Chawls were the multi-storeyed structures built and owned by private landlord such as merchants, bankers and building contractors. Each chawl was divided into smaller one-room tenements.
(i) No private toilets. Many families could reside at a time in a tenement.
(ii) People used to keep windows closed because of the close proximity to filthy putter, buffalo stables etc.
(iii) Due to water scarcity the people quarrelled every morning for a turn at the tap. Streets and neighbourhood areas were used for activities such as cooking, washing, sleeping.
(iv) Liquor shops and Akharas came up in empty spaces. Streets were used for leisure activities.
(v) Chawls were also a place for exchanging news about strikes, riots, demonstrations, etc.