To the Editors of the Crimson:
In current campaigns for relief of the devastated countries in Europe the people of the United States have turned their backs on the starving millions in India. UNRRA does not operate in India, and relief officials in Washington have satisfied themselves that they have adequate reasons for refusing to sell to India the wheat she has offered to pay for in British pounds sterling. On the threshold of nationhood, her population totalling one-fifth of the people of the world, India is repeatedly enduring conditions of hunger and famine.
The Government of India has sent a check for $1,212,000 to the American Friends Service Committee, an independent relief and social service organization, to be used for the purchase of 1500 tons of powdered whole milk. Since all of this money is to be used for the purchase of milk field workers for distribution of this essential commodity and for aid in medication, rehabilitation, and education must be financed through funds outside this amount. For this work in India, an estimated $80,000 is needed by the Friends Committee, a sum that must be raised through the voluntary contributions of people interested in helping those who are suffering, 'regardless of race, creed, or national origin."
The corrupt political situation in the Northeast Indian province of Bengal is an important figure in the famine picture. The rivalry among government officials makes a lack of organization the greatest cause of improper food handling. As a result, starvation has already set in. In Southern India, though the Provincial Governess have kept a strict rationing of food, thousands upon thousands of people have only about 960 calories in their daily diet. In some districts, the dearth of rice is even greater.
I do not intend here to deprecate any of the fine work being done by the Harvard European Food Relief Committee. They are making magnificent and remarkable strides in handling their difficult problems. My intention has been to impress the tremendous need for food in the Orient, and to throw some light on a currently critical and neglected situation. Michael B. Rothenberg '49c.