Page:Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar, a story of his life and work.djvu/534

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THE GREAT FAMINE.

hungry with Kheckaranna every day; but on the occasion of his second visit they applied to him for plain rice now and then. Vidyasagar granted their application and made provisions for the supply of plain rice with fish and curd once a week. But unfortunately on the very first day of this new arrangement, a sad incident occurred, which grieved the tender-hearted, benevolent reliever most seriously. A poor, hungry fellow in his eager desire for food, thrust a handful of the dry, plain rice into his mouth, which choked him to death. Vidyasagar took up the unfortunate man's corpse into his lap, and lamented bitterly that a fellow-creature should thus die a miserable death from want of food.

We have said that Babu Isan Chandra Mitra was a little indifferent at the outset. But subsequently he felt the severity of the situation, and visited the different villages under him, in company with Vidyasagar's second brother, Dinabandhu Nyayratna. He requested the Government for feeding camps, which were opened in some important villages, where the hungry were fed up to the month of October.

It is said, that Vidyasagar anointed the heads of the poor females of the lowest classes with his own hands, and thus set an example to his son, brothers and other relations, to emulate him in taking tender care of the poor sufferers. He also opened nurseries for the pregnant, hungry

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