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tur dl. Bjri, which forms the staple food of the Deccani population in Bombay,
cost Rs. 2-11-11 per maund during the first five months of 1907, but in Septem-
ber 1908 the price had risen to Rs. 4-4-10, an increase of 56.7 per cent.
As has already been pointed out, although the single man among the
workers of Bombay is well off and may be able to save and remit money to his
country, the working man with a family has a hard fight at the best of times
and a rise in the price of food or in rents affects him very greatly. It is this
stress of home life among the working classes which is largely responsible for
the appalling mortality among infants and young children in Bombay.
19. Indebtedness.-A very large proportion of the population of Bombay,
particularly those belonging to the working classes, exist in a chronic state of
indebtedness; and of this there are two kinds:-
(a) Debts contracted in their country usually in the form of a mortgage
on land.
(b) Debts contracted locally with Banias and others in Bombay.
Indebtedness of the first class is responsible for bringing large numbers of
workers to the City in search of employment. Debts of this nature generally
range from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1,000 or more, upon which interest at the rate of
from 10 per cent. to 12 per cent. is charged. In many cases holders of in-
debted land appear to have passed their land on to others, who cultivate it and
pay the interest, the original holder retaining nothing but a lien on the land in
the hope of some day resuming it.
Local indebtedness is due to another cause. Usually people coming to
Bombay in search of work are compelled to borrow from friends or relatives or
to obtain goods on credit from Banias. If a man loses his employment, through
illness or otherwise, he speedily falls into debt. It is no uncommon thing to
find that men earning from Rs. 10 to 12 or Rs. 16 per month are in debt to
a Bania for as much as Rs. 50 or more; the crowd of Banias, Mrwries and
Cabuli money-lenders who may may be seen hanging round pay offices in
Bombay on pay days shows that the petty money-lenders in the City keep a
sharp look out upon their clients.
It is often forgotten that, the impelling motive that brings many workers
into the City is the necessity for earning money to remit to their homes, either
for the support of relations or for the payment of debts or both. Thus it
happens that the average Bombay labourer can count upon spending only a
portion of his earnings upon himself. It is no uncommon thing for men, who
have left their families at home, to remit a considerable amount of their wages
each month to their native village. Masons from the Poona District earning
Re. 1 a day will sometimes send as much as Rs. 15 to their country each month
and many workers regularly remit Rs. 5 to 10 at longer intervals. But in
many cases they find it necessary to borrow the money which they remit, and
as a rule only those without incumbrances in the City, in the form of wife and
children, can remit money regularly.
Section 3.
20. MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION.-At the head of the Municipal
Administration of the City is the Municipal Corporation, the Standing Committee
and the Municipal Commissioner. The Municipal Corporation is composed of
72 members, 36 of whom are elected at Ward Elections by the votes of property-
owners and tax-payers. A further 16 are elected by the Justices of the Peace,
of whom there are 600 in the City; 2 more are elected by the 110 Fellows of
the University; 2 by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce; and 16 are appointed
by Government. One-sixth are usually Europeans and one-fourth Prsis and the
remainder is mostly made up of Hindus and Mussulmans. A large proportion
of the members of the Corporation are holders of University degrees and
from 9 to 12 are usually qualified medical men. The Standing Committee is
composed of 12 members, 8 of whom are elected by the Municipal
Councillors and 4 appointed by Government. The Municipal Commissioner is
appointed by Government.

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