Hooghly Today : Dieffenbachia ???: …………………..


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PL480 is /was a bill passed by US Senate (upper house in our parlance) and signed into law by President Eisenhower… in 1954, as part of US govt given aid around the world, under the program FOOD for PEACE, read it in short at this wiki essay on food for peace
May be you dont remember but India got some aid in form of Wheat,,, used to be very small skinny red wheat… may be it was good for many things in the western way of cooking, but for our roti it was very difficult… may be your mom remembers how difficult it was to make decent chappatis at nite and make the family eat it.. it was mostly hard.. but some say at least it was food… people could eat something when no rice was available… along with this wheat came 30 or 40 varieties of weeds… internet used to have hundreds of pages of pl480 weeds … but now that the world is politically correct and the list has a few plants that were here much longer than 1954 (like the mexican plant LANTANA) the list as a whole seems to have fallen out of favor, one can hardly find the list anymore…

but one of the ruella, pyrithrum etc etc are a real menace, since India does not have the nartural predators their natural range has… grains came after India signed some agreement in 1956 and the grains came in to compensate for the grain growing belt we had lost to west punjab at independence…

But the grain was not total charity, in a law signed by Indian govt payment was made… in rupees terms, mainly in form of books published in India…

that’s how most of the eastern studies departments and university libraries in USA got well stocked with genuine Indian language and sanskrit books… including vedas, purana, ayurvedic texts and many that we dont get to see now in Indian libraries.. read some of this .read in this blog …but this guy does not seem to have known about the eastern studies departments in US libraries and US Universities, but he write lucidly…

Many of the weeds came from warmer states hence this dieffenbachia may have been in the wheat from texas.. just north of mexico so its possible its a weed … and 1950s are so long ago that these have perhaps naturalized … and may be that’s how plants migrated across the earth anyway long before humans had taken to calling some plants weeds… who knows… only time will tell…


I was nowhere in 1954, i came ten years later. Yes, i heard about food-aid from my parents, and it happened over and over again, sometimes in late 60s too, continued during 70s.

 
I have heard the milo story, and a “chora” on it that refers to then food-minister of our state. I read Bengal famines, both, the one known as “76-er manwontar” and the other when my father was merely a schoolboy.
Thank you very much for all these valuable records.


 
 
 

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