Burdwan district, with its advantageous position in transportation network and good resource endowments, spontaneously responded to the commercialisation of agriculture. Rice received considerable commercial importance in the second half of the nineteenth century. It found access to new markets within and outside Bengal and consequently rice trade flourished. Rice trade was carried on regularly in an organised way in Burdwan and expanded considerably from the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

This is an investigation into how serious the kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis) situation was in colonial Bihar, what the government's policy was to control it and how the people responded to it. Until 1903, medical men had little idea about the true nature of this disease, which spread rapidly in the wake of the opening up of communication by rail and road. British medical intervention against kala-azar succeeded only in 1919 with the introduction of the antimony treatment.