- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
109

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TO DAGHESTAN
109
a-uL There are only very few doctors, especially in
the mountains ; and even where there are any, little
use is made of them. The men, indeed, go to them,
but the women are afraid, and will not trust
themselves to them.
The economic position being so difficult, and
there being so little land in the mountain valleys,
many of the men (Samursky says 200,000) leave
the country every autumn after the harvest to seek
work in other parts of Caucasia, in Turkestan, and
also in places inside Russia ; they come back again
in the spring. Many thousands come to Baku to
work. Samursky believes this is of great importance
economically for Daghestan, and also culturally,
through European culture being brought into the
mountains. But it has its drawbacks, and especially
does it have a demoralizing effect on the people
through bringing in venereal diseases and alcoholism.
The Daghestan government has tried all it can
with its scanty means to improve trade and industry.
It has made a great irrigation canal, and built new
roads; it has, so far as it could, granted credit for
buying cattle, and given much care and thought
to improving its fisheries, and granted credit to
them also. The government has also sought to build
up new industries by starting cotton-spinning,
glass-working, and so on.
There are, indeed, many openings, if only capital
could be found. There is water-power in plenty
for electrification ; a commission of engineers has
examined into the question, but so far it has not
been possible to do anything. Samursky points out

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