Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Women workers form about 30 per cent of the labour force, and are employed on stripping, grinding and sieving, men being engaged in washing, melting and stretching. In the Central Provinces children under 12 years of age are employed on the lighter work of drying lac and twisting bags used in the melting process. In Bihar and Orissa boys, mostly at or about the statutory age under the Factories Act, are also employed on melting. Unfortunately in both oases these children, who form tea percent of the whole, are largely to be found inside the stove room, which in the opinion of the Director of Public Health of the Central Provinces, cannot but be harmful to them on account of the excessive heat. Even in the case of the adult melters and their assistants who work near the stoves, it is reported that " great exhaustion is felt at the end of the day, and debilitation is often experienced after 3 or 4 months of regular work ". In both provinces the workers are unorganised, but some of the employers are persons of education and, in at least one province, are well organised. We understand that suggestions made by the local Government for improving the sanitary and general conditions of the factories in a particular area have so far met with no response.