Explain any three major problems faced by people migrated to Bombay during 19th century.
- LARGE number of people flowed in Bombay from the nearby district of Ratnagiri to work in Bombay Mills. Bombay was a crowded city. While every Londoner in 1840s enjoyed average space of 155 square yards Bombay had a mere 9.5 square yards. By 1872 when London had an average of 8 persons per home the density was as high as 20 persons in Bombay. From its earlier days, Bombay did not grow according to any plan. Fort area which formed the heart of the city in the early 1800 was divided between a native town where most of the Indians lived and a European or white section. A European suburb and an industrial zero began to develop to the north of the fort settlement area with a similar suburb and cantonment in the south. The racial pattern was developed with a rapid and unplanned expansion of the city. The crisis of housing and water supply became acute by the mid -1850s. The arrival of textile mills increased the pressure on Bombay’s housing. More than 70% working people lived in thickly populated chawls of Bombay. Since workers walked to their place of work 90% of mill workers were housed in Girangaon, a mill village. People had to keep the windows of their rooms closed even in humid weather due to the ‘close proximity’ of filthy gutters, privies, buffalo stables etc.
People who belonged to the depressed class found it even more difficult to find housing. Lower caste were kept out of many ‘chawls’ and often had to live in shelters made of corrugated sheets, leaves or bamboo poles.