- Sugar in some form is found in many vegetable growths.
- Where grown, how harvested, how produced.
- A very valuable value of food, gives energy.
- An important industry and gives much employment.
Sugar is a substance which is necessary in some form or other in the diet of all, the body gets some sugar from almost ill fruits and vegetables, but some plants are especially rich in sugar. The sugar-cane is a large grass that grows to a height of fifteen or twenty feet and has a stem about an inch and a half in diameter. It flourishes best in tropical countries where both moisture, and heat are abundant.
Look at a map of the “distribution of sugar-cane.” Among the areas chiefly devoted to the cultivation of the plant are India, Pakistan, South-East Asia, East and West Indies, Queensland, and large areas in Central and Sought America. Africa is also paying attention to the growth of the “cane”.
Elaborate machinery is now used to extract the juice from the canes. This process and those of filtering clarifying, and boiling drive out all unwanted matter, and leave the dry sugar crystals behind. The rejected liquid matter is known as molasses, from which, as we have seen, rum is made. Rum is a strong form of alcohol.
The brown sugar crystals, thus far produced, are usually prepared on the sugar plantation. They are then generally packed in bags in readiness for export. On arrival at its destination, the ray sugar is sent to the refineries, where it is transformed into the lump and granulated forms so familiar to all. White sugar is, however, sometimes prepared on the original plantations.
In Pakistani villages, the coarse brown “gur” or “jaggery” is used, the pure white sugar being too expensive for the poor people. It is thought by scientists that the coarse and unrefined form is just as good in food value as the white variety. Big factories in Pakistan now produce sugar, sweets, molasses, and the various bye-products, so providing an important food for that they may as well go and consult the doctor, since it costs no more. The overworked doctors have only time for a very hurried examination of the scores waiting in their”. surgeries. The cost, in spite of the hundred and fifty rupees per year paid by every insured person for stamps, has been hundreds of millions of pounds more than anticipated. Everybody is dissatisfied and grumbling, the doctors are overworked and discontented, and the expenses of the country have been greatly increased at a time when the State is already in financial difficulties. It has been an ill-timed and badly planned experiment, for which the country is paying dearly.
It is obvious that the poor man in Pakistan could not pay nealy so much in contributions for his stamp, and a similar scheme for Pakistan would have even more unfortunate results. There is simply not enough money in the country to launch such a system. moreover it is, after all, a policy of repair, and it is better to prevent than to cure. If money is available, it would be better spent in supplying food to poor people and to school children to giving milk to nursing mothers, to improving houseing. This would yield better dividends in national health than a policy of waiting till people are ill and then supplying them with medicine. In the meantime, it is better to move slowly and improve the existing services supplied by government officers, practitioners and missionaries, than to launch into a hasty and illi considered socialistic experiment.