Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Although more than one attempt was made to give us vital statistics for groups of industrial workers, none of these gave a picture sufficiently accurate to demonstrate any relation between industrial activity and increased death rates. This is not a matter for surprise when it is remembered that, even in the larger towns, few sick persons see a doctor and certification of death is usually a matter of guess-work on the part of a non-medical registrar. Moreover, deaths are registered under one or other of only six or seven heads, three of these being small-pox, cholera and plague, so that by far the largest number is entered under " all other causes ". Lack of appreciation of their value in public health and of training on the part of the individuals responsible for their collection lead to the continuance of grave inaccuracies in such records. Again, in industrial areas the influx of large numbers of young males changes the age-distribution to a marked extent, and the failure to apply the necessary correction factor, before comparing them with other areas where the population is distributed more normally over the different age and sex periods, makes fair comparison very difficult. There is, therefore, little chance of obtaining reliable statistics for special groups such as industrial workers and, in consequence, we have been unable to make any estimate of the effect of industrial life, as distinct from urbanisation, on the death rates of these communities. Curious variations prevail in the methods of registering still-births throughout the different provinces. We recommend that still-births should be excluded from both birth and death registers and that they should be separately recorded.
Only when this is done will it be possible to obtain the useful information which these figures should provide.