Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The new conditions of life are very different from those to which he has been accustomed. On arrival, he usually finds accommodation with some relative or friend living in an already overcrowded room in a congested area. On obtaining work he is compelled to change his usual meal hours, although he adheres to his custom of taking two meals a day. His first repast is usually taken before he goes to work, but as the early start gives little time for cooking, this generally consists of cold food prepared the previous night. The interval between the morning and afternoon spells of work is much shorter than in the village and is used primarily for rest, although on occasion he postpones his first meal to this period. At other times some light refreshment like parched gram is taken. The evening meal is usually the main one of the day. Moreover, the worker's diet is unsatisfactory from many standpoints; milk is more difficult, to procure than in his village, pure ghi is unobtainable, whilst vegetables or fruit, even if available, are often beyond his means. Usually •the work is indoors; this, coupled in many cases with unaccustomed concentration for long hours on new work, involves a strain not always appreciated. Finally there is the matter of housing, with which we deal in a separate chapter. The generous contributions made by a number of employers towards the provision of houses represent a substantial attempt to improve conditions. Apart from these, housing is of the meanest description, and the indifference of the worker to the dangers of overcrowding, and lack of light, ventilation and sanitation enhance its detrimental effect. Moreover, shortage of houses, absence of adequate transport and the natural reluctance of the worker to live anywhere but in close proximity to his work add to the overcrowding and compel him to submit to exorbitant rent charges. The industrial recruit is thus handicapped from the start.