Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Apart from the gardens where malaria and hookworm were rife, the physique of plantation labourers and their families appeared to us to be satisfactory, and the general standard is certainly higher than that of the population of the recruiting areas. We were informed that the physique of new recruits was frequently a matter of concern to garden managers, who sometimes found it necessary to issue free food for several weeks to a proportion of new arrivals in order to improve their physical condition before they were set to work. This is not surprising when it is remembered that these emigrant labourers are in many cases forced to leave their villages through sheer want. But on the gardens visited by us few signs of malnutrition were evident either in the adult working population or amongst the non-working children; and medical evidence was to the effect that the dietary of the plantation labourer is fairly satisfactory, in that articles such as milk, dal, and vegetables are frequently added as supplementary to the staple rice diet.