Usually, there are two parts of the country. One is Urban areas, and the other is rural areas, and various numbers of livelihood opportunities are available there in these areas as per the requirements or availability. Here in this article, we will be talking about the rural livelihoods, the various sources of livelihood that are present in rural areas for the people to live their lives. Rural livelihoods mean sources of income for rural people to live their lives. This article will help the students to understand this concept and create a base for rural India.
India's rapid economic expansion has tried to include the rural population, which is concentrated in places where rain-fed agriculture is the primary source of income. Poverty remains, however, because of restricted and inequitable access to productive resources such as land, water, improved inputs and technologies, and microfinance, as well as drought and other natural calamities. Low literacy and skills conspire to keep people in poverty, prohibiting them from claiming their basic rights or engaging in extra activities that would earn them money or help them create assets.
It's not just about poverty alleviation. It's most important for people to stand on their feet and develop on their own. A lot of times, people in rural communities have the knowledge, but there are not enough opportunities for them to apply their knowledge.
Livelihood Opportunities in Rural Areas
There are various ways in which people can earn their livelihood in rural areas. Rural areas are those areas which are not yet that much developed as per the modern technology and where there are very few factories and industries and a few modern jobs. Whenever we think of rural India, what picture comes to our minds? A village, farmer, crops, livestock, etc. There are various farms and non-farm activities that are present, which people use in rural areas to live their lives.
Types of Livelihood Opportunities in Rural India
65.53% out of the total population of India lives in rural areas as per the data of 2019. There are various types of livelihood opportunities in rural India, which are given below:
This is the major source of livelihood in rural India, but not the only one. Farmers do agricultural activities in their lands and do sowing, weeding and harvesting, etc and earn the profits at the end. Sometimes, because of bad weather or monsoon, their crops get destroyed, and they have to suffer a lot. They have to depend on other sources of income as well, like the dairy business, etc.
Poultry or Dairy Business
People also conduct these businesses in rural areas as they usually keep livestock etc. They used to sell the milk of cows, buffalo or goats, etc. Not only this but beekeeping is also done in rural areas most frequently for the production of honey.
These are those people who do not own agricultural land, and they used to work on other farmers' lands during the specific season. They comprise two-fifth of the rural population in India. They do not own permanent jobs, but seasonal jobs like during sowing or harvesting season. The remaining days of the year, they are unemployed, which leads to seasonal unemployment.
There are rich farmers as well in the villages who own larger pieces of land and hire many people to work or sometimes own mills or industries as well. These rich farmers lend money to other people as well and do exploitation of the weaker society by charging a large sum of interest.
Fishing is also the major source of income for those who live along with the coastal areas. It is done for domestic and commercial purposes. Some fishermen also do exports as well.
India has a huge heritage and culture with immense talent in every corner of the country. Handicrafts are also a significant source of income in rural areas, which are made by hand such as pottery making, basket making, weaving, printing, painting, etc. The livelihood opportunities in handicrafts depend upon the heritage and culture of the region and also on the skills of the person. Most of the handcrafted items are costly and attract several tourists in the tourist places in India.
Small and Cottage Industries
These are the industries that are run in the houses and family members contribute to that business, such as pottery or basket making, furniture, shawls, mats, caps, woolen or crochet work, etc. There is no need for large capital for investment or big land facilities to start any small business and even no need occurs to hire laborers as well because family members work in this which saves the cost of hiring labor from the outside.
Challenges Faced by Rural Livelihoods
Some challenges affecting rural livelihoods include natural disasters and disease outbreaks. These have brought serious threats to their livelihoods, and the rural poor are the most affected. Some natural disasters include floods, earthquakes, storms, fires, landslides, and so on. Natural disasters cause loss of life, property, and livelihoods. Among rural populations whose livelihoods depend on the land and other natural resources, natural disasters deprive these communities of human capital. People lose crops, livestock, and sources of income, which leads to the loss of their financial capital. In addition, people have lost their homes; the community has nothing and is trying to recover from the disaster. Because of the loss of income and income-generating resources, natural disasters can lead to poverty. The emergence of diseases after natural disasters further complicates the situation. Apart from these problems; also the road, electricity, telecommunications, and transportation facilities are in poor condition.
Other Sources of Income
There are a lot of other sources of income as well in rural areas, such as
Silk production of wool production by keeping silkworms and sheep, etc.
Teaching opportunities for educated people.
Educated youth also go to cities for work.
Have small general or grocery shops.
Woodcutting or selling wood.
Jute bags making or handmade clothes.
Barber, doctor, nurse, painter, electrician, etc. Jobs profiles are also present there in rural areas.
Brick making on a larger scale.