by Jill Campbell-Miller
Blog Cross-Posted with American Medical Services (AMS) as The History of Canadian Healthcare Aid to India in the 1950s.
I came across the name of Dr. Florence Nichols while doing research for my dissertation, which examined the history of Canadian aid to India during the 1950s (you can find a link to the full dissertation on the University of Waterloo’s website: https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/8756). In 1955, Escott Reid, the Canadian high commissioner in New Delhi, toured southern India, leaving a detailed record of his trip. He visited the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore. There he encountered Dr. Nichols, a Canadian psychiatrist and Anglican missionary, whom he briefly mentions in his account of the trip. Nichols complained to Reid that there was no psychiatric ward, and that “many of [the patients] are kept in chains in local hotels where they are looked after by their relatives.”