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Sanitation, Diet, Disease, etc. 319
the manner in which food is eaten, is there such a waste of salt
in India.
Between 1870-71 and 1880-81 the consumption of salt in-
creased by 19 per cent., and during the next ten years the in-
crease was 211/2 per cent. The increase of population in each
decade is about 10 per cent., so that the ratio of increase in
the consumption of salt was about twice as great as the ratio
of increase in the population. And as the consumption is
almost entirely human, it seems evident that if the people had
enough salt twenty years ago, they have more than enough
In the interior of the Himalayas the price of salt is very
high, not on account of the duty, for the salt consumed there
is imported across the frontier duty-free, but as a result of
the cost of transit. Excluding such exceptional tracts as
Kumaun, Garhwal, and the Naga Hills, where the price of salt
may be said to be about 7 seers to the rupee (about 21/4 annas
per seer), the highest price of salt in India anywhere is 8 seers
per rupee (or 2 annas per seer). The consumption per head
being 11lb, the annual cost of salt per head is equal to 11
annas, less than one anna (exactly eleven pie) per month.
The average price may, however, be taken to be about 10
seers to the rupee, and the annual cost per head at this
rate is under 9 annas, or about 9 pie per month. It may
be assumed that the highest cost per head is one anna
monthly, which is less than one penny at the present rate
of exchange. This is an extreme and exceptional price, for
salt ranges at about 8 seers to the rupee in comparatively
but few places.
Now while discussing the assumed connexion between
salt and leprosy, it is necessary to enquire whether the price of
this article prevents the native from procuring the amount
of salt required to keep his body in proper health. It is
difficult to say exactly how much salt a working man actually
requires. It is certain "that the various saline matters are

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