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Essay on “Cottage Industries” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Cottage Industries

 

Cottage industry means the manufacture of goods at home by manual labour with a small capital, on a small scale, by a small number of workers, often comprising members of a single family. It is one of the most important industries in India.

There was a time when Indian homes and Indian villages used to hum with activities connected with various types of cottage industries, and some of them acquired great reputation even in foreign countries on account of the exquisite workmanship and artistic beauty of the products. But during the British period many of those industries were either deliberately crushed out of existence or languished for lack of support of the rich, or were unable to withstand the competition offered by machine-made goods. This decline of our cottage industries undermined the economic stability of rural India.

Some people in India regard cottage industry wholly out of date in this machine age. It is, in their view, an attempt to introduce bullock-cart in a world of motorcars and aeroplanes. There are others who want to retain it not only during the period of our transition to industrialization but even afterwards with a view to establishing an equilibrium in the economic life of the country.

Indian environment and conditions are more favourable to the growth of cottage industries than those of any other country. Their revival does not mean return to medievalism or total rejection of modern methods. Mechanical inventions, which involve the use of electricity, may be freely used to ensure better production with less labour. The problem of capital, raw materials and marketing may be solved by State aid and co-operative system.

 Cottage industries have some intrinsic merits too. They can be run with a small capital. They make the best use of female labour and of one’s leisure hours, and provide efficient training in hereditary trades at no expense to the trainee. They bring joy even to the joyless worker. The work is done in the congenial atmosphere of the home. Here there is no master to frown. Here there is no capitalist to exploit. Here there is no fear of losing character. Here, man is not a mere slave of slaves. Here he can give full play to his skill and originality.

From the stand-point of defence, cottage industries are vitally necessary. Centralized industries provide an easy target for aerial bombing and their destruction throws the whole economic structure out of order. Moreover, a network of well-developed cottage industries may help the country a great deal during war time when there is difficulty of importing foreign goods.

Besides being labour-intensive, cottage industries can play an important part in solving the problem of unemployment in India, which has, at present moment, become her major problem. They can also provide an alternative occupation to agricultural labour during off-seasons.

The advantage of cottage industries, as enumerated above, are some of the reasons for their survival in this- age of machinery. Another reason is that there still exists a class of people who prefer goods produced by the cottage industry to those produced by machine. Even in highly industrialized countries like Japan, Germany and Russia, there is a system of cottage industries. In Japan 40 per cent of the industries are run under a “domestic” system.

Having regard to the great importance of cottage industries, they have been given a prominent place in India’s Ninth Five-Year Plan. In order, however, that these industries may not be killed by unhealthy competition offered by large-scale industries, it is necessary to demarcate their respective spheres so that both types of industries may develop side by side, not on a competitive, but on a complementary basis.

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