Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Infection with the malaria parasite plays a very important part ill lowering standards of health and physique. In every plantation area, whether in North or South India, malaria causes most of the sickness and is chiefly responsible for the existence of ' unhealthy ' gardens, whilst malaria-ridden plantations are as unpopular with the labourers as healthy plantations are popular. In one garden which we visited, where the incidence was very low, it had been unnecessary to do any active recruitment for over 20 years. In another the manager admitted that his labour force was infected 100% with malaria, and that very little anti-malarial work had been undertaken. Low standards of health are avoidable, and as a good example of what can be done, we would cite the admirable results obtained in the Labac area of Assam. There by the practical application of the chief medical officer's researches. large reductions in malaria, incidence were effected at a comparatively moderate cost. We believe that the effective control of malaria would bring about a radical transformation in the health conditions of the plantation areas. One result would be to increase the effectiveness and contentment of the existing labour force. In addition less difficulty would be experienced in reconciling labour recruits to the new conditions of life.