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After the massacres: nursing survivors of partition violence in Pakistan Punjab camps

After the massacres: nursing survivors of partition violence in Pakistan Punjab camps
After the massacres: nursing survivors of partition violence in Pakistan Punjab camps

This article explores the conditions and treatment of the ordinary refugees—survivors of the 1947 partition violence—in the Pakistan Punjab relief camps, in particular the circumstances of women, children and those who arrived with terrible wounds, yet received at best rudimentary medical assistance when the emergent Pakistan state was still working out its responsibilities in the process of transition. A large number of them succumbed to the epidemics which swept refugee camps. The impact of cholera on the camp population will be addressed in a discussion of the episode in Hanfia School Camp. This created the circumstances for the second major theme of this article—the adoption of children. Little if anything has previously been written about the extent of adoption following partition, or on its mixed motivations and social implications. Finally, the article considers the governmental responses to the camp population and state provision to the orphan refugee children. Much of the previously un-used material in this article is both harrowing in its character and disturbing for sanitised nationalist historiography. It is necessary however to address it in order to provide a full appreciation of the ‘lived experience’ of the partition.

1356-1863
1-21
CHATTHA, ILYAS
e695dba5-f640-4741-a5b6-7777eb388811
CHATTHA, ILYAS
e695dba5-f640-4741-a5b6-7777eb388811

CHATTHA, ILYAS (2018) After the massacres: nursing survivors of partition violence in Pakistan Punjab camps. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1-21. (doi:10.1017/S1356186317000694).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article explores the conditions and treatment of the ordinary refugees—survivors of the 1947 partition violence—in the Pakistan Punjab relief camps, in particular the circumstances of women, children and those who arrived with terrible wounds, yet received at best rudimentary medical assistance when the emergent Pakistan state was still working out its responsibilities in the process of transition. A large number of them succumbed to the epidemics which swept refugee camps. The impact of cholera on the camp population will be addressed in a discussion of the episode in Hanfia School Camp. This created the circumstances for the second major theme of this article—the adoption of children. Little if anything has previously been written about the extent of adoption following partition, or on its mixed motivations and social implications. Finally, the article considers the governmental responses to the camp population and state provision to the orphan refugee children. Much of the previously un-used material in this article is both harrowing in its character and disturbing for sanitised nationalist historiography. It is necessary however to address it in order to provide a full appreciation of the ‘lived experience’ of the partition.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 January 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417950
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417950
ISSN: 1356-1863
PURE UUID: 16171f92-7991-4a4a-b975-235cc957d6ba

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Date deposited: 19 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:53

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Author: ILYAS CHATTHA

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