The Agra famine of 1837–1838 was a famine in the newly established North-Western Provinces (formerly Ceded and Conquered Provinces) of Company-ruled India that affected an area of 25,000 square miles (65,000 km2) and a population of 8 million people. The central Doab in present-day Uttar Pradesh—the region of the districts of Kanpur, Etawah, Mainpuri, Agra and Kalpi—was the hardest hit; the trans-Jumna districts of Jalaun, Hamirpur, and Banda also suffered extreme distress.
By the end of 1838, approximately 800,000 people had died of starvation, as had an even larger number of livestock. The famine came to be known in folk memory as chauranvee, (Hindi, literally, "of ninety four,") for the year 1894 in the Samvat calendar corresponding to the year 1838 CE.
... Merchants as a class were variably affected by the famine, with some wealthier merchants, who had sufficient capital to diversify their holdings, profiteering, even as the poorer ones suffered much distress ... At the onset of the famine, the rich salt merchants of the middle Doab were immediately able to switch from salt to grain and make windfall profits ... The Agra region, had in fact had a serious economic downturn in the decade before, as bullion had become scarce ...
Famous quotes containing the word famine:
“They can rule the world while they can persuade us
our pain belongs in some order.
Is death by famine worse than death by suicide,
than a life of famine and suicide ... ?”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)