MISCELLANEOUS OCCUPATIONS

INTRODUCTION

THE FOREGOING CHAPTERS IN THIS VOLUME dealt with the principal sectors of the economy of Greater Bombay. These sectors, however, do not exhaust the entire field of economic activity in this industrial and commercial capital of India. There are numerous other occupations which provide a means of livelihood to a large section of the working population, and also produce several essential goods of daily consump­tion. They also provide many essential services to the community. Although it may not be practicable to give an account of all such occupa­tions in this chapter, it is contemplated to give a narration of a few of them.

Obviously these occupations are miscellaneous in character because there is no uniformity in their operation, economic status and the size of the individual establishment. But they are not insignificant in view of their employment potential and usefulness to society. In spite of their being scattered, the employers as well as the employees in these occupa­tions have formed associations or unions of their own. Some of the organisations in this field in Bombay attract the attention of the public as well as Government as regards their demands and rights from time to time. No wonder, therefore, that vested interests have come into existence in this field, although smaller it is.
The conditions of work of most of the workers in these occupations are regulated by various enactments, such as, the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, the Municipal Corporation of Bombay Act, the Minimum Wages Act, and many others.

The information furnished below is based on the previous edition of the Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island (1909-1910), various study reports, Census Reports and personal observations made. Although all attempts are made to make the narration authentic, no accuracy is claimed for the observations due to the peculiar nature of the job involved.

 

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HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS

Records left by travellers show that the hotel trade in Bombay existed as early as 1778. A Persian Translator in the Bombay Army recorded that there were good hotels in Bombay and Madras in the last twenty years of the 18th century when Surat and Bombay started flourishing in commerce. Prior to this hospitality of the inhabitants was always exercised towards new comers till they could provide a place of residence for themselves. However, upto the middle of the nineteenth century the hotel trade in Bombay did not make any progress. A few public houses which then used to serve a type of punch made the city notorious. There were no hotels in Bombay worth the name and whatever hotel amenity then existed was low class taverns which were mostly frequented by soldiers, sailors, and low class people. The elite, respectable and god fearing people had to be content with the hospitality of the local residents or with hired tents which were pitched on the Esplanade. In 1837, a series of taverns such as Parsee George's, Portuguese George's, Paddy Goose's and Racquent Court under which drinking dens flourished, spread all over the city. However, within a period of about ten years most of the taverns disappeared and a more respectable type of hotel like Hope Hall Family Hotel began to make an appearance since 1837. The Hope Hall Family Hotel was opened at Mazagaon which for many years served as the principal hotel in Bombay.

The first of the residential clubs was established in the premises adjoining stands at the Byculla Race Course, with the express purpose of providing respectable and reasonably priced lodging.

The development of hotel trade since 1840 was rapid. Mr. Pallanjee Pestonjee opened the Victoria Hotel which was usually known as the British Hotel in 1840. He earned a good name in the trade among the civil and military gentry. As a result he moved to better premises on Clare Road and later on opened another hotel in Fort. The British Hotel has long disappeared. About 1862 the Great Eastern Hotel Company was formed, but it failed to leave a mark on Bombay. In 1871, a silk mercer and draper who had amassed wealth in his trade opened the Esplanade Hotel with 130 rooms.

The Watson's Hotel on the Esplanade described as " something like a bird-cage ", was in imitation of the palatial new hotels then going up in London and Paris.( Gillian Tindall, City of Gold (Temple Smith, London. 1982), p. 175.) It opened a new era in the hotel trade in Bombay. It was distinguished in splendour and convenience. For his galleried hotel Watson imported not only iron but also bricks, from Webster's Manufactory in Burham in England. The Watson's which was exclusively for Europeans, has long ceased to function, and the ghost-like building which once housed it stands facing the building of the Bombay University. This iron-pillared building was one of the good buildings in the city in the nineteenth century.

The Taj Hotel, inaugurated in 1904, was the cherished project of the legendary Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, an eminent Parsi of Bombay.It is said that J. N. Tata was once humiliated by asking to leave the then best hotel in Bombay, the Watson's. His pride was shaken, and he decided that he would one day build a hotel of his own which would far exceed the Watson's in its quality. He got it designed in 1896 by a local European firm of architects.(Ibid.,pp.26-27) The Taj is yet the best in Bombay. Next door to the original Taj is a recent annexe, a rare modern building in Bombay.

In 1923, Mr. Shapurji Sorabji built the Grand Hotel. A few years later the Majestic Hotel was opened. Upto this time almost all the hotels were run on western lines. It was with the establishment of the Sardar Griha and Madhavashram in 1900 and 1908, respectively that the Indian style hotels began to make an appearance.

" Being a port of call, Bombay was readily accessible to artistic talent from abroad, which soon became an attractive feature of local hotel life. As early as 1904, for instance, there was a Criterion Hotel that sported a full-fledged Viennese Orchestra, of nearly 20 members, about 12 of whom were women instrumentalists.

" Then came the age of palatial structures, to accommodate hundreds at a time, that rose up on the finest sites of the city. Bombay's hoteliers, in this era, were second to none in the luxurious appointments of their quarters or in an extravagance of the fare they served from champagne and pate de foie gras to the rarest of pickles and curries. Much of the catering in these hotels was done by Italians. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, local hotels reached the peak of their splendour as house of entertainment from the standpoint of food, wine and music. Some of the most gorgeous banquets were given in Bombay during this period, when money flowed lavishly from the swollen purses of the Maharajas, the business magnates and the foreign visitors to Bombay. The music was mainly of the Western classical type, though occasional diver­sions into the lesser realms of dance music were not unknown. The polka, the mazarka, and the waltz were among the dances that roused the enthusiasm of local votaries of Terpsichore.

" The end of World War I saw the introduction of jazz on a large scale in Bombay. The old classical orchestra went completely out of fashion, and dancing became the rage. The one-step, the tango, the rhumba and the jitterbugs, became in turn, the favourite obsession of local lounge lizards. This was also the era of the cabaret. Some of the finest swing bands in the world, some of the best cabaret artistes and some of the most soulful crooners of dance numbers have taken the floor or stood before the microphone in Bombay's palatial hotels.

" The two world wars brought a fresh lot of hotels to Bombay. The Ritz, the Ambassador, West End and Airlines were ' war babies'.

" The post-war world of the late forties of the twentieth century was a world of austerity, of rationing and of strict elimination of luxury and waste. Hotel life in Bombay ceased to be the pageant of extravagant splendour it once was. Bombay's prohibition policy struck another mortal blow at the splendour of this type of existence. Hotels gradually began to serve the sole purpose of accommodating people and of feeding them on the barest of rationed necessities. The age of the champagne dinner, the semi-nude chorus girl and the exotic, sensuous music became a thing of the past.

" The year 1949 saw a big advance in the hotel trade in India. It was placed on an organised basis by the establishment of four regional hotel and restaurant associations with head offices at India's four major cities, Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. These four associations were linked in a federation which is affiliated to the International Hotel Association, Paris. It is given representation on the Central Tourist Traffic Advisory Committee and the Regional Tourist Traffic Committee of the Govern­ment of India. A special Hotel Consultative Committee has direct access to the Central Government on all matters relating to the trade.

" The foremost amenity provided for visitors to this country is air-conditioned accommodation. 'Grill Rooms' are attached to all first class hotels in India which invariably provide two sets of menus, one European and the other Indian."(J. V. Furtado, Bombay the Beautiful (1957), pp. 83-85.)

To train students in the catering line, a College of Catering and Institutional Management was established at Andheri in June 1954. Before 1954 India did not have a single institute imparting training in hotel manage­ment, The All-India Women's Food Council with the assistance of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations established the college. The Government of Maharashtra recognised it as a technical institution. A scholarship trust has been registered in 1974 by the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Western India, for awarding scholarships for education in catering. The provisions of the Apprentices Act have also been extended to the hotel and restaurant industry since 1968, and about 14 trades such as cook, steward, baker and house-keeper have been brought under its fold.

During the period after 1950, almost four times the hotel industry was subjected to various controls on the serving of meals at parties and functions as also on the courses at a regular meal. During this period rationing was in force for about 12 years at varying levels. In 1966-67 the Hotels and Restaurants Co-operative Service Society Ltd. was established to make separate arrangement for distribution of the rationed articles to the members of the association. With the co-operation of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, the Department of Tourism of the Government of India evolved a scheme according to which hotels and restaurants are classified. This has enabled the creation of a section in the hotels to offer accommodation and services of an international standard to foreigners of different categories. Such hotels are known as Star Hotels, amongst which can be mentioned the following ones : Oberoi Sheraton Hotel, Taj Intercontinental Hotel, Centaur Hotel, Sea Rock Hotel, Hotel President, Sun-N-Sand Hotel, Sea Green Hotel, Hotel Natraj, Juhu Hotel, Shalimar Hotel, etc. Besides the old hotels referred earlier, viz., Taj Mahal, Grand Hotel, West End Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Ritz Hotel and Airlines are still in existence. This list is not exhaustive and is only symbolic.

The hotel occupation includes various trades such as owners and managers of hotels, cook shops, sarais, cafes, restaurants, eating houses and their employees. The total number of workers in this occupation returned during various censuses since 1911 in Bombay are given below :

Year
Persons
Males
Females
1911
5,835
5,013
822
1921
8,584
7,573
1,011
1931
21,113
19,503
1,610
1951
48,524
46,725
1,799
1961
54,985
54,083
902

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LEARNED PROFESSIONS

Teachers, medical practitioners, advocates, engineers, architects, journalists etc., can broadly be grouped under this category. They have a good educational background and specialisation in their respective fields. They have got their own separate organisations which strive for their common interest. In Bombay there are specialists who have earned a national as well as international reputation in almost every field. The city provided a congenial home to top-most doctors, advocates, solicitors, structural and 'design engineers as well as architects and journalists. Many of them distinguished themselves in foreign countries as well. It is, therefore, no wonder that patients from various parts of the country as well as from the Gulf countries flock to Bombay for medical treatment. A number of members of the Bombay Bar have adorned the Bench of the Supreme Court of India from time to time and have earned a name abroad. The city gave birth to many of the most eminent architects and engineers and professors. A number of them were co-opted on various international bodies. After the census authorities, these professions have been classified under various small distinct groups like (i) Letters, Arts, Journalism and Science, (ii) Teaching profession, (iii) Medical profession and (iv) Legal profession.

Letters, Arts, Journalism and Science : A number of persons earn their livelihood from fine arts like music, dancing and acting. The census authorities under the group of letters, arts, journalism and science have included such professionals like artists, music composers, players on musical instruments, writers and related workers, painters, decorators, sculptors, journalists, photographers, etc. These persons are either employed by institutions or give instructions independently to the students of arts. There are also a few persons who have been honoured with awards and prizes for proficiency in different arts and service to the people.

Professionals such as music composers, musicians, singers, actors, dancers, as also the managers and employees of places of public entertainment, race courses, societies and clubs also do a great service to the people through recreation, and in a city like Bombay where the life is monotonous, relaxation through recreation is an essential service. Naturally there are good recreational facilities in the city and the connoisseurs avail of them by patronising those who are engaged in art. There are ballad singing parties, tamashas, dramas, cinema theatres, musicians and singers. There are a number of cinema and drama theatres. Bombay city has every reason to be proud of the best theatre in Asia in the Tata theatre run by the National Council of Performing Arts. The city has a long tradition of theatrical performances over the past about 225 years. A few pages in Chapter 18 of Volume III of this Gazetteer furnish the history of Theatre in Bombay which the reader would definitely find interesting and informative.

The total number of professionals returned during various censuses since 1911 are given below. The number of persons engaged in recreational activities is given separately.

Persons engaged in letters, arts, journalism and science in the city—                                                                              

Year 
Persons
Males
Females

1911

2,733

2,707

26

1921

900

882

18

1931

1,989

1,901

88

1951

3,369

3,232

137

1961

5,622

5,317

305

Persons engaged in recreational activities—

Year 
Persons
Males
Females

1911

1,774

1,436

338

1921

1,631

1,358

273

1931

5,532

5,188

344

1951

15,047

13,777

1,270

1961

14,068

13,122

946

Teaching Profession : The teaching profession includes professors, lecturers, teachers, and research workers. They are employed in the two Universities, 105 colleges, schools and other educational institutions. They meet the growing educational needs of people. The best of education in all the faculties is available in Bombay. Besides general education, professional education is also available. Due to the expansion and quantitative development of educational activities there has been a remarkable increase in the number of persons engaged in this profession which could be seen from the following statement:—

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1911

2,687

2,169

518

1921

2,450

1,914

536

1931

3,350

2,488

862

1951

11,583

7,766

3,817

1961

24,247

10,849

13,398

1971

40,372

15,724

    24,648

Medical Profession : Medical practitioners include physicians, surgeons, ayurvedic and homoeopathic doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, oculists, veterinary surgeons, midwives, nurses, vaccinators, compounders, vaids and hakims. It is a lucrative and prosperous profession and an increasing number of persons aspire to get themselves qualified for it. In Bombay the number of medical practitioners is always on the increase which could be seen from the following statement. The most important aspect of the profession in Bombay is the availability of specialised treatment in all branches of medical science in the hospitals owned by the Greater Bombay Municipal Corporation, the State Government, public trusts, the Bombay Port Trust and private practitioners. During the past about two decades a number of polyclinics have been established by enterprising doctors. They provide a number of facilities under one roof. A few co-operative hospitals such as the Sushrusha Hospital at Dadar have been rendering excellent service to the people. The census statistics about this profession are given below :—

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1911

3,297

2,423

779

1921

3,224

2,409

815

1931

4,383

. 3,109

1,274

1951

13,873

9,407

4,466

1961

17,393

11,674

5,719

1971

27,346

15,952

11,394


Legal Profession: This is also a very prosperous profession in the city. Bombay gave birth to eminent jurists and advocates such as K. M. Munshi, M. C. Chhagla, Justice Bhagawati, Bhulabhai Desai, M. A. Jinnah, Saklatwala, Narayan Chandawarkar, Badruddin Tyabji, K. T. Telang and a galaxy of them.

Due to the existence of the High Court, the Small Causes Courts, Metropolitan Courts, and many Tribunals, eminent lawyers have got sufficient calling. There is also an increasing tendency among the students to study law. The advocates have got their Bar Associations wherein they discuss subjects of common interests. The sub-joined statement gives the number of lawyers of all kinds besides Kazis, law agents, mukhtiars, lawyers' clerks, petition writers as per the censuses since 1911. Censuses of 1961 and 1971 have included the number of judges and magistrates in the number of those in the legal profession.

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1911

1,044

1,042

2

1921

870

846

24

1931

1,994

1,974

20

1951

2,769

2,645

124

1961

3,466

3,341

125

1971

5,467

5,242

225


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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Bombay, the capital of Maharashtra, houses the regional offices and central offices of many of the Ministries of the Government of India. It is the headquarters of the two railway zones, viz. Central Railway and Western Railway which provide employment to a huge size of personnel. The Municipal Corporation has also considerable number of employees under its jurisdiction. Consequently there is a huge army of personnel engaged in public administration. Although it may not be scientific to classify the employment in public services into miscellaneous occupations, it is deemed desirable to furnish some relevant information and census data about them in this section.

A detailed analysis of the structure of employment, trends therein, the organised and unorganised sectors of employment in the City and the condition of the working class has been given in Chapter 9 on Economic Development, in this Volume. Hence the information only about a few aspects is given below.

Under public administration the census authorities of 1911, 1921 and 1931 included such categories, as (i) service of the State, (ii) service of the native and foreign States, (iii) municipal and other local service, and (iv) village officials and servants other than watchmen. The 1951 Census under the group of Health, Education and Public Administration, included (i) village officers and servants including watchmen, (ii) employees of municipalities and local bodies of State and Union Government, but not including persons classifiable under any other division or sub-division. The 1961 and 1971 Censuses grouped the employees under administrative, executive and managerial workers, and administrative and executive officials, Government and local bodies, respectively. Moreover, the censuses have excluded persons belonging to the learned professions, like teachers, doctors, lawyers and engineers, some of whom although in the service of Government have been grouped separately under other appropriate headings. The employees enumerated under the heading 'traffic and communications' as also the policemen and the defence personnel have not been taken into account for the discussion of the occupation under consideration. Besides, the total number of public employees taken into account by the 1911 and 1921 Censuses are exclusive of their dependents.

The census statistics of public employees in Bombay are furnished below :—

Number of Public Employees in Bombay since 1911                                                                          

Year 
Persons 
Males 
Females

1911

9,593

8,980

613

1921

10,373

8,141

2,232

1931

35,141

33,426

1,715

1951

46,521

43,386

3,135

1961

67,816

65,581

2,235

The emoluments and service conditions of these employees have been revised from time to time so as to enable them, as far as possible, to cope up with the increased cost of living. Two pay commissions were appointed during the last thirty years. Of this the recommendations of the first commission known as the Badkas Commission were implemented in 1969. The second pay commission known as the Bhole Commission submitted its report in March 1977 and its recommendations were implemented by the Government of Maharashtra in 1979. Similarly the Government of India revised the emoluments of their employees from time to time.

The problem of accommodation of public employees is very acute in Greater Bombay. A large number of employees reside in far off places such as Kasara, Karjat, Pune, Panvel, Vasai, Virar and make daily trips to attend offices in Bombay. They are also required to pay exorbitant house rent and advance payment (pagari) running into a few thousands. Of course, Government does provide them accommodation. There are hundreds of tenements for State Government employees at Bandra, Cotton Green, Worli Chawls, Haji Ali, and at many scattered Government buildings. The Government of India and other constituents of public administration have also provided residential quarters for their employees. The problem of accommodation of the public employees in Greater Bombay district, however, is ever increasing.

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DOMESTIC AND PERSONAL SERVICES

The occupations described so far do not exhaust all fields of human activity. Some occupations have become indispensable especially in an urban centre like Bombay. They are grouped under domestic servants, tailors, barbers, washermen, hoteliers, florists, etc. Whosoever knows a little bit of technique required for such services finds a job in Bombay, at least such persons will not starve. These occupations are described below.

Those who are engaged in such services have established their own unions. Even the domestic servants have also been unionised. Their union is known as Gharelu Kamgar Sangh. These unions are very alert and always fight for the interest of their members. They often strive to increase their earnings commensurate with the general increase in the standard of living. If their demands are not conceded by the employers they either go on strike or adopt such tactics as  ‘go slow ' or ' work to rule '.

Domestic Servants: Growth of urbanisation, break-up of the joint family system, rise in the standard of living and increase in money incomes have led to a rise in demand for domestic servants. In fact there is a dearth of persons volunteering for domestic servants in the city. The domestic and personal services included the services rendered by cooks, house-keepers, maids, waiters, water carriers, door-keepers and watch­men. These servants generally belong to low income group and come from rural areas of up-Ghat andKonkan.They are paid monthly wages and in addition some of these workers are provided with free food, clothing, and sometimes shelter. The total number of these workers in the city as per the censuses since 1911 is given in the following statement:—
                                                                            

Year 
Persons
Males
Females

1911

54,876

45,139

9,737

1921

39,070

30,306

8,764

1931

48,501

40,605

7,905

1951

86,875

65,784

21,091

1961

1,00,320

69,626

30,694

1971

1,28,562

95,225

33,337

Hair cutting : The traditional characteristics of barbers serving the clientele have undergone a tremendous change. However, one can see a few itinerant barbers in places like Kalbadevi, Foras Road, Thakur-dwar, Girgaum, Grant Road, as also in suburban areas. They visit the customers' houses with leather bags, or small tin boxes. Beauty parlours have come into existence where women customers get their hair dressed into different styles. They are confined to the areas where the affluent society is housed.

The occupation is generally followed by the persons belonging to the Nhavi community as a hereditary one. Mainly barbers from up-Ghat and Konkan areas are found in Bombay. Many of them have come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Gujarat. Persons who have initiative and enterprise have established well furnished hair-cutting saloons. A number of persons from other castes have also started hair-cutting saloons in Bombay. In most of the shops persons are employed either on daily, weekly or monthly wages.

The sub-joined statement gives the number of persons engaged in this occupation during the census years since 1911. The census authorities have included in this occupation such categories as barbers, hair-dressers, beauticians, and wig-makers.                             

Year
Persons
Males 
Females

1911

4,374

4,370

4

1921

4,616

4,590

26

1931

3,612

3,574

38

1951

9,940

9,836

104

1961

10,764

10,657

107

1971

11,772

11,542

230

Tailoring : The occupation has flourished to a very great extent during the last forty years and has been an important avenue of employment which can be seen from the following statement. More and more people are drawn towards it as it provides employment throughout the year :—

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1911

8,980

8,249

731

1921

10,874

10,079

795

1931

12,408

11,135

1,273

1951

24,788

23,549

1,239

1961

35,257

32,934

2,323

1971

51,408

47,909

3,499

The census authorities have included in the occupation of tailoring such persons as tailors, milliners, dress makers, embroiders, hat makers, sewers and cutters, upholsterers, darners, etc. The occupation is no more restricted to the persons belonging to the Shimpi community. In fact the occupation in Greater Bombay is followed mostly by persons belonging to other castes and communities. The Bombay tailors have always been the pioneers in the changing fashions in the wearing apparel. While the bulk of tailors accept tailoring jobs from the individual customers, there are quite a few who perform the job for the makers of ready-made garments. This sector of the occupation is expanding since the nineteen fifties particularly due to the rise in export of garments.

Laundering : About fifty years ago the occupation was mostly followed by Dhobis, traditional washermen. The Dhobis then used to visit the houses of the customers for collecting clothes and again for delivering them. Washing was then done at the Dhobi Talao on a large scale until the new ghat at Mahalaxmi was provided by the Municipal Corporation. Besides Mahalaxmi, clothes are now washed in bulk at Walkeshwar, Banganga and Parel.

The owners of the big laundries get the clothes washed by paid workers. The big establishments such as Band Box, Leach and Weborny and Beauty Arts make use of electricity and modern equipment and machinery and do dry cleaning or petrol washing of terywool, woollen and silk clothes. A few establishments also undertake dyeing work besides washing. The occupation in general provides employment throughout the year.

The following statement gives the number of persons employed in this occupation as per censuses since 1911 :—

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1911

6,705

5,597

1,108

1921

5,582

4,775

807

1931

6,255

5,660

595

1951

14,315

13,871

444

1961

15,967

15,301

666

1971

17,687

17,207

480

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RELIGIOUS WORKERS

People in Bombay belong to different religions and almost all of them perform various religious rites. In spite of the decline of importance of tiruals and ceremonies, there is a brisk demand for preachers. The demand is at its peak during the month of Shravan and the marriage season. Many families have their own family preachers. They are paid in cash, while they receive the articles used in worship such as rice, cocoanut, betel-nut, etc. The earnings of a preacher have increased commensurately with the rise in cost of living.

In the case of Christians religious services have been institutionalised with an hierarchy of ordained religious workers who receive their remuneration from the institutions to which they are attached. Among the Muslims, the Kazis and the Mullas also receive remunerations both in kind and cash at the time of different festivities.

The census authorities have included in this category such persons as readers, pilgrim conductors, circumcisers, priests, ministers, monks, nuns, religious mendicants, servants in religious edifices, temples, burial or burning ground service, etc. The following statement gives the number of such religious workers since 1911 Census :—
                                                                               

Year   Persons  Males  Females

1911

850

800

50

1921

250

210

40

1931

2,971

2,869

102

1951

5,098

4,911

187

1961

3,502

3,436

66

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SWEET- MEATS

The oldest known sweet-meat manufacturer in Bombay was Amichand Govindji, who established his business about 200 years ago at Bori Bunder, at a spot then known as the Three Gates. He was the first man to introduce the manufacture of halva in Bombay. It was then exported to many parts of India, China, Europe and Africa. The employees in the business were Marwadi Brahmans who were then paid Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 per month with boarding and lodging.

The following ingredients were generally used in the manufacture of sweet-meats : Flour (rice, wheat, gram), sugar, ghee, dry fruits, saffron, spices, cardamom, nutmeg, rosewater and other essences. The ghee used in the manufacture of sweet-meats then cost from Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 per maund.

Subsequently the business developed considerably and a large number of varieties of sweet-meats were prepared. The number of sweet-meat manufacturers also increased. The 1901 Census returned 350 sweet-meat makers and 1,400 sellers. They earned a good profit. The daily out-turn and sale in 1901 was 12 to 15 maunds. The price of sweet-meats varied from 3 to 4 annas (19 to 25 paise) per sher (about 900 grams).

The following statement gives the number of persons employed in this occupation since 1911 :—                                                                            

Year  
Persons
Males
Females
1911
2,106

1,948

158

1921

298

294

4

1931

580

573

7

1951

4,221

3,874

347

1961

4,849

4,532

317

1971

7,380

7,200

180

The 1951 Census has mentioned two categories viz., (i) bakeries and other food industries and (ii) sweet-meats and confectionery preparations. However, the census has given the total number of persons employed under the first category only. Likewise, there are no separate figures of persons engaged in bakeries and sweet-meat making in 1961 and 1971 as the censuses of those two years have grouped together bakers, confectioners, candy and sweet-meat makers. Although every locality has some sweet-meat shops, a few firms have earned a city-wide reputation. They have a big turnover of trade. Some of them export the products to the Middle East. Besides Maharashtrians, the migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Sindh, Punjab and Rajasthan are found in this business.

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BAKERIES

(The history of Bakeries is furnished in Chapter 5 of this Volume.)

The consumption of bakery products which was confined to the Europeans and Parsis in the previous century is not now restricted to a few people of particular classes. To a considerably large number of people bread is now a convenient item of food. The first bakery in the city was established about 170 years ago by a Goanese in the Old Hanuman Cross Lane wherein all the Goanese Christians then used to reside. Besides conducting his bakery, the owner kept an eating house for Europeans, which was well patronised. He started his business with a capital of Rs. 500 and the profit of his trade enabled him to live luxuriously. He then supplied bread to the inmates of the Government House and the Commissariat Department, and had about 300 customers. His staff consisted of 25 Goanese servants and a master baker, besides several Hindu women who were employed in grinding wheat. These Goanese servants besides being paid their wages were allowed to sell bread and thereby used to realise about Rs. 15 a month. The pay of the master baker was about Rs. 35 and that of servants about Rs. 12 per month with boarding and lodging. The price of superfine bread prepared from wheat known aspishi was about 12 paise a loaf.

In the Muhammadan quarters ovens called tannur were used for baking nan bread. The owners of these bakeries, nanvais ki dukan, were mostly Mughals, but a few were owned by Muhammadans also. These tannurs are still found in the Musalman mohollas.

The consumption of processed foods, canned fish, meat, fruit and vege­table products, food products with protein, cakes, biscuits and breads has become a habit of people in Bombay. Especially, the consumption of biscuits and breads is very common among the well-to-do.

The following statement shows the number of persons employed in this occupation since 1911:-

Year  
Persons
Males
Females

1911

1,212

1,131

81

1921

732

698

34

1931

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

1951

4,221

3,874

347

1961

4,849

4,532

317

1971

7,380

7,200

180

At present the occupation of bakeries is organised on a scientific basis and considerably big undertakings like Modern Bakeries (India), Britannia Biscuit Co. and Aryan Bakery have established their factories in the city. Of these, the Modern Bakeries is a Government of India undertaking. There are also some big biscuit factories such as Parle Products Private Ltd., and Shangrila Food Products Ltd. These establish­ments produce a variety of products. The bakers in the city have organised the Bakers' Association, while the employees are also unionised in their own interest.

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HAWKERS

The range of economic activity in Bombay is so wide that any effort to classify it into clear-cut divisions and to enumerate them and give an account of each one is just impossible. Here numerous persons earn by selling cowdung or mud, by manufacturing sophisticated machinery as also by practising modfern medicine. A number of women earn their livelihood by selling vegetables from door to door. Some persons go round for selling fruit, fanciful articles like glass bangles and toys. Some collect rags, pieces of papers, worn out foot-wears and sell them. In posh areas like Fort persons earn even by giving directions to the driver to park his car in a place crowded with other cars, by cleaning cars as also by catching an empty cab for a passenger during busy hours. A number of boys earn by selling newspapers. There are persons who earn by delivering tiffin boxes to the office-going population. The head-load workers and the persons who push handcarts are found in great number in the busy business centres of the city. The hand-cartmen are seldom owners of the carts. They often hire them either from the shopkeepers or mukadams. Their earnings and employment conditions are somewhat better than those of the head-load workers. Quite a good number of persons also earn by doing boot-polish, by selling Wada-pav or bhajias, parched groundnut seeds and gram, lottery tickets, etc. There are thousands, of persons working in the docks known as Mathadi Kamgar.

This shows that the persons who have got imagination, and who do not feel shy of doing any work have got immense scope to earn in Bombay. The result is that over a period of time a number of such miscellaneous occupations have come in vogue.

Amongst them hawkers occupy an important place in the occupational structure of the city and its suburbs. They trade in a variety of articles right from bananas to costly imported articles. The general explosion of population after Independence, and the usual influx of people from almost all the States to Bombay have swelled the population of the city. This accompanied by the paucity of business premises and the exorbitant price for obtaining them has encouraged the calling of hawking in the city.

It can generally be observed that persons from southern States and Sindhis form the majority of the hawkers. They are found in the better selling areas and busy streets. The following statement gives the number of authorised hawkers in the city since 1911 as per census statistics. It may, however, be noted that the census authorities have included such persons as itinerant traders, pedlars, street vendors of drink and foodstuffs, canvassers and news vendors into hawkers :—                                                                         

Year 
Persons
Males 
Females

1911

1,808

1,695

113

1921

3,258

2,812

446

1951

21,943

20,127

1,816

1961

31,837

27,963

3,874

1971

37,525

35,035

2,490

The control over hawkers in Bombay was first contemplated in 1910 when the Government of Bombay pointed out that hawkers were causing obstruction on foot-path. However, actual licensing of hawkers was not thought of till 1921. The hawkers are now by rule required to get licences for doing business. The municipal administration of the city has divided the authorised hawkers into various categories such as itinerant, roving hand carts, stationary hand carts, and squatters. In spite of various mea­sures taken by the municipality a large number of unauthorised hawkers remain.

Both authorised and unauthorised hawkers are now posing a problem of law and order which at times assumes a political tinge also. The problem has got two sides. Firstly, people might think that the hawkers are providing service by making available goods at a lower price. Secondly, the traffic problem in Bombay has assumed such a serious proportion that the occupation of road space or footpath by hawkers is a more serious menace. And hence the necessity of removing the encroachment on the streets and foot-paths and of reducing the vast number of unauthorised hawkers.

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GOLDSMITHY

The frantic craze for ornaments is found in almost all the sections of the Indian society. The business in gold and gold ornaments is concentrated in Javeri market and in Dadar, Girgaum and Opera House areas. A number of shops and big firms have come up. Quite a few of them are also found in suburban areas.

Making of gold ornaments is a hereditary occupation of the Sonars among Hindus. They inherit the skill and craftsmanship from their forefathers. A few of them are employed in big shops, while others set up their own small shops.

According to the first edition of this Gazetteer (1909) there were about 4,400 goldsmiths who found constant and lucrative occupation in Bombay. In normal course the number should have increased considerably after a period of about seventy years. However, the Gold Control Rules of 1963 not only affected the business adversely but also threw a number of goldsmiths out of employment. The following statement gives the number of goldsmiths in Bombay since 1931 Census:—

Year

Persons

Males

Females

1931

2,316

2,288

28

1951

6,697

6,624

73

1961

7,860

7,816

44

1971

6,175

6,090

85

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PAN-BIDI SHOPS

Pan-bidi shops number about six to eight thousand in the city. These shops neither contribute much to the economy nor do they provide employment to a large number. However, they cater to the need of the citizens. Most of the shops are run by the owners themselves without any paid employees. The earnings of the owners are quite handsome. The total collection of an average shop per day may be between Rs. 50 and Rs. 300. The Maghai betel-leaves are imported from Bihar. The prices of betel-leaves which are available at the panpatti shops vary from Rs. 15 to Rs. 25 per hundred and those of betel-nuts from Rs. 15 to Rs. 30 per kilo. Generally Banarasi and Kanpuri catechu (kath) which costs about Rs. 100 and Rs. 70 per kilo, respectively, is used in these shops. Tobacco of good quality is imported from Hyderabad, Kanpur and Lucknow. The price of a masala pan depends upon the contents used in it, and it may be anything between fifty paise and Rs. 100. The costliest panpatti consists of warkh, silver foil or gold foil, kasturi musk, keshar-saffron; and various spices as also invigorant and nourishing articles.

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