Chapter : 2. The Nationalist Movement in Indo-China

Hygiene, Disease And Everyday Resistance

Hygiene, Disease And Everyday Resistance
(i) Plague Strikes Hanoi : Hanoi was built as a beautiful and clean city while the ‘native quarter’ was not provided with any modern facilities. The refuse from the old city drained straight out into the river or during heavy rains or floods, overflowed into the streets. Thus what was installed to create a hygienic environment in the French city became the cause of the plague.
(ii) The Rat Hunt : To stop this crisis a rat hunt was started in 1902. The French hired Vietnamese workers and paid them for each rat they caught. They also discovered innovative ways to profit from this situation. The money was paid when a tail of rat was given as a proof that a rat had been killed. So the rat catchers took to just clipping the tail and releasing the rats, so that the process could repeated over and over again. In fact some people were busy for rising rats so that they may earn more money.

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