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Friday, February 1, 2013

KGF - EARLY LIVING CONDITIONS

During the early years of the John Taylor and Sons Company, the workers lived in Miners lines that were actually Tin shacks with little or no ventilation. They had no facilities and no access to clean potable drinking water, toilet facilities, etc. They just used the open fields to do their business.



The unhygienic living areas also added to the spread of epidemics. Malaria was rampant with the large scale breeding of mosquitoes in the swamps. The illiterate men placed their trust in native medicine men when they fell ill, who promised a quick cure for their ailments, as the medical facilities were not readily available.

A new social evil also took root with the brewing and sale of illicit County liquor or ‘Sarai’ by unscrupulous elements. The miners soon became victims of these vices. They needed to drown their sorrows and relax after their hard and frightening day’s work.

This illicit Country Brew was made by fermenting lots of stuff including old batteries, dirty and polluted water, spoilt fruit and vegetables, molasses, jaggery, malt, mentholated spirit, etc. Sometimes this illicit and spurious brew became a ‘Killer Brew’ and many men succumbed to the reactions brought on by consuming it.

Another social evil that surfaced were the innumerable mobile Gambling Joints. The families of the miners were the ones worst affected by this social curse as the meager earnings of the men were fritted away by gambling and drinking, leaving them to starve.

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