Dr. Kshama Metre is making a difference. She is contributing to the alleviation of poverty in the developing world. She leads an organization called CORD, or the Chinmaya Organisation for Rural Development, which works in rural India. Dr. Metre is an example of what just one individual can do to make others’ lives better.

A pediatrician, Dr. Metre has set up “livelihood programs” in the far-flung regions of India to help women support themselves financially. Her programs include promoting microcredit, offering very small loans to people who would not normally qualify for a bank loan. Such programs help support private enterprise and relieve poverty, but also in many cases empower women and improve the lives of their families in the process.

Dr. Metre decided to put her knowledge to work for the poor so she could make a real difference in people’s lives. Thirty years ago she moved to a remote area of India to work in 6 health centers and train nurses. There she realized that to heal people you must address not just their physical health but also their social and economic woes, including the lack of money and unemployment. According to Dr. Metre, “Unless you look at lives holistically and address the many medical and other issues, things would be very difficult.”

Adopting this attitude and method of attacking illness and poverty in a comprehensive way, what she’s doing is so worthy that Dr. Metre has been recognized by the Guardian International Development Achievement Award for having made a major contribution to the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Dr. Metre is an inspiration for us all, showing the positive change one person can bring about.