Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/532

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THE GREAT FAMINE.

wife; the wife, her husband; the brother, his sister, the sister, her brother; and fled to towns in hopes of getting something to put into their burning stomachs. But many of them could not reach their destinations. They were reduced to mere skeletons, and, what with faint and what with continued want of food and consequent illness, lay dead in numbers by the wayside. The small space at our command will not permit us to enter into a detailed account of the state of the country at that time. We will confine ourselves to that portion only, with which our benevolent, heroic Vidysagar was connected.

He was at that time in Calcutta, and had no information of the great scarcity that raged fearfully in his own native village and its neighbourhood, til) he saw some correspondence on the subject in the Hindoo Patriot and shortly afterwards received a letter from his own home bearing the horrible news that people were dying in numbers from want of food. The news gave him, tender-hearted as he was, a terrible shock, and he was moved to a flood of tears. He at once informed the Government of the fatal calamity and requested for speedy succour. They listened to him and instituted immediate enquiries. They opened feeding camps in the different parts of the country, but these were not amply adequate to meet the urgent demands. The correspondent of the Hindoo Patriot said, that Babu Hem Chandra Kar, Deputy Magistrate of Garbeta was taking much pains

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