Charles Richmond Henderson.

Modern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods online

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Eurasians. It should be said in this connection that while these so-
cieties usually are made up of the missionaries, chaplains and officers
of the British contingent, merchants and other Europeans who reside
in the station, there are frequently associated with them Eurasian
gentlemen of wealth, intelligence, in high standing as citizens and of
strong religious character. There are thousands of Eurasian fami-
lies of most estimable character and public spirited citizenship. More
and more this community is coming to be recognized as one of the
important factors of Indian life and government and Christian
activity. Rev. Frank H. Levering of Secunderabad writes, June 30,
1903 : "I do not know that there is a single agency that has yet had
the courage to attempt the task of applying enlightened methods of

dealing with the poverty of the native population There is a

woman's workshop in the place, wdiere women who can sew are given
work. These dependent women, as a rule, have children. For a long
time the care of these children, during the hours of labor, was a prob-
lem. We have established a sort of day nursery where they can be
cared for, and now, the mothers, with one accord, shun both the shop
and the nursery."

A unique form of charity in connection with religious work is
mentioned by Dennis, vol. II, p. 387, called the "Beggars' Church."
At Agra Dr. Valentine gathers on Sabbath morning the poorest of
the poor to a religious service attended by a distribution of alms.
This has resulted in the formation of a church of over 800 members,
of whom 300 are blind.

At all mission stations where several missionaries are laboring
Charity Boards are maintained to oversee the charity work of
Christian people of that particular place and surrounding districts.

In some stations these boards have no formal organization, while
in others the missionaries and engineers of the station (the latter
usually English or Eurasian) associate in this work the leading
natives — preachers and teachers employed in the mission work, sub-

^ Charity, False and True, p. 10, Madras, 1892.


ordinate officials, merchants and other citizens with necessary quaU-
fications. Througli this medium enhghtened views of benevolence
and all lines of social and religious reform are penetrating into the
rural districts of India, where is to be found the great mass of the

There are 48 different homes for rescue work of opium refugees,
homes for widows and converts and asylums for insane (under
missionary auspices). The largest of these is under the Rama-
bai Association, a school at Kedgaum, Bombay, which has 580
girls. This association has three others, one a home for widows
at Poona — the well-known Sharada Sadan — where 250 widows are
given advanced normal and industrial training ; the Miikti home for
widows at Kedgaum, where Ramabai now cares for and is educat-
ing some 1,500 widows, and a rescue home for girls at Bombay.
The Salvation Army also supports three such homes.

Bombay has a District Benevolent Society whose object is to
suppress vagrancy and to provide for the destitute poor. There
are 2y different guilds and societies in India which have varied
objects, as providing Soldiers' Homes, Seamen's Rests, Sailors' Cof-
fee Rooms, organizations for prison visiting and others. There are
29 homes for rescue work and widows, under the various missionary

H. Medical Relief. — It is in the line of medical relief that we
find most of the organized work for the unfortunate in India being
done. Besides the government hospitals in the larger cities, and the
government dispensaries, all of which are chiefly supported by the
government, there are 180 dispensaries and hospitals, sometimes both
combined, sometimes one without the other, in various parts of India,
tinder control of and supported by the various missionary organiza-
tions. Two of these at least are under the immediate supervision of

The Lady Dufferin Association,^ which began work in 1885,
maintains in India 133 hospitals and dispensaries, supports 74 lady
doctors, 52 hospital assistants, with 257 medical students in medical
colleges and training classes. This is a purely philanthropic work,
as distinguished from missionary organizations. In 1897-98, 1.327,-
000 women were treated by those identified with this organization.
There is a total of foreign and native medical women of all grades,

^ Dennis.



inclusive of trained nurses, connected with all British societies in
India, 300 women. The Lodiana Medical School for native Christian
women, and the open doors of the medical colleges of Bombay, Cal-
cutta, ^ladras, Lahore and Agra all encourage the women to pursue

The work for lepers^ is a large work in India. When Dr. Carey,
1812, saw a leper burned, he set up the first leper hospital in India.
India by census has 119,044 lepers, but missionaries do not regard
500,000 as too high an estimate. The mission to lepers in India and
the East, cooperative with 18 prominent missionary societies, main-
tains 47 asylums for lepers, the government conducting seven, and
municipalities five more, having unitedly 3,799 inmates. Twelve
of these are for the untainted children of lepers, some for women
only, but generally for both sexes.

A very important preventive work is being done by Rev. John
Murdoch, D. D., by printing through the Christian Vernacular Edu-
cation Society of India books on thrift, sanitation, domestic conduct.
It is estimated that as yet only 5 per cent, of the population is
practically reached by existing medical and hospital facilities.^

Besides the above is an India nursing service, with headquarters
in London, where two grades of nurses are trained for work in India,
viz., lady superintendents and nursing sisters.^

Also, in addition to the leper-hospitals mentioned above the Brit-
ish Government has provided large asylums in some of the promi-
nent centers, as Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Saharaupur, Touran-
drum, Rawel Pindi, Colombo, and elsewhere. The largest leper-
asylum in British India is at Puralia, with 545 inmates.

Deserving of mention here, too, is the Up-Country Nursing Asso-
ciation for Europeans in India, founded in 1892, which supplies
trained nurses for Europeaias in the interior of India. The associa-
tion engages nurses and sends them to local committees, paying for
their outfit and their travelling expenses.

Account should also be taken of the medical provision made by the
native states. They have encouraged and in many cases aided
medical students at the different training schools and hospitals of
the country in preparation for government medical service. These
students are chiefly native, but include, also, Eurasians. They
qualify as apothecaries and are licensed to take charge of dispensaries

^Dennis II, p. 436. == Dennis II, p. 413- ' Burdett's H, C.


and serve in other capacities under a graduate physician. The native
states provide free dispensaries in many remote centers of popula-
tion, and to some extent a hospital service as well. All ordinary dis-
eases (and some very extraordinary ones) receive a treatment which,
though not the most skilful, is still vastly more humane and efifectual
than the old methods of superstition and ignorance provided.

J. Care of Defectives, Public and Private. — Dennis reports
(vol. Ill) nine asylums and schools for the blind and for deaf mutes,
two of which are independent, i. e., have undenominational boards,
while the others are under missionary societies. An educated
Hindu, Mr. J. N. Banerji, has visited England and the United States
to study the best method of caring for and educating this class and
affirms that to provide for them as is done in America would require
450 schools of the class that now exist.

Medical missionaries are busy everywhere with skillful ministra-
tions to those whose vision can be restored by surgical service. In
some sections of India ophthalmia is prevalent and as many as 300
operations on eyes within a month are reported by physicians of the
church missionary society in Kashmir.

Of institutions for the insane, Bengal has five for India natives,
with a total number of patients of 906, one-half of which are crimi-
nal ; there is a European lunatic asylum at Bhowanipara ; the N. W.
Provinces and Oudh have four, Punjab has one, Bombay six,
Madras three, the Central Provinces two, and Assam one, making
in India 23 asylums for the insane under government control and
with government support.

K. Treatment of Children.^ — There are under the mission-
ary societies in India 115 orphanages and foundling asylums with
8,960 inmates. With many of these, industrial departments are con-
nected, the girls are taught domestic work, sewing, crocheting and
weaving. The boys are taught carpentery, weaving, blacksmithing,
printing, leather working, gardening and farming, tailoring, dairy-
ing. Some schools have special industries, e. g., the one at Hassan,
Mysore, where the knitting of wollen caps is a special industry. The
number of inmates ranges all the way from a half dozen to 300.
Very many of these are famine refugees. There are seven juvenile
reformatories (1890) in India whose influence for good is appreci-

^ Dennis III.


During famine times great numbers of orphans are thrown upon
the missions, giving rise to the demand for industrial schools. The
natives, both Mohammedans and Hindus, seeing their children in
great numbers fall into the hands of the missionaries, have in many-
places set up rival schools, introducing industrial features, and lavish-
ing great wealth upon these institutions.

Calcutta, in Bengal, has a society for the Protection of the Chil-
dren of India from ill-treatment of every kind involving injury to
their health, life, or morals. The same city has also a Social Purity
Committee, organized 1893, while Lahore possesses a Purity Asso-
ciation whose special object is to help widows; both of these are
independent of missionary societies.

The new standard of self-control introduced by missions and the
public sentiment created in this direction is new in India. There
are not a few journals published by social reformers that serve as
media for expressing modern ideas with regard to the ancient im-
moral, unsanitary, and wasteful practices of Indians. The In-
dian Spectator and the Suhodha Patrika of Bombay, the Indian
Social Reformer, and the Christian Patriot of Madras belong to this

The anti-nautch movement among Hindoo reformers, which op-
poses the dancing girls at public functions and private entertain-
ments, is gaining ground, and deserves to, when we recall that in the
Madras Presidency alone are 12,000 of these girls (the huri-douloi
of the Temple of Venus at Corinth).

In this place should be mentioned the work of B. B. Nagarker,
the Brahmo-Somaj whose outlined reforms include the abolition of
caste, prevention of infant marriage, education of women and similar
measures. Madras has a Hindu Social Reform Association, a purely
Hindoo movement to promote social reforms. Dennis^ gives a list
of 33 organizations, mostly under native control, which have as their
object the furtherance of national, social, moral and religious re-
forms, and adds that a complete list would include many others. A
summary of the reports of these associations is published every year
by Mr. Justice Renade, which mentions many associations with re-
form programmes more or less liberal.

The work of Plindoo philanthropists is little known outside of
India. Dennis names several well-known (in India) Parsis whose

"■ Dennis II.



gifts for institutional charity work have been munificent and whose
aid for famine sufferers and lepers and orphans deserves recognition.
M. Preventive Policy. — In addition to the great schemes of
irrigation, protection of property, education, commerce and industry
already mentioned may be cited the arrangements for securing credit
for poor persons. The British Government is introducing a system
of "agricultural" banks^ where the peasant populace can make loans
on low rates of interest, and where they are encouraged to deposit
savings at interest. The Government "Postal Savings Bank" sys-
tem has for years been in operation and Indian clerks in Government
and private employ are learning to place their savings at 3 per cent,
interest. This whole question of finance in relation to native India
presents one of the most complex and difficult of problems that any
government can be called upon to solve. The British Indian Gov-
ernment has undertaken it with a courage and thoroughness which
characterizes their rule of this great country,


Barnes, Behind the Pardah, New York, 1897.

Arnold, Edwin, The Famine in India, N. A. Review, March, 1897.

Beach, H. P., Geography and Atlas of Foreign Missions, 1901.

Beach, H. P., The Cross in the Land of the Trident, New York, 1895.

Beautiful Garden of India, The, Madras, 1897 (The Christian Literature

Bliss, W. D. P., Cyclopedia of Social Reform, New York, 1897.

Booth, William, In Darkest England — The Way Out, 1891.

Burdett's Hospitals and Charities, Annual, London, 1903.

Caird, India, London, 1884.

Carpenter, Six Months in India, London, 1868.

Causes of Indian Poverty, Madras, 1896 (Christian Lit. Society).

Charity, False and True, Madras, 1892 (Christian Lit. Society).

Congress Internationale d'assistance publique, Paris, 1900, Tome IV.

Debt and How to Get out of It, Madras, 1892 (Christian Lit. Society).

Dennis, J. S., Centennial Survey of Foreign Missions, vols. I, II, III.

Ecumenical Missionary Conference, New York 1900.

Griffin, India and Daily Life in Bengal, Boston, 1903.

Howe, W. F. Classified Directory to the Metropolitan Charities, 1895.

Indian Empire (compiled from Hunter, Kaye, Strachey, Cunningham, Baines,
et al.) Madras, 1898 (The Christian Literature Society).

Is India Becoming Richer or Poorer? Madras, 1891 (Christian Literature

' See H. Wolfif's People's Banks, for particulars of the method in Europe.


Indian Clerk, The, Madras, 1895 (The Christian Literature Society).

Lakshman, Gaupat, Prize Essay on Promotion of Indian Domestic Reform,
Madras, 1895 (The Christian Literature Society).

Lowe, J., Medical Missions, 1888.

Lilly, W. S., India and Its Problems, 1902.

Murdoch, John, The History of the Plague, Madras, 1898 (Christian Litera-
ture Society).

Murdoch, John, The History of the Plague, Madras, 1898 (Christian Litera-
ture Society).

Murdoch, John, LL. D., India's Needs, Madras, 1901 (Christian Litera-
ture Society).

Murdoch, John, LL. D., Twelve Years of Indian Progress, Madras, 1898
(The Christian Literature Society).

Oman, Indian Life, Philadelphia, 1889.

Purinton, Medical Missions, 1903, Chicago.

Purfty Reform in India, Madras, 1892 (The Christian Literature Society).

Report of Missionary Conference, London, 1888.

Rowe, Every Day Life in India, New York, 1881.

Speer, Robert, Missions and Politics, 1897.

Sewell, M. C. S., R., India Before the English, Madras, 1898 (Christian Litera-
ture Society).

Sanitary Reform in India, Madras, 1890 (Christian Literature Society).

Statesman's Year Book, 1903, 1904.

Statement Exhibiting the Material and Moral Progress and Condition of
India, :889-'9o, igoo-'oi.

Storms, E., Our Sisters in India, Chicago.

Strachey, India, London, 1888.

Wilkins, Modern Hinduism, London, 1887.

What Has the British Government Done for India? Madras, 1892 (The
Christian Literature Society).



The British colonies in Australasia comprise the self-governing
states of the Commonwealth of Australia ; the Australian Dependency
of British New Guinea, the self-governing colony of New Zea-
land, and the Crown colony of Fiji. The Commonwealth of
Australia consists of six original states (since January i, 1901),
New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, West-
ern Australia and Tasmania. Legislative power is vested in a
Federal Parliament of two houses, a Senate and House of Repre-



sentatives. The executive power is vested in the King, who is repre-
sented by the Governor-General, who is nominated by the Crown
and who is assisted by an Executive Council of seven ministers of
state, members of the Federal Parliament. The Constitution of
Australia is modeled upon that of the United States, and all powers
not delegated to the Central Government are reserved to the states,
yet with the difference that the Central Government has control of
such matters as marriage and divorce laws, bankruptcy, corporations
and railways. The judicial power is vested in a Federal Supreme
Court, known as the High Court of Australia, which has jurisdic-
tion where the Commonwealth is a party, which hears appeals from
the minor Federal Courts, and from the Supreme Courts of the

The New Zealand Government is similar, having a Parliament
of two houses, a Governor appointed by the Crown and a Ministry
of eight members. Suffrage is universal for adults of both sexes.
New Zealand has also enlarged the sphere of state activities, espe-
cially since 1890. This has been largely brought about by the influ-
ence of organized labor upon legislation.^ The ownership of public
utilities, the insurance business, banking business, the public land
policy, the progressive income tax, and the measures that directly and
indirectly affect the problems of public-relief and charity, which will
be noticed later, are some cases in point.

The population of Australasia (1901) was 3,771,715, exclusive
of New Zealand, which had 772,719.- More than one-half of this
population is in the southeastern part of the island-continent. New
South Wales having 1,354,846; Victoria, 1,201,070; Queensland
comes next with 496,596 ; South Australia with 362,604 ; West
Australia with 184,124; Tasmania 172,475. This means that we
have in Australia a country the size of the United States with one-
twentieth of its population, and in New Zealand a land the size of
Italy with one-fortieth of the population. It is worth while to re-
member that in 1800 the population of Australia was some 30,000,
three-fourths of whom were convicts transported hither from Great

In Australia wheat and hay are the principal agricultural prod-
ucts. Cattle and sheep products, especially in the western states,

^ See New International Encyclopedia, Art. New Zealand.
* Statesman's Year Book.


form a large share of wealth of the people. IMining has played the
most important part in the industrial upbuilding of Australia, espe-
cially gold mining. The people are of British stock both in New
Zealand and Australia, less than 4 per cent, in the latter country
being from countries other than British possessions. In New Zea-
land, English predominate, the Scotch and Irish follow in order.

The small population, the abundant resources, and the character
of the people, a high degree of general intelligence, combine to pro-
duce a social condition not usual in older countries.^ In general
wages are high, food is cheap, and the comforts of life within reach
of all but the unfortunate. Wealth is widely distributed, and con-
sequently only a small proportion of the people are in want. In the
United Kingdom 9 out of 100 persons own iioo; in Australasia,
16 per cent. As in republics, there is no hereditary pauper class and
no poor rate levied, the assistance granted by the state, as will be
seen later, being in the form of employment and opportunities for
self-help. Each of the colonies has practically unlimited land, but
only limited chances for wage-earning employments. Alillions of
acres are still awaiting settlement, and only a small per cent, of the
land is as yet used in the pastoral occupations.

Still the ordinary problems of pauperism have been felt acutely
in Australasia, and varied and interesting are the attempts which
have been made to meet them in the different provinces.^ The chief
efforts of authorities as regards charity are : ( i ) The rescue of the
young from criminal companionship and temptation to crime; (2)
support of the aged and infirm; (3) care of the imbecile and insane;
(4) subsidizing of private institutions for the cure of the sick and
injured, and (5) the amelioration of want.

A. Public Poor-Relief Legislation. — Legislation in Austral-
asia takes the form largely of measures of prevention, such as : pro-
visions for life insurance under a state department, as in New Zea-
land, where the Government does more than one-half the life insur-
ance business, and provides a separate insurance under the temper-
ance section, by which abstainers are placed in a class apart ; pro-
visions for giving employment to the "out-of-works," as is done
by the Public Works Department of New Zealand, which employs
the principle of cooperative contracts with laborers ; provisions for

*The Seven Colonies of Australasia, 1899-1900.

'Reeves, State Experiments in New Zealand and Australia, p. 283.


a "Labor Department" which cooperates with Public Works De-
partment and Land Department in organizing what are known as
"Improved Farm Settlements" to give homes to those who have
lost all ; provisions for special boards such as the "Unemployed Ad-
visory Board" of New South Wales.

The Old Age Pensions law of New Zealand, New South Wales
and Victoria is perhaps the most sweeping measure ever enacted in
the colonies to prevent pauperism. While ostensibly based upon
the social principle of the gratitude of the state to the underpaid
employee of society, the various limitations of the law make it in
effect nothing less than a species of poor law legislation.^

In New Zealand this Old Age Pensions Law^ entitles to a pen-
sion every person 65 years of age or more, who has resided continu-
ously for 25 years in the colony, who has not in the previous 12 years
been imprisoned four months, or in the 25 years been imprisoned
five years, who has not deserted wife or children (or husband or
child) for a period of six months, who is of good moral character, and
has been for the past five years sober, and whose yearly income does
not amount to £52, or whose accumulated property is not £270, —
every such person may apply under the law for a pension of ii8 a
year, payable monthly. For each £1 income above £34 or for each
£15 of property owned by the applicant above £50, £1 is deducted
from this £18 pension.^ New South Wales has enacted a similar law
with modifications to the effect that the pension may be as great as
£26 annually, and claimants may be considered who are between 60
and 65 years, who have been disabled by sickness or accident. Vic-
toria passed an Old Age Pensions Act December, 1901.* "Notable
for its number of provisions and precautions and reservations and
for the care with which it tries to confine its pensions to the en-
feebled and utterly necessitous." An applicant must satisfy a com-
missioner that the husband, wife, father, mother, children, or any or

*The preamble of the Old Age Pensions Bill which went into effect in New
Zealand July i, 1901 (reenacted from November i, 1898), reads as follows: "It
is equitable that deserving persons who during the prime of life have helped to
bear the public burdens of the colony by the payment of taxes, and by opening
up its resources with their labor and skill should receive from the colony pensions
in their old age."— Reeves, State Experiments in New Zealand and Australia,
p. 2B3. [This is justice, not poor law. — C. R. H.]

* New Zealand Official Year Book, 1902. ^Reeves. * Reeves, idem.


all of them are unable to provide for or maintain the claimant. Mis-
conduct will nullify the pension.

As to the results of these laws after the few years of trial various
opinions are held.^ In March, 1902, after a little more than three
years' life of the law in New Zealand there were 12,776 pensions in
force amounting to £217,192. Payments being made through the
Postal Department the cost of administration was only £2,535.- The
number of whites over 65 were in 1901 found to be 31,353, showing
that a little more than one-third of those over 65 were on the pension
list. Reeves states (p. 273) that "at the present time in New Zea-
land there is little avowed antagonism to the broad principle of mak-

Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonModern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods → online text (page 32 of 73)