MEDICAL EDUCATION IN BENGAL

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – The other day His Excellency Lord Ronaldshay delivered a speech on the need of doctors in Bengal. The first and foremost duty of Government should be to select big industrial centres for opening medical schools. Bengal does not contain any big town worth the name. They are more or less big villages. Amenities of civil life are wanted everywhere. Under the circumstances, the industrial centres should have foremost consideration. Granting this, attention falls first on Asansol, Khargpur, Kanchrapara, Saidpore, these all being big railway centres. Of these, Asansol should have the prior claim for a medical school. The railway companies pay for the education of children of certain classes of their employees and these nominees may be drawn from the same source. The need of teachers will be felt as soon as those schools are opened, and arrangements should be made to obtain teachers from the private medical profession and a teacher’s training school should be opened either in the Campbell or Sambhu Nath Pundit hospital.

B.

Calcutta.

POOR PENSIONERS

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – Some while ago there appeared a letter in The Statesman headed “Pity the Poor Pensioner,” and it is to be hoped it caught the eye of those in authority. The letter, representing as it did the case of those in receipt of pensions below Rs 200 per mensem renders by contrast the needs of those drawing less than Rs 100 per mensem the more clamant. Pensioners have given the better part of their lives in the service of Government, and it were extremely hard for them now to lack means to secure the actual necessaries of life. Pensions, being deferred pay, were adjusted on salaries fixed at a time when necessaries were procurable at 150 per cent below present prices. It will thus be seen that nothing short of sheer starvation goads the pensioners to seek attention for their dire hardships.

VERITAS.

RICE SUPPLIES IN SOUTH SYLHET

To The Editor Of The Statesman

SIR, – In Sylhet rice is scarce but not chronically so and, with the cure (or prevention shall I say?) in their hands, the local administration sit idly looking on. The price of common rice in the bazars is below 4 seers per rupee and yet there is a fair amount of it in the bustees being hoarded in hope of rising prices. We have the absurdity of local rice travelling down the line by railway while Rangoon rice comes up, the difference in the price of the two being negligible. The consumer has to pay for this “joy riding” of the rice. Burma has led the way in control of supplies for home use; yet the Assam Government in its myopic way has been unable to see the utility of its neighbour’s methods. Prohibit the export of rice from the Province except under licence, fix the rate and commandeer stocks in cases where hoarding is proved. Frightfully difficult, isn’t it?

CHAWAL KHANEWALA