Employment in the Craft Sector

Economics, Employment/ Livelihood

Employment in the Craft Sector

Jaitly, Jaya

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A section of India believes that we are on the move and that opportunity for employment and enterprise in all spheres are growing. However another vast section in rural areas, particularly in certain regions and states and among certain communities, has been left frozen and immobile with no vision or hope of any change. These include artisan communities with low skills but no alternative options. Literacy figures are rising rapidly in some areas such as the north-east, and very slowly, particularly among women, in the traditionally backward states. Growth in employment has practically stopped in the public sector and but has grown in the services sector. Figures are quantifiable in formal industries and hardly available with any sense of accuracy in the unorganised sector. Uncertainties in assessing migrant labour, land ownership patterns, part time farming activity, artisan work closely related to farming or fishing, seasonal and full time employment in traditional cultural activity , result in only notional figures relating to employment being available for what is broadly called the craft sector. For many years governments have attempted to assess accurately the numbers employed in handicraft and handloom activity. Difficulties in arriving at exact figures stem not only from faulty census methodology but from insecure conditions faced by traditionally skilled and semi-skilled workers in this sector. For example, a...
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