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Cotton Mill Workers in Bombay, 1875 to 1918-Conditions of Work and Life

Conditions of Work and Life Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay On the basis of evidence from contemporary sources, this paper attempts to capture the domestic and workplace environment of the early cotton mill workers in Bombay city. The long hours of work in the mills exhausted the workers both physically and mentally The physical environment of their homes was no better; neglected by the authorities and exploited by private builders, the workers lived in ill-lighted, ill-ventilated dens in largely undeveloped, undrained areas. To find solace from this hard life of labour the workers often resorted to alcohol drinking. The regular intake of alcohol coupled with their hard work in the mills and the polluted atmosphere both at home and in the mills weakened their resistance and made them easy prey to various diseases, the lack of organised labour activity during the period under study was also attributable to the grim daily routine of the workers.

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