Skip to main content

Full text of "Contribution Of Handicrafts In Employment And Income..."

See other formats


ti 

And Income Generation in 


GUI INSTITUTE OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES 


Sector 0, Aliganj Housing Scheme 
Lucknow-226 020 


?! 



Working Paper No. 12?: .- 


I 

Y3X03KIT AJSIO XNCOM3B GElSIE^^aXC'O^ 
IN UTTARAKHAND 


p?7 


G.S. MEHTA 



Working Paper Mo. 127 


CONTRIBUTION OB’ HANDICRAFTS X3SI 
EMPDOYiyCElSIT AND XTSTOOME OEISIElRiVl? ION 

XN UTTARAKHAND, 


A larger segment of population, particularly of those 
with little or no land to cultivate, is facing the condition 
of poverty in rural areas, is a direct result of lack of 
employment generation in rural areas has been a dominating 
theme of discussion on the recent policy frame of planning 
strategies. Hence an approach to integrate productive 
employment creation with growth in rural areas is emphasized 
while planning for rural development* The need for this 
approach is felt because; firstly, the phenomenon of growing 
rural poverty, whose overflow is supposed to aggravate urban 
poverty, cannot be tackled unless the rural poor are provided 
with suitable employment opportunities to generate income on 
a sustained basis; and, secondly, such employment opportuni- 
ties should be provided, as far as possible, within the rural 

^ , . » . j 

economy itself as labour 


The agriculture sector is the main source of employment 
and income of people living in rural areas which, however, is 
eventually not capable for creation of additional employment 
opportunities to the extent that rural labourforce is 
increasing, even after several efforts has been undertaken 
under the planned development strategies during recent past 
in regard to increase crop production. The rural traditional 
household based enterprises offer another source in providing 
employment opportunities to the rural population, Tn these 
activities the rural labourforce is engaged partly or fully. 

The rural traditional handicraft activities which are 
based on locally developed skills and technology of produ- 
ction and are in operation on household basis for past- 
several generations, have an important role in providing 
gainful employment to rural labourforce with very little 
level, of investment. But during recent past a significant 
number of handicraft units have linguised due to various 
reasons such as significant reduction in the demand and 
supply conditions of crafts, variations in choice of cotisu- 
mers with the similar types of products manufactured by non- 
household. modern sectors. In such situation the traditional 
craft, producers are unable to withstand competitions with 
non-household industries despite several types of protection 
measures and incentives ate granted by the government in 
favour of their proper development. Consequently, apart from 
low level of labour productivity, some of the most conspicu- 
ous constraints in the expansion and healthy growth of handi- 


3 


craft activities are inadequate supply of raw materials, 
finance and inefficient marketing system prevailing in the 
sale of handicraft products. These problems are well compo- 
unded by a number of such factors operating both on the 
demand and supply ide, which empinge on .the profitability 
and growth prospects of the sector. 


THE STUDY 

In consideration of the importance of handicraft acti- 
vities in regards for providing productive employment and 
income opportunities to rural people, the present study was 
undertaken in district Almora of Uttarakhand region. The 
Uttarakhand region is among the most underdevel oped regions 
of India, is situated on the Northern part of Uttar Pradesh. 
It extends on an area of about 51.25 sq.kms. The population 
of the region as per 1991 census is 5.87 million. 
Agriculture is the main occupation of 77 per cent workers and 
92 per cent of the population is depending on it for their 
livelihood in the region. The average size of land holdings 
are very small (0.99 hectare) and per cultivator net area 
sown is 0.61 hectare. Average yield rates of foodgrains per 
hectare land are only 14.60 quintals. 

Thus agriculture is mainly providing employment in the 
region and a major burden of the growing labourforce has 
fallen on it due to non-avail. ability of employment opportu- 



4 


nity outside the farm sector. However, the initiatives 
undertaken under the various planned development strategies 
towards the development of agriculture and to increase per 
hectare, productivity have been almost unsuccessful due to 
certain geographical and other regional problems. The 
technology used in the farming system is outdated which can- 
not be replaced by modern scientifically improved technolo- 
gies due to the problem of the existence of small size of 
terrace holdings. In fact the modern developed fertilizers, 
pesticides and chemicals which can boost agricultural produ- 
ctivity, have also certain limitations in their application. 
These, improved inputs can be applied only in irrigated land 
area while the net irrigated land in Uttarakhand is not even 
one-fourth of the total cultivated land area. 

As a result of such problems imposed by nature in the 
development of agriculture in Uttarakhand it is rather 
difficult task to increase per hectare land productivity and 
provide gainful employment opportunities to the increasing 
labourforce in the region. 

Thus, in Uttarakhand, unprecedent ly increasing volume of 
population and larger addition of population in the category 
.of labour force for last couple of decades has been a serious 
problem and. an issue of discussions among the planners and 
policy makers. A rapid, growth of job seekers has emerged as 
one of the major and disconcerting social and economic, 
problem. Because the growth of employment opportunities has 


5 



lagged behind than the increasing trend of labourforce and 
the result has been a high and increasing extent of unemploy- 
ment. As a consequence, a serious problem of the region is 
well experienced by a high rate of out-migration of male 
labourforce outside the region in the plain areas for the 
purpose of seeking employment. 


OBJECTIVES AND THE METHODOIiOGY 
OF TOE STUDY 


Considering into account the nnprecedently increasing 
problem of employment existing in Uttarakhand the present 
study attempts to highlight the situation of employment and 
possibilities to generate additional level of employment 
opportuni.ti.es in the handicraft activities in the region. 

The handicraft activities in the region are mainly 
located in district Almora, which are specialised in the 
manufacture of woollen, ringal and. copper products, A sample 
of 528 handicraft units, consisting of 250 woollen, 211 
ringal and. remaining 67 copper units was selected for the 
purpose of detailed study from the areas where these 
particular activities were mainly concentrated. It was known 
from the office of the Development Cdmitiissioner Handicrafts 
that there were around 1700 craft persons engaged i.n 
different types of crafts in district Almora. So, we have 
attempted to cover at least 30 per cent of the different types 
of existing handicraft units for the detailed study. The 


6 


data collection was carried out with the help of structured 
questionnaire. 

STATUS OF TFT HANDICRAFT ACTIVITIES 

The handicraft activities in the district are function- 
ing in the yards of the homestead of the proprietors with the 
help of basically family labour. All these three types of 
handicrafts mentioned previously are mostly traditional 
industries carried out from past several generations, by 
households belonging to certain social groups, as a part of 
the village economy and social structure. The manufacture of 
woollen products has been carried out by the caste known as 
Bhotia (Scheduled Tribe) while ringa.l based products and 
iiduc.ts are manufactured by Scheduled Caste people. 

However, during recent past the group of Shyatriya Castes has 
taken up the woollen handicraft. 

The main crafts which are manufactured by woollen units 
are Pankhi , Shawl, Thu Iroa, Carpet, Sweater and Paschmina. The 
ringa.l handicraft units products are Basket, Mat and several 
other things which are used for carrying out agricui tura.1 
activjtl.es and the collection of forest products- The copper 
handicraft uni ts are ’ involved tin the production of various 
types of kitchen utens i 1 s> metal Qrna'ments and pu j a items. 
The machinery, equipments and small tools used in the produc- 
tion of different types of handicraft products were developed 
past several generations ago by the local craftmen. The main 


machinery required for the production of copper crafts are 
known as hammers, scissors, fans, holders, cutters, etc. 
which are manufactured by concerned handicraft households 
themselves. Machines such as different types of ranch, drum, 
rahat, bageshwa ry charkha and new model charkha are used for 
the production of woollen products. These all machines exce- 
pt new model charkha are manufactured by local carpenters 
only. The production of ringal products is carried out by 
different size of knives which are manufactured by the con- 
cerned craft households. 

The raw materials required for the production of differ- 
ent handicrafts is mainly available in the Uttarakhand itself 
However, during recent past the availability of main raw 
materials required for the production of wool Ten and copper 
products has reduced substantially which have adversely affe- 
cted the production capacity of large number of handicraft 
units. Ringal is the only raw material used for the produc- 
tion of ringal handicraft products which, is available locally 
in the forests, even some craftroen have grown it on their 
waste and fallow land area, 

STRUCTURE OF' Fb'TPT O’hdTVIFTSrX' , 

The handicraft activity with low investment, provide 
lower level of earnings to the workforce engaged on them. 
Irrespective of this fact these activities have universally 


8 


been well considered as an important and integral source for 
providing employment opportunities to the .increasing level of 
labourforce in the rural areas. The handicraft activities 
functioning at household level of the craftmen employ their 
own family labour. The school going children also equally 
participate in their traditional household activities while 
they are away from schools. 

While low capital requirement is an attractive feature 
of handicraft activities, particularly from the view point of 
a capital scarce economy, they assume importance in a stra- 
tegy for creating employment and earnings in underdeveloped 
regions such as Uttarakhand. The analysis of our data depi- 
cted that handicraft activities are providing employment to a 
large extent of both men as well as women labourforce, even a 
sizeable number of children are also engaged in the activity. 
Of the total workforce (1271) engaged in the handicrafts the 
share of men and women workforce accounts for 46 per cent and 
44 per cent respectively. Remaining .10 per cent share is 
found for children. Across different types of handicraft 
activities the participation of child workers is observed 
highest in the copper <26 per cent) followed by woollen (10 
per cent) handicrafts while it is lowest in the ringal (3 per 
cent) handicrafts. This indicates that the coming young 
generation is well favouring to participate and survive their 
traditional copper handicraft activity than the other handi- 
crafts in Uttarakhand. Accordingly the domination of male 
workers is found in the ringa.l (54 per cent) and copper (46 


9 


per cent) handicrafts while the proportion of women is signi- 
ficantly at higher level (49 per cent) than their male count- 
erpart (41 per cent) in the woollen handicrafts. This is 
basically dare to the fact that the production of woollen 
handicrafts require less physical stre gth as compared to the 
production of remaining two other handicrafts. 

Table 1 Structure of Employment 


Type of Units 


Workers (Nos.) 


Male 

Female 

Chi Idren 

All 

Woollen 

263(40.52) 

321(49.46) 

65(10.01) 

649(100.00) 

Ringal 

244(54.59) 

191(42.73) 

12 ( 2.68) 

447(100.00) 

Copper 

31(46.29) 

49(28,00) 

45(25.71 ) 

175(100.00) 

All Units, 

588(46.26) 

561(44.14) 

3.2 2 ( 9.60) 

1271(100.00) 


Note : Figures- -in brackets indicate the percentages of total 
workers of respective craft. 


Further,, ' /it is observed that the handicraft, act! vj.ti® eg 
in fact, have relatively small number of workers; per unit.. j n 
the sample units as a whole, the average number of worker's 
per unit employed is 2.32; it is highest for woollen (2.60 
workers) followed by ringal (2.12 workers) and lowest for 
copper (1,94 workers) handicrafts. Highest proportion of all 
units (49 per cent), including 54 per cent copper, 52 per 
cent ringal and 47 per cent woollen units are seen employing 
on an average of two workers each and around 3.6 per cent 


10 


units in all consisting highest for ringal ( 18 per cent) 
followed by woollen (37 per cent) and lowest from copper (3 
per cent) are employing more than 4 workers while the lowest 
proportion of units are run alone by the entrepreneurs of the 
concerned handicraft units. The per unit average mandays 
employment is estimated to be 624 which is highest- for 
woollen (740 days) followed by copper (616 days) and lowest 
for ringal (481 days) units (Table 2). 


Table 2 : Distribution of Units by Size of Employment 


Size of 
Employment 


Number 

of Units 



Woollen 

Ringal 

Copper 

All 

Units 

1 

24 ( 9.60) 

31(14,69) 

20(29.85) 

75 ( 

14.20) 

2 

118(47.20) 

107(50.71) 

36(53.73) 

261 ( 

49.43) 

3 

66(26.40) 

35(16.59) 

19(28.36) 

110 ( 

20.83) 

4 & above 

42(16.80) 

38(18.01) 

2 ( 2.99) 

82 ( 

15.53) 

All Units 

250(100.0) 

21.1 (100.0), 

67(100.0) 

528(100.00) 


Note : Figures in brackets indicate the percentages of total 
respective craft units. 


EMPLOYMENT BY SEX 

The analysis on sex-wise distribution of workers reveals 
that the participation of women workers in different handi- 
crafts is very remarkable because these activities are run on 


household basis as a traditional activity of the concerned 
craft households. As we found that only 19 per cent of the 
units are functioning without employing women workers as 
against 6 per cent units which are not employing men workers. 


Table 3 : Distribution of Units hy Size of 
Employment of Different Sex 


Employment by Sex 


Number 

of Units 



Woollen 

Ringal 

Copper 

All Units 

Units with 
male workers 

217(86.80) 

211(100.0) 

67(100.0) 

495(93.75) 

Units without 
male workers 

33( 1.3.20) 

- 

- 

33 ( 6.25) 

Units with 
female workers 

231(92.40) 

150(71.10) 

47(70.15) 

428(71.06) 

Units without 
female workers 

19 ( 7.60) 

61(28.90) 

20(29.85) 

100(18.94) 

Units with 
child workers 

34(13.605 

7 ( 3.32) 

45(67.16) 

86(12.63) 

Units without 
child workers 

216(86.40) 

204(96.68) 

22(32.84) 

442(87.37) 

All Units 

250(100.0) 

211(100.0) 

67(100.0) 

528(100.0) 

Average days 
of Employment: 



A; ; 


Men 

281 

257 : 

303 : 

273 

Women,: bpl 

318 V; 

194 

230 

268 

Child 

138 

141 

1 21 

134 

All Groups 

285 

227 

235 ; 

258 


Figures in brackets indicate the percentages of total 
units of respective crafts. 


Note : 


12 


Approximately 13 per cent units are reported to have been 
employing child labourers in their respective units. However 
women workers are seen equally participating with their male 
counterparts in almost all types of handicrafts, though the 
proportions of women workers are lagging behind to men 
workers particularly in the copper and ringal handicrafts. 
Almost equal proportion of (29 per cent) both ringal and 
copper units are not employing any women labourforce in. their 
respective units. However, the absorption of women workers 
in the production of wollen handicraft is seen quite satisfa- 
ctory as compared to other handicrafts. Only 8 per cent of 
the units were found not engaging any women labourforce as 
against 13 per cent of woollen units were also functioning 
without the involvement any male labourforce in the concerned 
activity . 

MONDAY S EMPI OiiTTVJElNT 

The distribution of workers according to the mandays 
employment reveals that on an average a worker gets employ- 
ment in the concerned craft activity for about 258 days in a 
year. However, the corresponding figures for men is relati- 
vely higher (273 days) as compared to women (268 days) 
because the women workers have to involve themselves in. 
various other household activities. The. child workers are 
noted finding jobs in the handicrafts for nearly 134 days in 


13 


a year. The wollen handicraft is seen providing employment 
to workers for much higher number of days (285) as compared 
to copper (235 days) and ringal handicrafts (227 days). As 
far as the. mandays employment of women workers is concerned 
it depicted that the employment opportunities available to 
women in copper (230 days) and ringal (194 days) handicrafts 
are relatively at lower extent than their men counterpart. 
But in woollen handicrafts the women workers are observed 
getting employment opportunity for higher number of days (318 
days) than the male workers (281 days). Accordingly, the 
days of employment for child workers are. registered to be 
highest in the ringal handicrafts (141 days) followed by 
woollen handicrafts (138 days) lowest in copper handicrafts 
(121 days). Per unit mandays employment are also found sig- 
nificantly at higher extent for men workers than the women 
workers in most of the handicraft actitiviti.es except in the 
case of woollen handicrafts the figures of mandays employment 
for women workers constritute significantly much higher (408 
days.) as compared to men workers (296 days). It was also 
indicated that most, labourforce find employment opportunities 
in different handicraft activities for above 200 days in a 
year. Among male workers, over 74 per cent of them, compri- 
sing all workers from copper followed, by 84 per cent workers 
from ringal and 66 per cent from wollen ^landj crafts have 
found work for more than 200 days in: a year . However, among 
women workers over 82 per cent, more than men workers, consi- 
sting highest from woollen (98 per cent) followed by copper 
(88 per cent) and ringal (53 per cent) handicrafts are found 


14 


getting employment opportunity for over 200 days in a year. 
But among child workers, a majority of them (62 per cent) 
have reported that they work on their respective household 
handicraft activity for 100 to 200 days during the whole 
year . 

PRODUCTIVITY EFFICIENCY OF 
THE IrJFNKJO X C RAFT ACT X V I T X E S 

It has generally pointed out that the low level of 
capital investment and backward technoloygy used in the 
manufacture of handicraft products are the main cause for the 
law level of productivity and income per unit or per worker, 
There-f ore, most households do not desire to adopt 

handicraft activity as a source of their employment and 
income. So that only a. small size of households among a 
particular social group of population have been engaged m 
these activities for past several generations making them as 
a traditional household activity. Therefore, an attempt has 
been made in this analysis to examine the production 
efficiency and value added of the craft units along with the 
pattern of per unit value of capital investment and workers 
employed on different type of handicraft units . A look at 
these indicators shows that the value of production on the 
value of per unit of investment is much higher in favour of 
all. handicrafts, it reaches highest to over four-folds for 
copper followed by over 100 per cent for woollen and 73 peer 


15 


Table 4 : Some Indicators of Efficiency of Handicrafts 


(in Rs . ) 


Efficiency of the Units 


Type o 

if Unit 


Wool len 

Ringal 

Copper 

All Units 

Productivity per worker 

4695 

160 0 

1 0060 

4346 

Value added per unit of 





investment 

0.58 

0.71 

1.70 

0.71 

Value added per worker 

2613 

1510 

3725 

2378 

Per unit productivity 

12189 

3390 

26277 

10460 

Per unit value added 

6784 

3198 

9730 

5725 

Productivity per unit of 





investment 

1.04 

0.73 

4.60 

1.29 


cent for ringal handicrafts. Also the productivity of 
workers is as high as over Rs . 1.0 thousand in copper followed 
by about Rs. 5 thousand in woollen and Rs.1600 in ringal 
handicraft activity . Per worker value added is again found 
lowest in the production of ringal handicrafts. Otherwise 
the corresponding figure is estimated to be Rs. 3725 for 
copper and Rs . 2613 for woollen handicraft workers. The per 
unit productivity level is also not much higher for ringal 
handicrafts (Rs.3390), though the per .unit, va .1 ue added for 
copper (Rs.9703) and woollen (Rs.6784) handicraft activities 
is quite satisfactory. 


1 6 


CONCL.US TOMS 

The contribution of handicraft activities in raising 
economic status and providing gainful employment opportuni- 
ties to increasing level of labour force has to be emphasized. 
Because most handicraft units are employing sizeable number 
of both men and women labourf orce , even children also. 
Besides this, with the low level of capital investment a high 
amount of income is being generated from different type of 
handicrafts. Over and above per worker value added and 
productivity level are also quite reasonable for maintaining 
the livings of households in rural areas. 

Further development of these existing handicraft acti- 
ities in various locations could, therefore, be an instru- 
mental measure for generating additional productive employ- 
ment opportunities to the increasing level of labour force 
provided that due consideration in response to healthy growth 
and develo, ..irric of handicraft activities should be given 
under ' • . 'tanned development strategies. It was found that 
the adoption of traditional backward technology used in the 
production of crafts, scarcity and inadequacy in the avail- 
ability of required raw materials and the prevailing tradi- 
tional poor marketing network for the disposal of handicrafts 
were the most important factors which were adversely affe- 
cting the development and growth of various handicraft- 
activities in the sample locations. 


The bottleneck in the supply of raw materials can M 
mitigated through the establishment of Raw Material Banks by 
the Government in different handicraft producing locations. 
Accordingly the procurement /marketing centres at micro levels 
may be established for the purchase of various handicraft 
products so that the eraftmen can realise reasonable prices 
for their craft products. The productive efficiency of craft 
units and the additional level of employment opportunities 
can be generated by the upgradation of production technique 
of different handicrafts and making .available to these modem 
machinery to the eraftmen at subsidized rates. 


•i 


ill