You have probably noticed that people in Kalpattu are engaged in a variety of non-farm work. List five of these.
Answer: Washing clothes, weaving, cycle repair, nursing and teaching
List the different types of people you read about in Kalpattu who depend on farming. Who is the poorest among them and why?
Answer: The big farmers, small farmers and landless farmers depend on farming. The landless farmer is the poorest among them because he does not own land. The landless farmer has to depend on others for his livelihood. Moreover, the wages are very low for such people.
Imagine you are a member of a fishing family and you are discussing whether to take a loan from the bank for an engine. What would you say?
Answer: I will prefer to take a loan from the bank because interest rate for bank loan is low. I will also have to plan properly so that I could repay the loan in time. Fitting an engine in my catamaran will help me in fishing in deep waters. This will ensure bigger catch and better income.
Poor rural labourers like Thulasi often do not have access to good medical facilities, good schools, and other resources. You have read about inequality in the first unit of this text. The difference between her and Ramalingam is one of inequality. Do you think this is a fair situation? What do you think can be done? Discuss in class.
Answer: The difference between Thulasi and Ramalingam does not show a fair situation. This happens because of inequality in incomes. The government needs to help out people like Thulasi. Government should enforce the minimum wages so that Thulasi can earn more. Employment generation programmes; like MNREGA can also help in improving the condition of Thulasi.
What do you think the government can do to help farmers like Sekar when they get into debt? Discuss.
Answer: Government can chalk out some mechanism so that Sekar is not forced to sell his produce to his lender. Benefits of MSP (Minimum Support Price) should reach Sekar as well. While procuring farm produce, the government should give preference to small farmers; like Sekar.
Which is the main occupation of people in rural India?
Answer: Agriculture is the main occupation of people in rural India.
Write a brief note on big landlords in villages.
Answer: A very small number of farmers are big landlords. They own a major portion of farmland in a village. The produce enough to take care of their family needs. The sell surplus produces in the market. Many big farmers also carry out related businesses; like flour mill, shops for fertilizers and seeds. They also rent out their farm equipments; like tractors and threshers to other farmers. Big farmers do not need to work on their farms rather they hire labourers for various works.
Write a brief note on landless farmers.
Answer: The number of landless farmers is very high in most of the villages. Such farmers usually work on others’ farms. They get poorly paid. All the family members of such farmers are engaged in manual work. Their earning is meager and is never enough to sustain the family.
Farmers in India are without work for a major portion of the year. Why?
Answer: Farming in India generates employment on a seasonal basis. Workers are busy only during certain months of the year. Work is available during ploughing, sowing, weeding and harvesting times only. For the remaining months, the farm workers are without job.
What is the situation of market for farm produce?
Answer: The farm produce do not fetch attractive prices during the harvest season. Farmers are usually forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices. Sometimes, the middlemen force them to sell at cheaper rates. Sometimes, the moneylenders also force them to sell at cheaper rates. Lack of proper storage facilities is another major reason that farmers are forced to sell at lower prices. Government tries to help out farmers by offering MSP (Minimum Support Price) for farm produce. During harvest season, the FCI (Food Corporation of India) buys the farm produce at MSP.
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