In the 42 years of his service to humanity, Swamiji left his footprints in a variety of projects that sprang up, and still continue to mushroom under the banner of the Chinmaya Mission. For him, there was nothing to gain or lose by working in the world. Yet, he wanted to provide his devotees with many an avenue to grow to their fullest stature.
Swami Chinmayananda saw these projects as fields for devotees to perform selfless service. He himself took every opportunity to serve, give and love, leaving behind a rich legacy of works of service, including: a 200-bed hospital, a number of clinics and diagnostic centers, rural upliftment projects, schools, temples, old-age homes and orphanages.
When the founder of Chinmaya Mission passed on, the mantle of leadership draped the shoulders of Swami Tejomayananda. He took over where his Guru left off. He followed his own advice to, "fill the heart with love and gratitude. "The phenomenal growth of Chinmaya Mission under his leadership amply proves the success of his philosophy.
In December, 2003 under his stewardship, the service projects of the Mission were brought under the banner of CORD. After this, developmental work in Lathikatta (which had already started) picked up. New branches in Deuldiha, Tamraipakkam, Kaza and Siruvani came into existence.
His philosophy is simple. "We work with inspiration. We trust in God, and Pujya Gurudev's blessings and that trust is our main strength. Abiding in our trust and knowledge, if we start any service, we should just go on doing it. Do your work, for work is worship, and work shows worth."
Dr Kshama Metre popularly known as “Doctor Didi” is the national director of CORD, which stands for Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development. Dr Metre has dedicated her life to CORD which is a participatory, comprehensive, integrated and sustainable rural development project. CORD was initiated in Sidhbari in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, covering over 550 villages and now has spread its wings in Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Dr Kshama Metre was born on June 26, 1950 in Nagpur, Maharashtra to Smt Shantabai Metre and Shri Waman Rao Bapuji Metre who was honoured with Padma Vibhusan for his pioneering work in the oil industry. As a child she moved with her family from Assam to Delhi where she graduated with distinction in Senior Cambridge from Frank Anthony Public School and proceeded to get her MBBS and MD in Pediatrics from Maulana Azad Medical College. She completed her Senior Residency in Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in Delhi. Dr Metre continued on to establish a very successful practice in Pediatrics in Delhi. In spite of her success, Dr Metre was greatly inspired by her father to live a life of simple living, high thinking and service to the nation.
After a chance meeting with world renowned Vedanta Master Swami Chinmayanandaji, near three decades back, Dr Kshama Metre left a flourishing pediatric practice in New Delhi to work as a doctor in rural primary healthcare services. In this new setting, she found the health system marginalized the communities it was meant to serve. Dr Metre refocused her efforts on community development initiatives, and become an early pioneer of India’s highly successful self-help movement. In just two decades, such small decentralized groups – made up of mostly women – have extended access to financial credit to almost 100 million people, and in other ways also empowered the poor.
In all of Dr Metre’s work emphasis is placed on issues such as gender discrimination, HIV/AIDS and alcohol abuse awareness and treatment of alcoholics. Moreover, Dr Metre works very closely with the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and has been instrumental in establishing Micro Credit through Self Help Groups in four states of India where training has been given to 30,000 bankers, government functionaries and beneficiaries. She is also an active advocate of disability issues.
From Sidhbari since 2005 CORD began expanding its activities in other states of India covering 5 other sites. Now CORD is planning to upscale its training components to increase its outreach through its sites in India & share its work on different components with Govt. and other NGOs.
Not everybody in Thennamanallur knows her name or where she's from. But they're sure of one thing — ‘doctor' is someone they can turn to, no matter what. There is only one clinic in the village. There are no crowded waiting rooms. A Ganesha statue stands at the centre.There is a blackboard in one corner with benches facing it. Kids play carrom in an opencourtyard. Meera Krishna sits at a table overlooking the courtyard.