- Kalpattu-village close to the sea coast in Tamil Nadu- has non-farm work such as making baskets, utensils, pots, bricks, bullock-carts -people provide services such as blacksmiths, nurses, teachers, washermen, weavers, barbers, cycle repair mechanics-also some shopkeepers and traders-main street looks like a bazaar-find a variety of small shops such as tea shops, grocery shops, barbershops, a cloth shop, a tailor and two fertiliser and seed shops-are four teashops- sell tiffins (idli, dosa and upama in the morning-snacks like vadai, bonda and mysorepak in the evening)-a blacksmith family whose home serves as their workshop-cycle hire and repair shop-families earn a living by washing clothes- some go to the nearby town to work as construction workers and lorry drivers- village surrounded by low hills-Paddy is the main crop -grown in irrigated lands-Most families earn living through agriculture- are some coconut groves around-Cotton, sugar cane and plantain are also grown- there are mango orchards.
- Poor families in rural areas -collect firewood, get water and graze their cattle-they do not earn any money from these activities-they do them for the household-family needs to spend time doing this -they are not able to survive on the little money they earn-Nearly 2/5th of all rural families are agricultural labourers- some have small plots of land – others like Thulasi are landless-Not being able to earn money throughout the year forces people in many rural areas to travel long distances in search of work-travel, or migration, takes place during particular seasons.
On being in Debt
- Farmers need to borrow money to purchase basic things like seeds, fertilisers and pesticides-often borrow money from moneylenders
- If the seeds are not of good quality-pests attack their crop-major crop failure-crops can be ruined if monsoon does not bring enough rain- farmers sometimes are unable to pay back their loans-for the family to survive-
- they have to borrow more money-loan becomes so large -no matter what they earn-unable to repay-they are caught in debt- major cause of distress among farmer- also resulted in many farmers committing suicide.
Agricultural Labourers and Farmers in India
- In Kalpattu village-agricultural labourers -small farmers-few big farmers. In India, nearly 2 out of all 5 rural families-agricultural labourer families-depend on the work they do on other people’s fields to earn a living
- they are landless- some may own very small plots of land-small farmers land is barely enough to meet their needs-In India 80% of farmers belong to this group. Only 20% of India’s farmers are big farmers who cultivate most of the land in the villages
- large part of their products sold in the market- have started other businesses such as shops, moneylending, trading, small factories and so on.
- Apart from farming-people in rural areas depend upon collection from the forest, animal husbandry, dairy produce, fishing and so on
- Collecting mahua, tendu leaves, honey-to be sold to the traders-an important source of additional income-
- selling milk to the village cooperative society-taking milk to the nearby town -the main source of livelihood for some families. In the coastal areas-fishing villages.
- People in rural areas- earn living-work on farms-earn their living on nonfarm activities.
- Working on farms- operations such as preparing the land, sowing, weeding and harvesting of crops-depend on nature for the growth of these crops-life revolves around certain seasons-People busy during sowing and harvesting-
- Rural people in different regions grow different crops-
- similarities in their life situations-problems that they face-how people survive or earn will depend upon the land that they cultivate-many depend on these lands for work as labourers-most farmers grow crops both for their own requirements-sell in the market
- sell to traders from whom they have borrowed money
- To survive, families, borrow money for their work-when no work is available-some families thrive on large acres of lands, business and other activities.
- But, most small farmers, agricultural labourers, fishing families, craftspersons in the villages do not find enough work to keep them employed throughout the year.