Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 330.


Graphics file for this page
330
PUNJA-R
Rajputana and the Punjab was estimated at 1,2oo,ooo. About 3 lakhs
of revenue was remitted in the Punjab.
The great famine of 1877-8 hardly reached this Province, in which
only scarcity existed. Fazilka and the Districts of the Delhi Division,
which were not protected by irrigation, suffered most.
After 1878, in spite of occasional short harvests, the Punjab had
a respite from actual scarcity till 1896-7. In 1895 the monsoon
ceased early in August, and a poor autumn harvest was followed by
a deficient spring crop in 1896. In the latter year failure of the mon-
soon caused widespread scarcity in the Punjab, as in other parts of
India. The whole of the Delhi Division, except Simla, and parts
of the Lahore and Rawalpindi Divisions were affected. A total of
222 million day-units were relieved, of whom half were in Hissar.
Relief cost 222 lakhs, 22 lakhs of land revenue was suspended, and
at the close of the famine 112 lakhs was advanced for the purchase of
seed and cattle. After one good year the monsoon failed again in
x898 and 1899, and famine supervened in the same tracts. The
scarcity of fodder caused immense mortality among cattle, and the
distress among the people was intense. Relief was afforded to
52 million day-units at a cost of 48 lakhs. In addition, 44 lakhs of
land revenue was suspended, and 19 lakhs granted for the purchase
of seed and cattle as soon as favourable rain fell in the autumn of
i 9oo. The Charitable Relief Fund also allotted 12 lakhs to the
Punjab. Hissar was again the most deeply affected tract, account-
ing for two-thirds of the numbers relieved.
Of recent years the immediate effects of scarcity on the population
of the Province have been practically negligible. The famine of 1899-
i9oo, the most severe since annexation, affected the health of the
people, so that many were unable to withstand disease which under
more favourable circumstances might not have proved fatal. It might
have been anticipated that the two famines of the decade ending 19oo
would have appreciably affected the population in Hissar and Rohtak
Districts, but the Census of 19or showed an increase of nearly roper
cent. in the latter. Generally speaking, as regards mortality, the after-
effects of famine are almost more potent than famine itself. Practi-
cally no deaths from actual starvation were recorded in the Punjab in
the recent famines. During famine cholera is most to be feared; but
when famine ceases, after a plentiful monsoon, malaria, acting on a
people whose vitality has been reduced by privation, claims a long tale
of victims. At such seasons the mortality is naturally greatest among
the very old and the very young. This is shown by the fact that, at-
the recent Census, Hissar returned only 999 children under five in
every ro,ooo of its, population, compared with the Provincial ratio
of 1,340. This paucity of children, however, is to some extent due
Previous Page To Table of Contents Next Page

Back to Imperial Gazetteer of India | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 16:20 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/text.html