Examine the living conditions of different sections of society in Bombay prior to reclamation.
Ans… The living condition of different sections of society in Bombay prior to reclamation were difficult. Bombay did not grow according to any plan and in the Fort area there were houses with gardens. The Bombay Fort area was divided between a native town, where most of the Indians lived and a white section where the Europeans lived. The rapid and unplanned expansion of Bombay led to many problems like water crisis, crisis of housing, pollution, overcrowded colonies and homes, fears of plague epidemics etc. The rich Parsi, Muslim, upper caste traders, industrialists of Bombay lived in spacious bungalows. But more than 70 per cent of the working people lived in the thickly populated chawls of Bombay. Chawls were multi-storeyed structures, which had been build since the 1860s in the native parts of the town. The people living in Bombay resided in tenements of one-room. Often they had to share room with caste fellows or relatives who came to the city in search of jobs. They lived in a very unhealthy atmosphere. The homes were small, so streets and neighbourhoods were used for a variety of activities like cooking, washing and sleeping and also for social functions. Liquor shops and akharas came up in any empty spot.