Urban Livelihoods in India

India is recognized as an agricultural country for over decades now. A majority of Indian GDP is primarily generated in urban areas. The prime reason behind this is that the concentration of capital in these areas. Urban areas are the hub of opportunities for every individual. Occupation in urban areas in India is vast, and thus, it comes as no surprise that urban areas receive most of the Indian GDP. That being said, there are distinguishing types of urban livelihood that you might come across in India. Let’s explore these urban livelihood types to learn in-depth about urban livelihood. 

What is Urban Livelihood? - An Overview 

Urban areas, in a nutshell, are defined as areas where modernization took place. These areas generally consist of an extensive population. For instance, metropolitan cities such as Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, and so on are urban areas. Livelihood, on the other hand, is simply defined as the lifestyle of an individual or their occupation. Thus, the civics chapter on rural and urban livelihood covers the basic details into distinguishing forms of urban livelihood. You will learn about the lifestyles of different people, jobs available in the industry, and the functioning of different urban areas or cities. 

Types of Urban Livelihoods 

1. Urban Livelihood of Street Workers 

In cities and towns, you might often come across several individuals working in the streets. For instance, ice-cream sellers, vegetable vendors, rickshaw pullers, cobblers, and so on, are some of the working individuals that you may stumble across on streets. These are recognized as self-employed individuals. Moreover, they don’t work in permanent shops. Their occupation is carried out from anywhere and anywhere. While some of these individuals move around in cycles, some of them live and maintain their work in shacks. About a majority of these workers briefly migrate from rural areas to earn money for a living and provide for their family. 

2. Self Employed Business 

Another type of urban livelihood is those of the self-employed business. Clothe stores, cafes, medicine shops, and other such businesses are run by self-employed businesses. These are individuals that establish their own organizations. Several businessmen are even worth billions. For instance, businesses that established multinational corporations and even other small business owners. These businesses are categorized into the organized sector and unorganized sector. When it comes to occupation in urban areas, organized sector businessmen are those whose businesses and accounts are monitored. In unorganized sectors, small businesses invest money on their own and make profits steadily. 

3. Organized Sector Workers 

Most of the urban livelihood falls into this category of working professionals. For instance, civil engineers, doctors, and marketing managers are some of the workers that fall into this category. They are bound to earn the maximum salary annually in the city. However, they don’t work on hourly wages like that of labourers. These workers have access to a wide range of perks, unlike the factory labourers. Some of these perks may be medical insurance, the company’s retirement plan, paid leaves; and so on. Due to this, these types of jobs are in extreme demand. Cities consist of the rich and the poor. This extreme gap that coexists in urban livelihoods is rather unfortunate and saddening. 

4. Factory Workers 

Lastly, urban Livelihoods also consist of factory workers. These individuals aren’t formally employed. Due to this, they briefly are categorized into the unorganized sector. While you now know what is urban livelihood, factory workers are solely unofficially employed individuals for urban livelihood occupation. Occupation in urban areas is vast and comprehensive. Factory workers work at the convenience of the employer. They further earn a drastically small amount of income for the work they do. Labourers that lift Harvey packages, sewers in clothes factories, etc., are some examples of this type of urban livelihood. 

[Image will be Uploaded soon]

Solved Examples 

1. For registering for a Trade Union, how many Persons are required? 

About a minimum of seven workers of an organization are allowed to form a trade union and further apply for the registration to the registrar. While registration of trade unions is not mandatory, it is considerate since registered trade unions have access to specific privileges and rights under the act. 

2. What is Labour Chowki? 

Labour Chowki, in simple terms, is a platform or a place where the daily wage labourers have to wait with their respective tools. Herein, employers come and hire these daily wage labourers for work. 

3. How would the Patwari have resolved the dispute between Raghu and Mohan? 

The patwari would have primarily measured Raghu and Mohan's fields, after which he would have made a comparison between them to calculate the exact measurements of the fields. If these measurements did not match, the patwari could get clarity into the fact that the boundary of both the fields was altered. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What does the Chapter Urban Livelihoods in India give clarity to? 

Urban Livelihoods in India is a vast chapter that focuses on the different types of urban livelihoods that exist in India. Urban areas are those that consist of a vast population of the country. This population, moreover, is a mix of all sorts of people ranging from vegetable vendors, factory workers, civil engineers, firm managers, and so on. The chapter gives insight into the lifestyle of these individuals, the occupations they have, and the cities they live in. In brief, the chapter educates students on the urban lifestyle in India. 

2. Which Category of Workers do the majority of the Urban Livelihoods consist of?

The workers of the organized sector are seen in almost every urban livelihood. This is because the occupations of these workers are in high demand. For instance, a majority of the population of India is working in these fields. These fields include- medical, engineering, entrepreneurship, and so on. These types of workers usually gain the highest salary compared to other workers in the city. However, they do not receive hourly wages but annual salaries. Cities comprise all types of population, starting from the rich to the poor. These people thus are bound to coexist in society.