ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Elizabeth WhitcombeSubscribe to Elizabeth Whitcombe

Famine Mortality

The giant misery of starvation caused by the alarming incidence of famine in the later 19th century was compounded by the appalling conditions of migration and over-crowding into which the starving poor were driven, often literally to death, conditions exacerbated by the official measures devised for famine relief Worse, in the great famine years, by perhaps the cruellest of the many cruel ironies of famine history, rain which might have been expected to bring respite to the survivors of the drought instead intensified their suffering: epidemic malaria took its colossal toll In other years drought, where it persisted, ironically limited mortality. But this saving grace was denied to the wretched populations of the submontane marshland and the waterlogged districts along the lower Western Jumna Canal, where irrigation, intended to solve the problem of famine, added its quota to the principal cause of famine mortality, malaria.
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