From a UK paper 1908.
Even with the extraordinarily low-price cigarettes with which American manufacturers have flooded India hardly hold their own with the native "biri."
In the Bhandara "Gazeteer," lately published it is stated that the biri is now made in large quantities at Tirora. The tobacco is brought from as far a field as Madras, and Assam, and yet a thousand are sold for ten annas and even less. It is a question of cheap labour, the wages being paid a little over one pice for rolling a hundred cigarettes. A thousand persons, men,women, and children are engaged in this industry at Tirora alone, and they seem quite content with their earnings.
biri seems to be cut tobacco rolled in leaf.
pice is a small unit of currency.