This book studies the social and political environment that spurred the development of hospitals and asylums in Calcutta under the East India Company's rule from c.1757 to 1860. It traces the trajectories of hospital formation for the indigenous population, beginning with the early military and European hospitals. It also focuses on the growth of dispensaries in the suburbs of Calcutta, as well as speciality hospitals in the city. Based on a thorough examination of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century records preserved in India and the UK, it attempts to link the urban development of Calcutta, as the second capital of the Empire, with the social, political and cultural forces that fashioned the process of institutional health care in the city, and which became an important legacy for the organization of health care after India's Independence.
Srilata Chatterjee is Head of the Department of History, University of Calcutta.