The history of Padhar Hospital began about 150 years ago when the Swedish Reverend Evert and his wife came to a little village called “Neempani” in the year 1886.
Living in a tent a little way outside the village for many years, the couple started their mission work here with the support of EFS, the Swedish Evangelical Mission with whom they served. At the instigation of this hard-working and committed couple, residences, a small church, a school and a boarding school for boys were built during the years following their arrival.
By the year 1913 Neempani had become a well-established mission station. After Reverend Evert, generally called Padre Sahib, had successfully healed the headman’s son, the grateful headman donated new land for a dispensary. A number of other missionaries followed, also known as Padres, came to work in the area. With the headman’s blessing the village became known as “Padhar’.
Clement Moss arrived in India (Maharashtra) in 1939 as a missionary with a small British Baptist Mission Society, and served inAchalpur. During World War 11 he joined the Swedish Evangelical Society in Madhya Pradesh and worked among the Gond tribes, based in Kondar, Chicholi. He met and married IngegerdIwarsson, a Swedish missionary who was working in Sagar at the time,and Clement Moss was accepted as a full time missionary of the Swedish Mission. They both continued to be based in Chicholi and developed a small bush hospital there, together with a small church. During this time he was also ordained as a priest in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. But Clement felt that he needed a deeper medical knowledge in order to serve the people even more and left to study medicine at the Brown Memorial Medical College in Ludhiana. Having completed his studies, heand his family came to Padhar in 1958, after a short home leave and a time of working in Khurai.
Dr. Moss became the pastor in charge. He immediately began to expand the services of the small existing dispensary, installing electricity (initially with an old donated generator) and running water, and gradually adding buildings to house patients, X-Ray machine and Operating Theatre. In those early days his only support was his wife, but gradually other staff began to join him in the medical work. The first doctor to join him was Dr. Abraham.
Dr. Moss’s vision was always to serve the Gonds, the tribal peoples living around Padhar, whose language he spoke well. He had already translated the Gospels of St.John and Mark into Gondi, and with help from Pastor CP Singh and others, he later completed the translation of the New Testament and Psalms.
As the demand for the services grew, the need for a purpose built larger hospital became clear. Eventually, the Lutheran World Federation gave a substantial grant towards the building of the new hospital across the road. It was opened in 1970. A short while before that, in 1969,Dr. Arvind Victor Choudhrie and his wife Bindu joined the staff. Victor had completed his orthopaedic studies and achieved the FRCS in the UK before returning to India. He focussed upon developing the surgical services of the hospital.
In 1975 Dr. A. V. Choudhrie became the second medical superintendent of Padhar Hospital which he developed into a multidisciplinary centre. Because of the high incidence of malnutrition, blindness and tetanus he focused his attention on basic needs in the community.
Dr. Moss, in the meantime, became the Superintendent of all the medical work of the ELC in MP and travelled to the different hospitals to supervise their work. He had already started to develop a School and Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind and, because of severe water shortage and associated illnesses, had also developed a well-drilling Project, based in Betul, with a deep-well drilling rig obtained with support from Canadian CIDA. He and his wife retired to the UK in 1980, where he set up and developed the Friends of Padhar Hospital UK. They continued to support the hospital for many years until his death in 1996.
In the same year Dr. Moss’s eldest daughter,Veronica, who had qualified as a doctor in 1970, came to Padhar to set up the Community Health and Development Project and to serve as assistant medical superintendentfor two years.
In 1986 Dr. A. V. Choudhrie became the Director of CMC Ludhiana, a big honour for a medical superintendent of a rural hospital.When he left, Dr, Vincent Solomon, an orthopaedic surgeon who had joined the staff in 1978, became the next Medical Superintendent.
Under the able guidance of Dr. Vincent K. Solomon, the hospital expanded tremendously. His many achievements include the introduction of Total Hip and Knee replacement surgeries, Intensive Care Unit, Dialysis Centre, and Pain and Palliative Care Centre. Thanks to his unstinted efforts, Padhar Hospital became a government-recognized institute for treatment of Polio. He was instrumental in constructing a dedicated orthopaedic operating theatre and in procuring modern equipment to keep pace with modern medical technology. He is also credited with building manpower through various paramedical courses, not only for this hospital but also for the needs of other mission hospitals in India.
The hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary in the year 2008, when Dr. Rajiv Choudhrie also became Medical Superintendent, on Dr. Solomon’s retirement.
Dr. R. Choudhrie’s focus is on cleft lip and palate surgeries. He is famous for his surgical skills and his will to develop the hospital day by day. Dr. R. Choudhrie is promoting capacity building, making his team more powerful and well-trained. He promotes many different medical projects and the launching of high-class medical instrumentation in each department.
In the year 2008 Padhar Hospital celebrated its 50 years anniversary. Today it is a 200 bedded multispecialty hospital whose leaders are proud of their achievements.
Withour belief in God’s guidance, His love for all peoples, whether rich or poor, and excellent personnel, we make Padhar Hospital grow with every day. With the kind support of our great friends and charitable donors all over the world we can give our best to serve the ill and underprivileged. For our future we have developed many ideas of modernizing and improving our medical facilities in order to serve our patients on an even larger scale.
Now from humble beginnings, the hospital has become the hub of various activities involving the community. We believe that with the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ, this hospital.