Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As regards sanitation, attempts have been made to improve conditions underground, but as the percentage of infection with hookworm is a reliable guide to the degree of sanitary control, the evidence given to us in this connection by the Jharia Mines Board of Health is instructive. It appears to be agreed that probably over 90% of the adult labourers in this area are infected, although illness is produced only in a very small proportion of cases. An investigation in the Asansol area showed that 83% of the mines examined were infected with hook-worm larvae, that 73% of the male underground workers were infected as compared with 54% of the surface labourers, and that, although hookworm infection is widespread in the collieries, hookworm disease is apparently altogether absent. It is evident that many of the mines are constantly being contaminated and that sanitary conditions underground call for improvement. As most of the galleries are spacious, there should be little difficulty in providing bucket latrines at convenient spots although at first it may be difficult to persuade the miners to make use of these conveniences, we have little doubt that in time improvements could be effected, and the attempt should be made. A small staff of sweepers should be employed to keep the latrines clean and to remove the contents of the buckets to the surface daily for final disposal.