MR. J. A. BAINES, Census Commissioner, India Office, has been kind enough to furnish me with the following Table showing the results of the Census in relation to Leprosy in the decades 1881 and 1891.

PROVINCE Males 1881 Females 1881 Males 1891 Female 1891
1. Ajmir 23 6 20 7
2. Assam, 2,409 906 5,128 1,599
3. Bengal, 40,484 13,490 32,957 11,029
4. Berar 2,971 777 2,886 1,624
5. Bombay 7,259 2,559 7,558 2,419
6. Sindh 166 111 125 84
7. Aden 0 0 1 0
8. Upper Burmah 0 0 2,262 1,242
9. Lower Burmah 2,009 580 2,281 679
10. Central Provinces 4,430 2,013 3,575 1,780
11. Coorg 25 18 12 11
12. Madras and Small Feudatories 10,329 3,846 9,455 3,182
13. N. O. Prov. and Oudh 14,453 3,369 14,114 2,957
14. Punjaub 5,333 1,547 3,322 1,029
15. Quettah 0 0 2 0
16. Andaman 30 0 1 0
17. Hyderabad 2,117 872 2,261 716
18. Baroda 450 174 397 172
19. Mysore 340 193 536 266
20. Rájputána 0 0 1,314 394
21. Cent. Ind. Regs., etc. 7 6 59 21
22. Bombay States 1,681 606 1,907 641
23. Cawnpur State 0 0 4 2

24. Cochin & Perderkottal

143 0 313 138

25. Travancore

0 0 684 284

26. Central Prov. States

0 0 799 460

27. Bengal States

1,799 750 1,471 577
28. N.-W. Prov. States 339 94 312 67

29.Punjab States

2,241 613 1,462 458
99,038 32,622 95,218 31,838
TOTAL 131,660 127,056

The general reader may perhaps be assisted in understanding the foregoing Tables by the following Analysis.

Increase Decrease Increase Decrease
1. AjmIr 3 1 ….
2. Assam 2,719 …. 693 …..
3.Bengal …… 7,527 ….. 2,461
4.Berar …… 85 847 ….
5.Bombay 299 ….. …… 140
6.Sindh …. 41 …. 27
7. Aden 1 ….. …. ….
8.Upper Burmah 2,262 …… 1,242
9. Lower Burmah 272 …… 99 ….
10. Central Provinces ~ …… 855 …. 233
11. Coorg ….. 13 …. 7
12. Madras and Small Feudatories …. 874 …. 644
13. N. 0. Prov. and Oudh ….. 339 …. 412
14. Punjaub ….. 2,011 …. 518
15. Quettah 2 …. ….
16. Andaman …. 29 ….
17. Hyderabad 144 …. 156
18. Baroda 53 …. 2
19. Mysore 196 ….. 73
20. Rájputána 1,314 …. 394
21. Cent. Ind. Regs., etc., 52 ….. 15
22. Bombay States 226 ….. 35
23. Cawnpur State 4 …. 2
24. Cochin and Pardukta 170 …. 46
25. Travancore 684 ….. 284 ….
26. Central Prov. States,. 799 ….. 460
27. Bengal States 328 173
28. N.-W. Prov. States …. 27 27
29. Punjab States 779 155
9,144 12,964 4,191 4,975
Deduct increase 9,144 4,191
Net decrease 3,820 784
1891............... 95,218 1891...................... 31,838
1881................... 99,038 1881....................... 32,622
Places 15 14 13 13
Add increase 15 13
Unchanged* 3
Total................. 29 Total..................... 29

* Nos. 7, 15, and 16.

From the foregoing analysis, it appears that the number of male lepers has during the decade increased in fifteen places and decreased in fourteen. The number of female lepers has increased in thirteen places and decreased in thirteen: while in three places they are in statu quo. In seven places no returns are given for 1881.

The total number of lepers returned are as follows:---In the census for 1881, 131,660; in the census for 1891, 127,056.

It will be remembered that at a meeting held at Marlborough House on the 17th of June, 1889, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales declared that there were 250,000 lepers in India, an estimate nearly double that which is indicated by the figures derived from the censuses of 1881 and 1891. That the estimate given by His Royal Highness is far nearer the mark than are the figures derived from the census, will appear probable from the following facts and considerations.

On the perusal of the census forms issued by the Indian Government, we find in Rule 14 that "white leprosy" is to be excluded from the infirmities to be returned by the enumerators. That rule is as follows:— "If any person be blind of both eyes, or deaf and dumb from birth, or insane, or suffering from corrosive leprosy, enter the name of the infirmity in this column. Do not enter those blind of one eye only, or who have become deaf and dumb after birth, or who are suffering from white leprosy only."

Mr. J. A. Baines, Census Commissioner, writing 21st June, 1892, says that in the recent census, "the instructions were clearer (as to leucoderma, or white leprosy), and the exclusion far more strict."

The census form also contains the following direction:

"You are to make all the entries as the person himself or his guardian, states, and not to dispute his statement."

Coupling this direction with the fact that now, for the first time within thirty years, the report has been widely circulated, that all lepers at large were to be segregated, that is, to be separated from their friends and from all they hold dear, we should infer that a large number of cases of leprosy would be suppressed, and not returned to the census enumerators, who are much more in sympathy with the afflicted members of their own race than with their official chiefs, and would be slow to aid in the perpetual incarceration of their friends; and among the respectable classes no one will admit that he is a leper, as an admission of this kind would involve loss of caste and social ostracism.

Moreover, leprosy is an insidious disease, and in its early stages cannot be diagnosed and detected save by experienced medical practitioners accustomed to treat this particular malady. Of the enumerators, not one in a hundred could detect a case of leprosy if he saw it, except when presented in its most aggravated and repulsive form.

Mr. H. A. Ackworth, Municipal Commissioner, Bom— bay, in a communication to me, dated 29th July, 1891, says :—" I have plenty of lepers in my hospital here who could not be identified as such unless they were completely stripped and examined by a trained eye." And a correspondent of the Calcutta Daily News, October 20th, 1891, writes:—" To my personal knowledge there are at least twenty-three lepers in this town who are not entered as such in the census papers. And it is quite probable that there are many more who have not been numbered."

A medical correspondent connected with the Army Medical Department writes to me, January 27th, 1892, "that the census form used in the census of 1891 is an enigma that the enumerators could not properly explain; and the remuneration offered was so small that it failed to tempt any of the better educated classes to volunteer for the census work. Consequently the papers were handed over to men who, for the most part, were too devoid of understanding to enable them to ascertain facts or comprehend the nature of the information required for filling in the returns." My correspondent adds that the wide-spread belief in India, that leprosy is a disease of venereal origin, induces all but the lowest classes to carefully guard against it becoming known, either to officials or to others, that any member of the family is a leper, and "even the threat of prosecution would not frighten them into publishing their terrible secret for census information." For these and other reasons there can be no doubt that a considerable portion of the leper population in India has been omitted from these returns.

Without endorsing the accuracy of the leper census in India, which is clearly misleading, it may be incidentally remarked that the proportion of vaccinations to .population in India, as a whole, is less than in any of our crown colonies and dependencies, but is increasing every year, and, unless arrested, will soon produce the calamitous consequences exhibited in tropical countries where vaccination is general.*

* The births in India in 1899-1 were officially estimated at 40 per cent. of the population, or 8,244,101, and the number of children under one year returned as vaccinated in 1890-I was 2,268,922, being about 27 per cent. on the total number of births.


A census has recently been taken for the Leeward Islands, which also minimises the number of lepers in a similar fashion. Referring to this, the St. Kitts Lazaretto of February 22nd, 1892, says:— "The census return for the Colony is at length out, and a copy may be seen at the Public Library. It is openly said all over the Colony that this particular census is utterly unreliable; indeed, Mr. Fred Evans, the Colonial Secretary, says as much of the returns from Dominica. A glance at the tables which pretend to show the number of lepers in the Colony satisfies us that, in this particular, the returns are worthless.

"Some time ago, the doctors here were called upon to send in returns of the lepers in their districts. They did so, and sent in a list of 51 lepers. That this list was necessarily incomplete we fully demonstrated at the time. Since then, we have heard of several other lepers of whose existence no one here knew, and a few have been committed to the Leper Asylum. But in the face of the reports from the doctors, the compiler of these precious returns sets down the number of lepers at large in St. Kitts as thirteen and in Nevis as five!! How could Mr. Fred Evans or his clerk have got these figures? The census forms that had to be filled in by each householder contained no space in which the number of lepers could be entered. Therefore, we are forced to the conclusion that the opportunity of misrepresenting the leprous condition of this Colony was seized by those who were on the look-out for such a chance, the doctors’ reports disregarded, and that some one invented these figures. . .

"We guarantee to produce fully 50 (and perhaps 60) lepers who are now at large in this little island (St. Kitts).

"There are considerably more than 13 in Basseterre alone. As regards Nevis, the inaccuracy of the Colonial Secretary’s figures is equally striking.

"We can give off-hand the names of a half-dozen lepers living there, and we have heard of many more, of whose existence we are assured by gentlemen who are above, lying, and who have no motive for suppressing the truth.

"The figures for the other islands are also palpably incorrect and misleading. In Antigua 34 lepers are said to be under restraint. This is not true as regards the restraint, for according to Dr. Freeland they cannot legally be restrained, and as a fact they go and come from the so-called Lazaretto as they please. Only last month we saw several of them promenading the streets of St. John’s. Then to set down 11 lepers only as being at large is a gross misstatement, as every one in Antigua knows. We were up there quite recently, and satisfied ourselves that there are probably in all over a hundred lepers in that island.

"We accept the return of 3 lepers to about 500 people in Barbuda, but we confidently challenge the assertion that there are only 9 lepers in Montserrat and 3 in the Virgin Islands. .

"Anguilla, the Government says, contains 8 lepers. Will Mr. Fred Evans be surprised to hear that he has made the trifling error of only eighty per cent? We happen to know that if he had guessed 40 (for the whole thing is evidently pure guess work) he would have been pretty near the mark.

"The total for the Leeward Islands is, according to this eccentric statistician, 172. That for St. Kitts and Nevis is 98. We declare, speaking with a knowledge of the subject which is infinite compared to that possessed by Mr. Fred Evans, that there are at least 200 lepers in St. Kitts and Nevis; and that Sir William Haynes Smith knows. Taking St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla, we would not be surprised if 250 free lepers could be ferretted out. Of Dominica and Montserrat we cannot speak so confidently, but we have interviewed many gentlemen from them, and the sum of our inquiries is that no one knows how many lepers there are in any one of them. It has been no one’s business to find out, and therefore no one has given the least attention to the subject."