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The hard work of self employed in India
The self employed workers have no fixed employee-employer relationship and depend on their own labor for survival. They are poor, illiterate and vulnerable. They barely have any assets or working capital. But they are extremely economically active, contributing very significantly to the economy and society with their labor.
In fact, 64% of GDP is accounted by the self – employed of our country.
There are Four types of self-employed women workers
- Hawkers,vendors small business women like vegetable, fruit, fish, egg,vendors of food items, household goods and clothes vendors
- Home-based workers like weavers, potters, cigars(bidis) and incense sticks workers, snack items preparation(papad rollers),ready-made garment workers
- Women who process agricultural products and artisans, and Manual labourers
- Service providers like agricultural laborers, construction workers, contract laborers, handcart pullers, head – loaders, domestic workers and laundry workers
In addition to these categories there is emergence of another category of women workers.
Producers & Services who invest their labour and capital to carry out their businesses.
This category includes Agriculture, cattle roarers , salt workers, gum collectors, cooking & vending etc
Some More Products
The small scale industries in India
A long-standing feature of self employment in household manufacture has been the extremely high proportion of women’s unpaid labour involved.
Although this has long been known,recorded and commented on, there has been little in the way of a concrete approach to the issue.
At best the general programs for providing employment and support to women for independent income generating activities might be seen as an indirect intervention to bring them forward from unpaid into paid forms of labour. But no programmatic approach has emerged on the issue of unpaid labour in the specific sectors where it is a significant economic activity of women.
An important recent development is the fact that the unpaid labour by women in several segments of home based manufacturing appears to have declined substantially in the nineties, and concomitantly the proportions of women undertaking paid forms of work has risen.
Difficulties of self employed woman
- Shelter deficiencies often exert huge pressures on poor women.
- When a woman works from her home she needs adequate lighting, enough space for work and storage and a hygienic environment.
- Frequent evictions and insecurity of tenure adds to her vulnerability.
- Since dwellings are usually small and shared with family members, overcrowding means space must be continuously reorganized for different activities,necessitating extra cleaning and washing.
- Lack of adequate sanitation and waste management, and infrequent or no garbage collection, adds to a woman’s work burden.Additional expenses may also arise.
- When home-based production uses chemicals or creates dust, the resulting poor health of the woman and other household members leads to added expenditure on health care and medicines.
- Also, the woman must spend more time taking care of the ill rather than producing goods.
- The cost of utilities can cut into her income, too, while poor quality of service can have a direct bearing on both her health and her productivity.
Banks : Some banks(like SEWA) have been provided for such self employed which offer housing loans, including loans to repair or replace a roof, wall, floor or door, for monsoon proofing, to add a room or kitchen, housing up-gradation, as well as loans that could be used to buy or build a new house.
RULES : As a rule, loans for a new house require
- that the house be bought in the name of the woman borrower, thereby creating an asset for the woman.
- Bank makes no distinction between its housing loans and its production loans. The woman must become a member of the Bank co-operative, if she is not already, before availing of a loan.
- The regularity of the total income and savings of the household is the major criterion used to decide whether a loan will be sanctioned to a particular individual.
Development of women
The small scale industries have shown a livelihood for the women and upbringing the girls while they have faced many hardships. These women are now self dependent and are able to carry on their household with gratification.
As You Sow,So You Reap
Lastly I say that women should never feel degraded or inferior of themselves. There are several opportunities waiting for them and its their duty to know about the world outside and increase awareness.
A woman may be uneducated but they should always find ways to earn a living and educate themselves.Hard work always brings sweet results and the more they work hard the more easy their future will be.
This is true even for men who are unemployed.There are many opportunities for people who can use these as a boon to make their lives better.
Self-Employment doesn't mean the person is unfit to work elsewhere but it surely proves that the person is more responsible and capable of living his life in his own way.