . ." She lists the miracle of the bricks next after the acquisi- sion of land. ' "We 'got the bricks for .the huts on credit through Dan Allen, head of the mission school in nearby Sonepat. At 6 a.m. one Saturday in June, Dan strolled by. He brought the bill for -14,000 bricks. '"You know we depend upon God's hand," I said. The bill was for 1,171.51 rupees." " 'Pay when you can, 1 Dan replied." Cecil Elder had worked with Dr. Chacko, then had gone to Africa. She knew nothing · about the Village. THE GREEN THUMB By GEORGE A B R A H A M TRIPS: WORST GLADIOLUS PEST: If your glads have nice spikes';, which fail to open flowers, blame it on thrips, a tiny pest, so small that 25 of them span an inch. Thrips damage, the gladiolus by sucking l the juices from the tissues. Each female lays 200 eggs and these hatch into sapsuckers which cause the tender spike to take on a speckled, browned and blasted appearance. The florets do not open. ; CONTROL: It's r e a 1 y simple. . Spray the young growth with maJathion, sevin or methoxychlor. DDT is the best thrip-killer we have, but we've joined the crowd by not recommending it any longer because of its great residual effect. Another reason we do not recommend DDT is that it often kills off the natural enemies of red spider mite, causing this pest to build up. This fall it's a good idea to treat your corms before you store them away. And next spring, as a precautionary measure, dip the bulbs in Iysol, 4 tablespoons to 3 gals, of water, or 1 pint to 25 gals, of water. Soak for three hours and plant while wet. This treatment will NOT prevent thrips from attacking foliage so you'll have to treat new growth. THRIPS A R E M O R E . LIKELY TO BE THE CAUSE OF FAILURE TO HAVE GOOD GLADS T H A N ANY OTHER CAUSE. Keep the follige covered with your favorite insecticide and see the improvement. HOUSE FLEAS NOT FROM PLANTS! Many have asked us if the tiny fleas that bite you around the ankles are from plants. The answer: No! Fleas are plaguing homeowners as they return from vacation or camp. Many of these are brought in on clothes, people and animals. Often where a house is closed for a week or more, indoor temperatures build up and flea development is accelerated. The n e w l y emerged adults will be hungry and will bite you (especially around ankles) or your pets for a blood meal. In the biting process they release an \rn~ tant which makes you scratch the bite. CONTROL: Vacuum the rugs and floors regularly. Let the vacuum suck in a bit of sevin or other pesticide to kill the pests inside the cleaner bag. If you don't do that, destroy the contents of the cleaner bag after each use. Dusting cats and dogs with 5 per cent Sevin dust as well as their bedding is helpful. Don't use Sevin on kittens. Meanwhile, do not blame your house plants for fleas! - A.M. of Eddystone: "Six weeks ago I purchased a fuchsia from a reputable local nursery. After transplanting it in a hanging basket, lined with damp moss, it looked good with the buds beginning to form. After a while, the ends of each branch began t wither. 1 water it every day. Is this plant hard to grow, or is there something I'm ignoring?" I think your problem is that you're overwatering it. Once a day is too much. If water builds up around the roots for just a short period the buds are apt to drop and wilting of tips often return give the plant full sunlight and do not give it so much watering. Fuchsias seldom form flower buds at temperatures above 65 degs. and that's why they do best in a cool, bright window. Flower bud drop is usually due to high temperature or poor light. This fall, instead of bringing the entire plant indoors, take cuttings of plants and root them in sand or plain lap water. By JOAN SKIDMORE Daily Times Staff Writer Soon, h o w e v e r two American girls came bearing a pouch containing 1,170.50 rupees. It was the proceeds of a check for $250 that Mrs. Elder had sent Dr. Chacko on the off chance that "you might be able to use it." Because of the slight discrepancy between the bill and the gift, Dr. Chako admits she "checked" the bank's figuring. "They could have made a mistake, but God doesn't make mistakes," she laughed. "Anyhow, friends made up the difference right away." The bricks were paid for. Next, a weaving project started in Bethany Village "wasn't working out" with government instruction so Dr. Chacko found "a wonderful; retired' teacher" and asked- him to' submit a budget for supplies. , "If turned out- we have -to have 1,300 rupees by a Thursday afternoon. A' check for $100 came, but it was earmarked for a medical stident. I knew I couldn't use it. Besides, it wasn't for the right amount. The doctor shook her head. I was praying hard. "God, if I stuck my neck out too far, all right. But if it is Thy will that we do this, You've got to give us the money." Deadline approached. No money. The final mail came. No 1,300 rupees. Dr. Chacko was leaving her home that Thursday when, last chance, the phone rang. "A friend from the All-India Prayer Fellowship asked me to pray about a special problem. I promised to, adding that I had a problem too." Result: the Village got the 1,300 rupees for supplies from a special fund accessible to the doctor's friend. "Isn't that a dramatic story?" asked the physician. She lias especial praise for Lou Young, wife of entomologist Dr. William Young who is with the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Chacko was desperate when her husband was called here to teach at PMC Colleges. Who would direct the Village? "I couldnt' ask anyone. It is just too much work." But two weeks before departure time, Lou preferred her services. "She has put the weaving industry on its feet. We now sell to Cottage Industries Emporium." Earlier work had not been acceptable. ' A l s o "carrying on nobly" are Miss- Nor'ah Nicholson and Mr. and.Mrs.-K. C. John. "They work very, very hard. We have 87 in the colony now." '"I do ask for clothing," said Dr. Chacko. "It gets chilly in winter. Some of my friends knit sweaters for the children. "I'll be sending a freight shipment in about two'months. Nothing is wasted. Even though the women wear saris, women's used garments bring a good price in Delhi." "Our aim is for people to have homes of their own and become economically independent," added the doctor. "Activities include spinning, gardening, raising. of poultry and g o a t s , shop-keeping, tailoring and field labor. "Two workers are employed daily, outside the Village. This shows they are becoming 'socially acceptable.' Three workers are raising hens to sell in Delhi." . Dr. Chacko likes t o reminisce about the many miracles or near-ones that helped the Village. Us first summer saw the worst rains the area had known for 100 years. · "We- were flooded but our roofs didnt' leak." American students helped build the Village. They astounded natives by "doing coolie work" and by using the first wheelbarrow seen there. The Village boys took turns hilariously giving each other rides. The first Christian marriage ceremony performed was between a Christian man and a woman who later had the first boy baby born in the Village. To this day, all births 117 Bethany Village have been female, .except to couples legally married. The Village holds elections, and religion is by choice. "We don't ask them to become Christians," said Dr Chacko. "We're glad if they choose to. But we don't put on pressure. The Union Church of India has been good to the Village, supplying tuition money and children's sweaters. The local YWCA and YMCA have helped. · "The Methodist pastor Rev Harphul Singh has taken regular care of the Christian needs of the Colony. He is an expert on 'raising chickens, too. "So many others have helped. The Free Church in Dehi is a regular contributor. The Reformed Church in New Paltz, N.Y., is keeping one girl in school. I spoke in the church last May." Two young American men who approached the doctor with an offer of help because the work they had been assigned elsewhere was completed made a prayerful wish come true. They went to work and built our first real latrine." Dr. Chacko likes to point out personalities and places in snapshots she arranged on posters to bring her project alive for people here. "Mr. Ramanathan. He was the first head man . . . "This child is at the top of his class. Three of ours stood first in their classes and; six others in the upper quarter-; of their classes . . . ··'', "We" have 20 children from; the colony in school and sixi? from other colonies. TheitJ mother tongue is Tamil, yet; they rank very high in classes;: though the school teaches in; Hindi. A dollar and a half : a month provides room, board and tuition for one child." ;'; Then, of another child, "hotly his parents are college graduates. Both have serious cases of leprosy. Imagine what his life would have been?" v ' v Of a mother and her five' daughters, "This mother has- been sterilized. The operatiori is performed only for thos41 who are willing. {j "She had very much wanted a son, but when her fifth child was a girl, she was willing to be sterilized. This (another) woman was sterilized aftei- three births. We do encourage limiting the family to three children." ' ; : The doctor also displays marvelously - e x e c u t e d . woodcuts of Village scenes on Christmas cards designed by Carolyn Gorton F u l l e r ^ illustrator of children's books. Poem's,, enclosed are'^by Dn Chacko · and by L e e 1 a Dharmaraj. ' A printed note explains the Village, telling that the dispensary "under o u r resident nurse attends not only to colony members and their fellow-sufferers still begging m Panipet and Kama!, but also to patients of all kinds from the nearby villages." * It thanks "friends who are helping with their special talents and supporting us in so many ways, especially with their love and prayers. 'It is the Lord's doing and it is mai'velolus in our eyes.'" Dr. Chacko says of her missionary upbringing and her efforts in behalf of the Village: "It is a good thing 1 was accustomed to moderate circumstances. They help prepare one for the frugal life." The family lives at 2103 Chestnut St., Chester. How long will they be here? That will be according to God's provision, the doctor said. BRIDGE THE GENERATION GAP-with Big Yank Cotton Bells--the play jeans that are "status tun for families on the go." 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