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Title: Disease and the practices of settlement in a plantation economy : medicine and healthcare in Darjeeling and Duars, 1860-1947
Author: Bhattacharya, Nandini Saradindu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 0221
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This dissertation explores the various contexts of curative and preventive health in a particular economic zone, the tea estates of northern Bengal (Darjeeling, Duars, and the Terai) in the colonial period. The sanatorium of Darjeeling was established in the mid-nineteenth century as a European retreat from the dusty and clamorous plains of Bengal. The white/European settlement in Darjeeling encouraged tea plantations in the surrounding lands, by clearing the forests and transplanting them with tea plants and encouraging immigrant labour, demarcating enclosures, thereby rapidly creating a distinct site of economic activity in the region. When the tea plantations extended to the virgin forests in the foothills of the Himalayas, the region known as the Terai and then to the in the newly annexed (from Bhutan) plains beyond in the western Duars, the plantation economy predominated the landscape where large tea estates were interspersed with pockets of newly ploughed jute and paddy fields cultivated by tenant-sharecroppers. The processes outlined above led to a complex set of colonial enclaves. Darjeeling was conceived as a European retreat, a site of recovery for the white race in the tropics- an enclave of one kind. The tea plantations were constructed as enclaves of a different kind flanked by villages these were 'estates' where the labourers, overseers and the management resided in the estates in accommodations that varied according to a strict hierarchical order. Through an analysis of various archival sources including municipal and medical papers, private papers of officials and planters, publications of the tea industry, as well as contemporary medical journals this dissertation attempts to examine diseases, medical practices, and the role of the state within the dual enclaves of the hill-station and the tea plantations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available