Six Nuns Came to India to Start a Hospital. They Ended Up Changing a Country

Jyoti Thottam in The New York Times:

In the spring of 1947, nothing about the future of India, its identity as a nation or the kind of country it would be, was certain. India would soon be free from British colonial rule, but it could not fulfill the basic needs — let alone the hopes and ambitions — of most of its people. That would require new institutions, new ideas, and men and women who were willing to take a chance on building them.

India had been devastated by World War II and then partition, which split the country in two. By the end of 1948, two of India’s cities, Delhi and Mumbai, had each absorbed more than 500,000 refugees, and the country had endured violence, dislocation and food shortages on a mass scale. More than 20 million Indians lived under direct rationing, entitled to 10 ounces of grain a day. That was the period during which a handful of Catholic nuns from Kentucky chose to come to Mokama, a small town at a railroad junction in northern India on the southern banks of the Ganges River, to start a hospital.

More here.