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Subhas Chandra Bose and North Bengal Flood Relief

Subhas Chandra Bose's major relief effort was evident during the North Bengal floods in 1922-23. An authentic account is taken up from the memoirs of St. Nihal Singh (titled A Saint turned Patriot) from Netaji, His Life and Works edited by Shri Ram Sharma. The writing goes as follows, "A few weeks after his release from prison, Subhas was found grappling with formidable situation in North Bengal caused by a serious flood, rather unusual for the time. He was entrusted by Sir P.C Roy with the task of bringing relief to the afflicted in North Bengal. He at once went to Santahar and took charge of the relief operations there. He knew no rest. His energy never flagged and he would first put himself in the perilous position before he would ask anybody to take that place. His example served as an inspiration to his coworkers most of whom were very young and inexperienced." Subhas Chandra Bose had already trained himself in serving the poor and the distressed and therefore he could train the young men and women who were not aware of the physical and the mental fortitude demanded of them in that onerous task. Several women came forward, one of them being Leela Nag, an immensely accomplished leader of the revolutionaries who belonged to an illustrious background and was highly educated. " In the face of the great ordeal he was the the best man that could be selected for that work." He would be perched on a country boat and move from place to place and would share the small amount of food available. He would go into every detail of then work and would monitor the work delegated even at odd hours to see if it had been executed properly. He maintained an excellent health. He would himself say that work always kept him in good health, only lack of work led to ill health which happened very often in the jails. He developed bad and troublesome sores on his legs which troubled him for many years. His services endeared him to the people of Bengal and earned the grudging appreciation of his arch enemies - the British Government.

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