New Delhi was faced with a refugee surge orders of an epic scale as terror stricken civilians evacuated East Pakistan to escape the trauma and horrors of the continuous assaults and carnage. According to National Geographic the estimated number of Bangladeshi refugees was 10 million. Also, a large number of people were displaced within the country; estimated number was around 20 million. Press reports quoting the West Bengal Health Services Director, warned that 300,000 refugee children were on the verge of death from starvation.
In Eastern province of Tripura, India, refugees outnumbered local inhabitants. In initial period, some refugees had to take shelter in subhuman conditions in abandoned drainage pipes at Salt Lake, Calcutta. Overcrowded improvised living conditions in refugee camps lead to sickness and death. Beside government support, local people and some aid agencies helped to mitigate these sufferings.
Statistics of Refugees fleeing into India according to New York Times, July 4, 1971.
|State/District||In Reception Ctrs||with friends/relatives|