HC Deb 05 July 1900 vol 85 cc629-30

I bog to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he can give any particulars, as to the different provinces, regarding the return of the cultivators from the famine camps to their villages, to cultivate their fields on account of the rain which has fallen; and whether he will state the measures which are being taken to feed them in their villages until their crops are ripe.


In accordance with the instructions of the Famine Codes and with the advice of the Famine Commission, the largo relief works are being gradually closed as the rainy season advances, and as inducements in the shape of home relief draw the people back to their villages. Arrangements are ready, or are being made, for relieving the destitute at their homes and for giving them employment at or near their villages. I have recently received the following information from the Government of India on this subject. Our relief measures have already far exceeded Code prescriptions, which are elastic, not rigid, and have been adapted by us to differing local requirements to entire satisfaction of local governments concerned. Thus in. Central Provinces a multitude of kitchens will feed all comers during the rains. Aged and infirm relieved at home. Able-bodied labourers given local employment by village headmen at cost of State, wherever private-demand for field labour slack. Sixty lakhs land revenue suspended out of the eighty-six demand. This sum added to twenty-seven lakhs special advances and thirty lakhs charitable relief will, in Chief Commissioner's opinion, secure active agriculture during the rains. Similar relief during rains adopted elsewhere. Bombay Government are extending kitchens and gratuitous lists and granting ryots advances for subsistence, selves and labourers, till next crop. They estimate twenty-five lakhs for this besides over sixty lakhs for seed and cattle. In Punjab small farmers and labourers will receive subsistence.'