Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa (XCHR Studies Series No. 4)(HB)


Author: Fatima da Silva Gracias

817022506X | HB | pp. 300 | 2001 | Concept Publishing Company

Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa by Fatima da Silva Gracias is a historical inquiry into conditions and problems of health and hygiene during Portuguese Colonial rule in Goa.

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Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa by Fatima da Silva Gracias deals with an aspect of Goa’s social history which has so far not been explored sufficiently. It could therefore provide rich avenues of exploration to the future researchers, The theme is treated in the context of the standards of living and the population trends at various times under the Portuguese rule. The urban and rural sectors have been treated for their distinctiveness. The social stratification has not been ignored,

It is shown how the Portuguese responded with relative diligence and at times with apathy, depending on their colonial interests; imperial fortunes and misfortunes. The picture that emerges of the native concepts and practices of hygiene is quite bleak particularly where the environmental sanitation was concerned. Poverty and illiteracy appear to have been the root cause of malnutrition, ignorance of dietary and hygienic requirements, superstitious rituals and cultural prejudices that led to high infant mortality and mortality of women at the time of the delivery. The study looks into endemic and epidemic diseases and establishes the link between the later and development of emigration and rail link with British India in the later period.

The strengths and weaknesses of native medicine and its practitioners have beens discussed at length and the findings are treated in a wide context of the present day debate regarding development and Eco-destruction as well as the traditional “soft-medicine” v/s scientific medicine.


Fatima da Silva Gracias







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About the Author

The author holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History. Some of her works include Health and Hygiene in Colonial Goa, 1510-1961 and Kaleidoscope of Women in Goa.

She has contributed to research papers on health, women, social institutions and culture in publications and research seminars in India, Portugal, France, Germany and Brazil.


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