Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
The value and importance of entertainments as a means to relieve the monotony and drudgery of working long hours in the factory or mine and to introduce an element of joy and relief as well as to impart instruction and education to the ignorant workers cannot be overestimated. The average industrial worker works in an atmosphere of dust, noise and heat, and lives in terrible overcrowded and insanitary dwellings which are generally no better than dark dungeons, with the consequence that many workers fall prey to vice. No measures to raise the standard of life of workers can succeed unless and until they are weaned away from vice and diversions are provided which can occupy their spare time in a healthy atmosphere. The provision of entertainment such as cinema shows, radio sets, games, etc., must effectively fulfill this object and go a long way in reducing the evils of drink and gambling, and particularly prostitution, which prevails in the labour areas owing to the glaring numerical disparity of sexes. Little attention has. been given to this matter either by the State or by employers, though there have been a few honourable exceptions, such as those mentioned already under the heading, "Employers' Activities", Apart from these laudable efforts on the part of some employers, as stated earlier, the Labour Welfare centres organised by the Governments of Bombay and U. P. provide radio and gramophone entertainment, games and sports, occasional musical parties and culture show and also cinema shows, usually twice a month. Wherever entertainments have been provided, they have become immensely popular with large numbers of workers and their families. In some cases, no doubt, dissatisfaction has been voiced by employers that the clubs provided have not been made use of by workers; but a careful study will reveal that this has mostly been the case where modern games like tennis, ping-pong, billiards and such others only are provided; also where the club is common to both officers and workers. On the whole, we are inclined to think that entertainments can only be regarded as voluntary activity on the part of the employers and no legal effect can be given to it. It. is for the employers to realise that ordinary entertainments, such as sports, excursions, etc., cost really little, while the psychological and moral gain both to themselves and to the workers is immense, and the effect of this on efficiency must be far
greater than the small cost involved in providing entertainments. Apart from this, the contribution made to industrial peace by music, dramatic entertainments, bhajans, mushairas, and such other things must be incalculable.