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Punjab after the Partition- (A Case Study of Rehabilitation of Refugees)

After the partition of India in 1947, half a million non-Muslim refugees poured into East Punjab States. Their rehabilitation at different places in the Pepsu was the biggest problem faced by the Government
immediately after the formation of Patiala and East Punjab States Union. The phenomenon of forced mass transfer of population had implications of a political, social and economic character. The refugees had been the victims of remorseless plunder, rape and arson. They brought with them nothing, but bitter memories of loss and sufferings. They came to strange towns and villages by all conceivable means—trains, military Lorries, and bullock carts in long trailing carvans and even on foot. The Pepsu Government was yet to be on its legs, when the administration of the covenanting States had to find an answer to the problems of relief and rehabilitation. The State of Patiala was the first to receive the refugees early in the year 1947. In response to Maharaja Yadvinder Singh's offer to give an asylum, some 50,000 refugees came to Patiala between March and July 1947. The Faridkot Slate offered to rehabilitate 40,000 refugees in addition to the 20,000, who had come over to the State before 15 August, 1947. The state of Nabha offered to provide relief to 50,000 refugees. In the Kapurthala State, refugee camps were opened at Kapurthala, Phagwara and Sultanpur Lodhi. For the purpose of coordination among the States, and with the East Punjab Government, a conference was held at Jullundhar on 3rd December, 1947. As a result of its deliberations, steps were taken which resulted in the establishment of Rehabilitation Council for East Punjab and East Punjab States under the Chairmanship of a Minister of Central Government.

Michael Khindo
International Journal of Research in Engineering, IT and Social Science