Dr. Vaishnav and the Great Plague of 1896

I came across this book (The Bombay Plague Title pg), published in 1900 about the plague in the state of Bombay. (In those days, Bombay was a state and not a city and extend into what is now parts of Gujarat and  Maharashtra In India.) This book mentions our grandfather by name (The Bombay Plague Pg 347) and I thought I should share this with all of you.

As a child, I remember my father telling us about the Great Plague in India and how our grand father Dr. Duleray Vaishnav, worked in the areas where this epidemic was killing people (The Bombay Plague Pg 350). Our grandfather died in 1930 when my father was 7 years old but he had been told about his dad’s work by the other relatives and that was passed down to us.

I knew that he was the physician to the Royal family of Kutchh, but this book also mentions that he also was the State Physician- for the state of Junagadh an erstwhile state in India, now a part of Gujarat State. We were told by our grandmother that he was an eye surgeon.
I got some tidbits of information from a cousin, whose grandfather was our grandfather’s peer. It seems Dr. Duleray Vaishnav was known by the local population as “malaria jo dushman”- the enemy of malaria. Also, he was the first person to own a car in his state, but had to sell it promptly since the King did not have a car and he did not want his employee to own a car before he did!

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