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History of Disaster Relief, India

  • By: Nibedita Shankar Ray-Bennett
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The history of disaster relief in India dates back to the first Indian Famine Commission of 1880, which laid the foundation of India's relief system, called the Famine Codes. In independent India the name changed to the of Scarcity Manuals and Relief Codes. They underwent occasional revisions until 2007, when the Central Disaster Management Act of 2005 superseded these codes.

Because severe famines abound in India's past, disaster relief was introduced to counteract the effect of famines. Famine relief has a very long history in India, which varies in region and scope. Indian development economist Jean Drèze noted that one of the very first treatises on government relief was written more than 2,000 years ago during the rule of Kautiliya. At that time, the method of ...

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