contents - National Institute of Rural Development

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contents - National Institute of Rural Development

Journal of

Rural Development

Vol. 31 April - June 2012 No. 2

CONTENTS

1. Factors Influencing Wage Structure of Handloom Workers in Assam

– Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

139

2. Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia

– Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu, Beyene Kenee

151

3. Employment of Rural Women In Sericulture - An Empirical Analysis

– S. Lakshmanan

163

4. India’s Total Sanitation Campaign : Is it on the Right Track?

Progress and Issues of TSC in Andhra Pradesh

– M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

173

5. Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in

Local Governance : A Study in Karnataka

– N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

193

6. Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming -

A Study of Mandi District of Himachal Pradesh

– Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma , K.D. Sharma

211

7. Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty

Self-Help Groups in Nalbari District, Assam

– Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

223

8. Capacity Building through Women Groups

– Santhosh Kumar S.

245


BOOK REVIEWS

1. Social Relevance of Higher Learning Institutions

by G. Palanithurai

– Dr. S.M. Ilyas

245

2. Economic Liberalisation and Indian Agriculture : A District Level Study

by Bhalla, G.S. and Gurmail Singh

– Dr. V. Suresh Babu

246

3. Horticulture for Tribal Development

by R.N. Hegde and S.D. Suryawanshi

– Dr. V. Suresh Babu

247

4. Women Empowerment through Literacy Campaign : Role of Social Work

by Jaimon Varghese

– Dr. G. Valentina

248

5. Development of Special Economic Zones in India

Edited by M. Soundarapandian

– Dr. C. Dheeraja

249

6. Bureaucracy and Rural Development in Mizoram

by Harendra Sinha

– Pradip Kumar Nath

251

7. Rural Development Administration in India

by N.Sreeramulu

– Dr. R. Murugesan

253

8. Land Policies for Inclusive Growth

Edited by T. Haque

– Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani

254


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 139 - 150

NIRD, Hyderabad.

FACTORS INFLUENCING WAGE

STRUCTURE OF HANDLOOM

WORKERS IN ASSAM

ABSTRACT

Alin Borah Bortamuly,

Kishor Goswami *

The removal of import quota restriction for textile products opened up new

avenues and challenges for the Indian handloom industry, which infused competition

in recent years. As majority of the workers in the industry are women, who work mostly

as weavers, reelers and helpers, such competition often influences the nature and

pattern of earnings of women workers. Therefore, the present study attempts to

analyse the factors influencing the wage structure of the handloom industry from a

gender perspective. It examines the wage differential with respect to gender as well

as type of work the workers are entrusted with. The study is based on primary data

collected from 300 respondents in 13 districts in Assam. Multiple regression technique

is used to analyse the data. The results show that in case of contractual workers, there

is no gender discrimination in wages, whereas it is found in case of monthly rated

workers. Productivity of the workers is found to be significant both for monthly rated

as well as contractual workers. Factors like education and experience do not have any

significant influence on the wage structure of the workers in the handloom industry

in Assam. Thus, the government machinery should address the gender wage

discrimination for monthly rated weavers and reelers, and back up support facilities

for contractual workers of the industry in the State. The present study greatly extends

our understanding of the wage earnings scenario in Assam’s handloom sector from

gender perspective.

Introduction

The removal of trade restrictions in

textile sector from January 1, 2005 infused

more competition among countries such as

China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and

others. These countries were initially affected

by Cotton Textile Agreement (CTA) and

thereafter by the Multi- Fibre Agreement (MFA)

of 1974 and the Agreement on Textile and

Clothing (ATC) of 1994. However, removal of

such restrictions infused intense competition

among the countries to expand their market

share. As a result, the Indian handloom industry

which is a part of the textile industry had to

face severe competition. As majority of the

workers in the industry are women, who work

mostly as weavers, reelers, and helpers, such

competition often influences the nature and

pattern of earnings of women workers more.

The industry is beset with manifold problems

such as obsolete technology, unorganised

production system, low productivity,

inadequate working capital, conventional

* Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur,

West Bengal -721302, E-mail: kishor@hss.iitkgp.ernet.in


140 Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

product range, weak marketing link, overall

stagnation of production and sales, and above

all competition from powerloom and mill

sector (Sudalaimuthu and Devi, 2006). Women

in the industry share enormous work burden

with no commensurate compensation system.

Their living and working conditions are a

serious concern in many parts of India.

Whenever the industry is in crisis, the burden

of carrying through the crisis is mostly on

women weavers. Such burdens increase their

physical, psychological and social stress

(Reddy, 2006). Women weavers have been the

principal stabilisation force through years of

crises and problems for the handloom sector.

The pattern of employment has seen a

remarkable change worldwide after

globalisation. For example, the employment

in UK is increasingly taking a variety of work

time, benefits and entitlements are put

together for different groups of workers. The

growth in sub-contracting and the

rationalisation of ‘marginal’ activities by firms

and public agencies produced a situation in

which many workers, previously in secure jobs,

now face regular employment on a more

precarious contract labour basis (Allen and

Henry, 2001). Standing (1992) referred to this

trend as the growing ‘contractualisation’ of

employment. In a similar manner, in India too,

there has been a clear indication of workforce

restructuring in the handloom industry in the

recent years. Analysing the textile and apparel

industry in India, Ramaswamy (2008) found

that those who were regular workers became

contractual workers in a number of cases along

with the new hires in the textile industry. In

the context of wage differentials in Textile and

Apparel, he found that the relative wage

disparity in Textile and Apparel has not

worsened in the years of greater global trade

participation. There was improvement in

relative position of female workers; male

workers were getting the same wage rate as

that in average urban informal sector industries.

Other employment benefits have declined as

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

suggested by the growth of contractual labour.

Thus, with the removal of quota restrictions,

there is a considerable change in the job and

wage pattern. Therefore, the present study

attempts to analyse the factors influencing the

wage structure of the handloom industry. It

examines the wage differential with respect

to gender as well as type of work the workers

are entrusted with.

Wage Differential and Factors Influencing

Wage Structure

Wage differential reflects discrimination

as well as differences in productivity related

factors such as education, training, and

experience (Bonnie & Harrison, 2005). It may

be the difference in wage between workers

with different skills working in the same

industry, or workers with similar skills working

in different industries or regions. Wage

differential with respect to gender means

whether there is any difference in the wages

of male and female workers with respect to

the work they are entrusted with. The

persistence of wage differentials between

males and females can be postulated from a

few theoretical standpoints involving both

competitive and non-competitive settings

within the labour market. Traditional human

capital explanations of wage differentials

involve two approaches based on free-market

setting. One is the competitive case, where

individual learnings are set according to the

labour market supply and demand interaction

under a flexible wage regime. In this case, the

individual’s ability, skill acquisition,

qualifications possessed, and productivity

levels together influence earnings. Another

approach under the competitive setting is the

efficiency wage effect, where firm sets wages

according to workers’ productivity and often

common in capital intensive (relatively high

technology) occupations, especially those

involving high skilled labour force (Darity,

1991; Dickens & Katz, 1987).


Factors Influencing Wage Structure of Handloom Workers in Assam ... 141

Several studies are conducted

considering the concept of gender wage

differential at national and international levels.

Norsworthy (2003) said that women typically

earn lower wages than men for the same job.

Similarly, Berik et al. (2004) found that

competition from foreign trade in

concentrated industries is positively associated

with wage discrimination against women.

Research on rural-urban gender wage gap

shows that, in comparison to urban zones, rural

areas have persistently lower incomes and

higher unemployment and underemployment

rates, especially for women (Stabler, 1999;

Lichter and Costanzo, 1987). Most notably,

women at the lower end of the income

distribution suffer the highest degree of

discrimination (Gerry et al., 2004). Most of the

studies which explain and measure the extent

of Russia’s gender wage gap since transition

were largely based on the Oaxaca- Blinder

(1973) decomposition in which wage

equations are estimated separately for men

and women in order to allow for different

gender rewards to a set of productive

characteristics (Fairlie, 2003). The male –

female wage differential is explained in terms

of the difference in average endowments

evaluated at the male (female) pay structure

and the difference in returns evaluated at the

female (male) average endowment. Thus, in

the absence of discrimination, men and

women will have the same return for similar

endowments, and hence the latter difference

is interpreted as ‘discrimination’ (Gerry et. al.,

2004).

In an exceptional study conducted by

Cobb-Clark and Tan (2011), it was found that

non-cognitive skills have a substantial effect

on the probability of employment in many,

though not all, occupations in ways they differ

by gender. Consequently, men and women

with similar non-cognitive skills enter

occupations at different rates. Women,

however, have lower wages on average not

because they work in different occupations

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

than men do, rather they earn less than their

male colleagues employed in the same

occupation. On balance, women’s noncognitive

skills give them a slight wage

advantage. Thus, gender wage gap in particular

is often attributed to gender segregation

across occupations, industries or jobs (Blau and

Kahn, 2000; Groshen, 1991; Mumford and

Smith, 2007). This is because male jobs are

generally associated with higher wages, better

benefits, and more training opportunities.

Occupational segregation may result in an

overall gender wage gap, even if there is no

wage disparity between men and women in

the same occupation (Miller, 1994; Preston and

Whitehouse, 2004; Robinson, 1998). Others

however, argue that occupational segregation

may be relatively unimportant for women’s

wages (Baron and Cobb- Clark, 2010).

Analysing the garment sector in West Bengal,

Ganguly (2006) found that the female workers

earn half the wage than that of male workers.

However, analysing the impact of globalisation

of silk industry in North East India, Goswami

(2006) observed lower wage discrimination

in handloom trade, since the works are mostly

done on contractual basis.

There are a host of literature on the

concept of wage structure and its determining

factors. Examining the determinants of urban

wages in China, Appleton et al., (2005) found

increased returns to education but a decrease

in returns to experience. Based on the notion

of efficiency wages, Harrison (2004) found a

two-tier situation that explains why rural wage

rates vary widely among workers and across

regions. He used factors such as number of

dependents, tribal affiliation with the

enterprise’s manager, sex, tenure, location,

marital status, education, incentives, per capita

cultivated land, season, land irrigation, price

level, etc., in his study on wage discrimination

in rural agricultural environment. Similarly,

working on the important determinants of

wages in Russia’s transition economy, Ogloblin

and Brock (2005) used factors like education,


142 Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

experience, on the job training, tenure, etc.

They also considered factors that help to

capture the firm specific factors like industry,

type of firm ownership, occupation, and size

of the firm with two other variables like marital

status and secondary employment. Richard

(2007) mentioned that a lot of studies linking

gender and labour markets were conducted

in the developed world, whereas developing

countries have very few empirical studies.

Therefore, to examine the male- female wage

determination and gender discrimination in

Uganda, he used factors like age, monthly

wages, education, marital status, urban

residence, number of children, non-wage

payment and regions. The results implied that

education is particularly important for females

in order to increase their earnings and thus

has implications for poverty reduction efforts.

The Handloom Industry and the

Categories of Workers

Centre of attention of the present study

is the handloom industry in Assam. This is one

of the important States in the North-East (NE)

India. The NE States together have the highest

concentration of handlooms in the country.

Over 53 per cent of the looms in the country

and more than 50 per cent of the weavers

belong to the North-Eastern States (Ministry

of Textiles, 2010). The State contributes 99 per

cent of Muga silk and 63 per cent of Eri silk in

country’s total production of Muga and Eri,

respectively (India Brand Equity Foundation,

2010). The industry for generations has been

the major source of additional income for the

rural women of Assam. More than 60 per cent

of the workers are women in the industry

(Goswami, 2006).

The present study categorises the

workers into weavers, reelers, and helpers.

Weavers here are either contractual or

monthly. They normally use fly shuttle or throw

shuttle in Assamese type of loom. Apart from

them, there are two other types of workers,

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

namely reelers and helpers. Reelers are

involved in reeling activities in the industry

and are either contractual or monthly workers.

Helpers are mostly monthly workers and their

work is to assist the weavers. About one-third

of Assam’s 1.2 million weavers are organised

into about 3,744 societies registered under

handloom cooperative societies (Assam

Agricultural Competitiveness Project, 2008).

Single loom household units are common in

the State. Silk weaving is performed in almost

all the districts in Assam. The major weaving

districts of vanya (wild) silks are Kamrup (Rural),

Nalbari, Udalguri, Baksa, Kokrajhar, Nagaon,

Morigaon, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Golaghat, and

Mangaldoi. Products like silk, gamochas (towel),

saris, mekhela-chadar, scarves, shawls,

wrappers, etc., are produced for domestic as

well as commercial purposes (Assam

Agricultural Competitiveness Project, 2008).

Sources of Data and Research Methodology

The study used both primary and

secondary data. Primary data of 300

respondents producing handloom products

were collected from 11 districts in Assam

through uniformly designed structured

interview schedule during June to October,

2010. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were

carried out to collect in-depth information and

to cross-verify a few parameters. Secondary

data were collected from different secondary

sources such as Assam Khadi and Village

Industries Board (AKVIB), Central Silk Board

(CSB), Assam Apex Weavers Artisans

Cooperative Federation Ltd (ARTFED),

Directorate of Sericulture, Government of

Assam, and Block Development Offices.

Respondent in the present study is

considered as the unit of analysis. The districts,

blocks, and villages were selected through

purposive sampling depending upon intensity

of workers and weaving activities. However,

the respondents in the selected villages were

identified through random sampling method.


Factors Influencing Wage Structure of Handloom Workers in Assam ... 143

Multiple regression of the following log-linear

form is used to study the influences of

different factors on the wage of the workers

in the industry.

LnW = lnA + β 1 lnX 1 + β 2 lnX 2 + β 3 lnX 3 + β 4 lnX 4

+ β 5 lnX 5 + e i

Where,

W = Wage of the i th respondent (weavers or

reelers or helpers),

X 1 = Sex dummy of the i th respondent, 1 for

male and 0 for female,

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

X 2 = Work experience of the i th respondent,

X 3 = Productivity of the i th respondent in

value terms,

X 4 = Number of years the i th respondent

spent in school,

X 5 = Age of the i th respondent, and

e i = Error term.

The descriptive statistics of the factors used in

the model are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics of the Factors Influencing Wage of Contractual Weavers,

Monthly Weavers, Monthly Reelers and Helpers in Handloom Industry in Assam

Average Values

Factors Unit of Contractual Monthly Monthly Helpers

Measurement Weavers Weavers Reelers (N = 38)

(N = 151) (N = 55) (N = 13)

Annual Rupees 24,978.81 29,827.27 8,744.74 12,092.31

Income (7,695.75) (17,215.76) (6,471.80) (8,824.44)

Sex 1 for male, 0.23 0.12 0.05 0.54

Dummy 0 for female (0.42) (0.33) (0.22) (0.52)

Work Years 8.12 11.98 12.5 8.07

Experience (6.24) (7.53) (7.36) (8.65)

Productivity Rupees/ 63.17 98.85 46.73 42.15

Days (18.21) (62.46) (33.08) (30.17)

Education Years 6.02 5.62 3.92 4.15

(4.21) (3.52) (4.00) (3.65)

Age Years 27.95 31.81 35.34 25.77

(6.87) (8.44) (7.71) (13.15)

Note: Figures in parentheses represent standard deviation.

The productivity of a worker in the study

is measured by the annual income of the

workers generated from such activities divided

by the number of productive days of the

worker. The number of productive days is

measured by daily working hours multiplied

by the number of working days and divided

by eight hours. Separate regression is run for

the contractual weavers, monthly weavers,

monthly reelers, and helpers. However,


144 Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

because of poor number of responses (only

13), our attempt to analyse the influence of

different factors on wage of the helpers is

dropped. Although the number of respondents

in the category of monthly rated reelers is only

38, to throw some light in our analysis, we

considered the category for further analysis.

Results and Discussion

The influence of different factors on

wage structure of the contractual workers in

In the handloom industry in Assam, wage

of a contractual weaver does not depend on

sex of the individual and sex dummy is found

to be not significant in case of contractual

weavers having a P value of 0.96. It is found in

most of the cases during primary data collection

that a male or a female weaver earns the same

wage for the same kind of work, if the work is

contractual. This finding is similar to the

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

the handloom industry in Assam is presented

in Table 2. The sample size of the contractual

weavers is 151. The influences of different

factors on annual wage of the contractual

weavers are estimated by using ordinary least

square (OLS) technique. The value of F test in

OLS estimation indicates that the model is

significant at 1 per cent level with an F value

of 26.19. The value of R 2 is 0.50, which reveals

that the model explains 50 per cent of the

variation in average annual wage of the

contractual weavers.

Table 2 : Factors Influencing the Wage of Contractual

Weavers in Handloom Industry in Assam

Explanatory Factors Coefficients Robust Standard Error t-Statistics P>|t| VIF

Constant 7.256 0.460 15.78 0.000 —

Sex Dummy 0.002 0.048 0.05 0.962 1.27

Work Experience -0.001 0.025 -0.03 0.980 1.56

Productivity 0 .768 0.075 10.28 0.000 1.02

Education Level -0.093 0.018 -0.92 0.358 1.03

Age -0.093 0.088 -1.06 0.292 1.36

R20. 501

Adjusted R2 0.484

F Value (5, 145) 26.19

Observations 151

Durbin Watson 1.669

Note: i) Dependent variable is annual wage of the contractual weavers.

ii) 1%, 5% and 10% level of significance are considered.

findings of Goswami (2006), who observed

lower wage discrimination in the silk industry

in Assam. On the other hand, work experience

of a contractual weaver is found to be not

significant having a P value of 0.98. This implies

that the wage of a contractual weaver is less

dependent on experience of the weaver. It

means that, irrespective of the work

experience of the weaver, his or her wages


Factors Influencing Wage Structure of Handloom Workers in Assam ... 145

will depend mostly on the factors other than

his or her work experience. A weaver who

completes a stipulated amount of work in a

given time gets more wage than an

experienced weaver who does lesser work in

the same time.

The influence of productivity on wage

structure of the contractual weavers is found

to be significant at 1 per cent level with a P

value of 0.000, which implies that, other

factors keeping constant, 1 per cent increase

in productivity leads to a 0.77 per cent increase

in wages of the contractual weavers. It means

that more the productivity of the worker, more

will be the increment in the contractual

weavers’ wages. In contrast, the influence of

education on the wage of the contractual

weaver is not significant (P = 0.36). This implies

that, whether the weaver is more qualified or

less, he or she will earn the same wage for the

same kind of work. As also found in FGDs, it is

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

the efficiency of the worker that matters in

the handloom industry in Assam rather than

his or her educational qualification. In other

words, what matters is his or her capability to

produce more in less time. Similarly, age of

the contractual weaver is also found to be not

significant on the annual wage of the weaver.

The VIFs (Variance Inflation Factor) of all the

independent factors are less than 1.6. This

implies that the multicollinearity problem

among the factors is almost negligible in the

above model.

An attempt is also made to see the

influences of the above mentioned factors on

the wage structure of the monthly rated

weavers. The sample size of the monthly rated

weavers was 55. The influences of different

factors on annual wage of the monthly rated

weavers were estimated by using OLS

technique. The model is significant at 1 per

cent level with an F value of 17.14 (Table 3).

Table 3: Factors Influencing the Wage of Monthly Rated Weavers

in Handloom Industry in Assam

Explanatory Factors Coefficients Robust Standard Error t-Statistics P>|t| VIF

Constant 7.714 1.365 5.65 0.000 —

Sex Dummy 0 .432 0.160 2.71 0.009 1.09

Work Experience -0.085 0.099 0.86 0.393 1.75

Productivity 0 .653 0.201 3.25 0.002 1.19

Education Level -0.086 0.081 1.06 0.293 1.04

Age -0.074 0.336 0.22 0.826 1.60

R2 0.418

Adjusted R2 0.359

F Value (5, 49) 17.14

Observations 55

Durbin Watson 1.075

Note : i) Dependent variable is annual wage of the monthly rated weavers.

ii) 1%, 5% and 10% level of significance are considered.


146 Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

The value of R 2 is 0.42, which reveals that the

model explains 42 per cent of the total

variation in average annual wage of the

monthly rated weavers. It is found that the

influence of the factor ‘sex’ on wage structure

of the monthly rated weaver is found to be

significant at 1 per cent level, which implies

that, other factors keeping constant, if the

respondent is a male, his average wage will

be more by 0.43 per cent. It is found in FGDs

that, if the weaver is hired on monthly basis,

for the same kind of job, a female weaver earns

relatively less than a male weaver. Since the

females also have domestic chores apart from

the weaving works, if given a choice, the

owners are reluctant to hire them on the same

monthly wage rate as that of male. Analysing

the implications of the neo-liberal reforms on

workers in the Indian garment industry in the

era of post-multi-fibre arrangement, Ganguly

(2006) also found that, in West Bengal, women

workers are paid much lesser than male

workers. Thus, in case of contractual weavers,

it is found that a male or female weaver will

earn the same wage for the same kind of work

related to weaving. Whereas, in case of

monthly rated weaver, a female weaver will

earn relatively less than a male weaver for the

same nature of job.

Analysing the influence of work

experience on monthly rated weaver, it is

found that the length of experience of monthly

rated weavers has no bearing on their wage. It

is found during FGDs that the owner fixes a

standard wage for workers who have

experience beyond a certain threshold level.

Owners are indifferent towards experience

beyond that level. Threshold level here means

a minimum level of work experience that an

owner looks for in a worker. It is mostly three

years in the study area as observed in FGDs.

These results are similar to the results found

in case of contractual weavers, where work

experience is also found to be not significant

on the wage structure of the weaver.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Looking at the influence of productivity

on wage structure of the monthly rated

weavers, it is found that the productivity has a

positive influence on the wage and is

significant at 1 per cent level of significance.

This implies that, other factors keeping

constant, 1 per cent increase in productivity

leads to a 0.65 per cent increase in wages of a

monthly rated weaver (Table 3). It means that

more the productivity of the monthly rated

weaver, more will be the increment in the

monthly rated weaver’s wage. It is observed

in the study area that the owners keep track

of monthly productivity of the monthly rated

workers based on their daily contribution to

their output. This implies that, if an owner

observes that a worker works for relatively

more than a stipulated period per day (usually

8 hours), then the owner prefers to reward

him with an increment in his wages. The

influence of productivity is very much similar

to that of contractual weavers. Thus, the

productivity of the workers is found to have a

significant influence on the wages of both

contractual as well as monthly rated weavers.

Whether the weaver is contractual or monthly

rated, an increase in productivity will bring

about an increment in his or her wages. In

contrast, the effect of education level on wage

of the monthly rated weavers is not significant.

Thus, it is found that the wages of both

contractual and monthly rated weavers will not

significantly depend on educational

qualification of the weavers. The influence of

age of the monthly rated weaver on annual

wage is also found to be not significant. Similar

result was also found in case of contractual

weavers. VIFs of all the independent variables

are 1.75 or less. This implies that the

multicollinearity problem among the factors

is almost negligible in the above model.

An attempt is also made to see the

influence of the factors on wage of the

monthly rated reelers. The sample size of the

reelers in the study is 38. The influence of


Factors Influencing Wage Structure of Handloom Workers in Assam ... 147

different factors on wage of the reelers was

estimated by using OLS technique. The model

is significant at 1 per cent level with an F value

of 4.24 (Table 4). The value of R 2 is 0.53, which

reveals that the model explains 53 per cent of

the variation in the annual average wage of

the reelers. It is found that the influence of

the factor sex on wage structure of the

monthly rated reeler is not significant. It

means that a male or female reeler will earn

similar wage for a similar nature of work.

Analysing the influence of work experience

Table 4: Factors Influencing the Wage of Monthly Rated

Reelers in Handloom Industry in Assam

Explanatory Factors Coefficients Robust Standard Error t-Statistics P>|t| VIF

Constant 6.773 0.881 7.69 0.000 —

Sex Dummy 0.554 0.399 1.39 0.175 1.14

Work Experience -0.042 0.085 -0.50 0.621 1.33

Productivity 0.490 0.193 2.55 0.016 1.37

Education Level 0.015 0.075 0.20 0.840 1.40

Age 0.119 0.247 0.48 0.635 1.38

R20.525 Adjusted R2 0.452

F Value (5, 32) 4.24

Observations 38

Durbin Watson 1.212

Note : i) Dependent variable is annual wage of the monthly rated reelers.

ii) 1%, 5% and 10% level of significance are considered.

Looking at the effect of productivity on

wage structure of monthly rated reelers, it is

found that productivity has a positive influence

and is significant at 1 per cent level. This

implies that, other factors keeping constant, 1

per cent increase in productivity leads to a 0.49

per cent increase in wage. It means that more

the productivity of a reeler, more will be the

increment in his or her wage. As it is observed

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

on wage of the reelers, it is found that the

length of experience has no significant

influence on wage of a reeler. The owners

mostly fix a standard wage for reelers who have

experience beyond a certain threshold level

and they are indifferent towards experience

beyond that level. Mentioned earlier, threshold

level here means a minimum level of work

experience that an owner looks for in a worker.

This is mostly 3 years, as observed in the study

area.

in the study area, in case of reelers also owners

keep a track on monthly productivity of the

reelers based on their daily contribution to

output. This implies that, if an owner observes

a worker working for relatively more than a

stipulated period per day (usually 8 hours), then

the owner prefers to reward him with an

increment in his wage. These results are very

much similar to the results we found in case


148 Alin Borah Bortamuly, Kishor Goswami

of contractual as well as monthly rated

weavers. Thus, the productivity of the reelers

is found to have a significant effect on wages

of the contractual weavers, monthly rated

weavers as well as on wages of the reelers.

The influence of the level of education on

wage of a reeler is not significant. This implies

that education does not have any significant

effect on reelers’ wages. Thus, it is found that

the wages of the contractual weavers,

monthly weavers as well as reelers will not

depend much on the number of years the

worker spent in school. Reeler’s age is also

found to have an insignificant influence on

their annual wage. Similar results are found in

case of contractual as well as monthly rated

weavers. The VIFs of all the independent factors

are 1.4 or less. This implies that the

multicollinearity problem among the factors

is almost negligible in the above model.

From the results it is established that

there is hardly any gender discrimination in

case of contractual workers in Assam. The

women contractual workers are capable of

earning more than their male counterparts, if

they finish a particular work within a stipulated

period of time. As observed in FGDs, few of

the contractual reelers are found in Palasbari

(in Kamrup district of Assam), who are capable

of earning more than the reelers engaged in

the industries on monthly basis. These

contractual workers are in a position to work

Notes

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

for longer duration. It is also found in the FGDs

that the employment pattern in the handloom

industry in Assam has shifted from monthly

rated system to contractual system during last

15 years. Similar pattern was also found by

Ramaswamy (2008) in his study on the Textile

and Apparel industry at all India level. In

comparison to contractual weavers, in case of

monthly rated weavers and monthly rated

reelers, wage discrimination is found.

Conclusions

With the elimination of import quota

restriction and expansion of trade, wage

structure in the handloom industry in Assam

has taken a contractual pattern. Among the

factors such as age, productivity, sex,

experience, and education, it is found that only

the productivity of the workers influence

wage structure of the contractual workers

significantly. In contrast, in case of monthly

rated weavers, along with productivity, gender

(sex) of the respondents influence significantly

on their wages. Gender wage disparity is found

crucial for monthly rated weavers and reelers.

Thus, government machinery should come out

heavily on addressing the problems related to

gender wage discrimination in monthly rated

weavers and reelers, and back up support

facilities for contractual workers of the industry

in the State.

1 Horizontal segregation refers to the distribution of women and men across occupations.

Vertical segregation refers to the distribution of men and women in the job hierarchy in

terms of status and occupation (Randriamaro, 2005).

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Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 151 - 162

NIRD, Hyderabad.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

FOR FARMLAND DEVELOPMENT :

THE CASE OF ETHIOPIA

ABSTRACT

Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel*

Fekadu Beyene Kenee**

Land is an asset of enormous importance for billions of rural dwellers in the

developing world. Increased land access for the poor can also bring direct benefits of

poverty alleviation, not least by contributing directly to increased household food

security. In countries where agriculture is a main economic activity (e.g. Ethiopia),

access to land is a fundamental means whereby the poor can ensure household food

supplies and generate income. Therefore, this study aimed to sketch-out institutional

arrangements to get access to farmland and to empirically examine institutional

mechanisms to settle dispute arising from contracting farmland in Amigna district.

The result revealed that land rental markets appeared to be the dominant

institutional arrangement to get access to farmland next to Peasant Association

allocated arrangement. This created breathing space for short-term land acquisition

for landless and/or nearly landless farm households. Moreover, the dominant

transactions took place among a neighbour followed by transfers between friends in

the same peasant association, and relatives in the same peasant association. The

foregoing discussion with key informants revealed that such transfers are informal

and there are no formal rules and regulations to enforce land transfers to reduce high

risk that may arise from these transactions. Regarding the mechanisms used by the

sample respondents’ in order to resolve disputes, farmers claimed their rights through

local elders, religious leaders, and local institutions. This may be due to the perception

of legal uncertainty over landholdings particularly in the case of rental contracts,

which existed informally. Therefore, policy and development interventions should

give emphasis to improvement of such institutional arrangements that create venue

for land access.

Introduction

Questions about land markets are central

to development policy, as underlined recently

in 2008 World Development Report. The policy

immensely advocates liberal reform that

attempted to fortify private markets (primarily

* Jimma University, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Department of Rural Development,

P.O. Box. 307 Jimma, Ethiopia.

** College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Department of Rural Development, P.O.Box.161,

Haramaya, Ethiopia.

The authors thank Ministry of Education for financing the research work, special thanks to Amigna District

Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development for their generous cooperation during data collection,

also thank Alemayehu Amare who was involved in organising and facilitating data collection in the

household survey. Special thanks go to all households who responded to the questions.


152 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

via rentals) in a way that enhance efficiency

and equity outcomes (World Bank, 2007).

Over the past two decades a wave of

proposals for land tenure reform in many

African countries raised questions about land

markets as a means of allocating land that have

profound political and economic implications

(Toulmin and Quan, 2000). However, until late

twentieth century, it was a perception of land

as being relatively abundant due to low

population densities in many parts of the

continent that influenced policy makers’ views

to give little attention for land markets in

development policy (Deninger and Feder,

2001).

Ethiopia is one of the largest countries in

Africa both in terms of land area (1.1 million

km 2 ) and population (about 74 million).

Ethiopian economy is based mainly on

agriculture which provides employment for 85

per cent of the labour force and accounts for a

little over 50 per cent of the GDP and about

90 per cent of export revenue (CSA, 2007).

Demeke (1999) and Belay and Manig (2004)

noted that access to land is an important issue

for the majority of Ethiopian people who, in

one way or the other, depend on agricultural

production for their income and subsistence.

Similarly, FAO (2002) pointed out that in areas

where other income opportunities are limited

(for example, rural non-farm employment

creation); access to land determines not only

household level of living and livelihood, but

also food security. The extent to which

individuals and families are able to be food

secure depends in large part on the

opportunities they have to increase their

access to assets such as land.

However, as population grows, the

pressure on land is increasing and

opportunities of getting land for allocating to

newly emerging households are quite limited

since then. As a result of increasing population

of young farmers who are often landless, there

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

will be unbalanced resource endowment

(Bezabih et al., 2005). In Ethiopia, the average

landholding is only about one hectare per

household and the population growth rate is

creating increasing pressure on land and other

natural resources (CSA, 2007). Nevertheless,

it is also felt that in area of no frequent land

redistribution, there is a skewed landholding

pattern that might have resulted in

landlessness (Bruce, 1994; Hussein, 2001). The

cumulative effect of skewed landholding

pattern, heterogeneity in resource

endowment, and uncertainties and limitations

in credit and other markets leads to the

emergence of informal land transactions and

the opportunities to trade and exchange factor

endowments (Teklu, 2004; Freeman et al.,

1996).

In Ethiopia, land has been owned by the

state since 1975. Following the 1975 land

reform proclamation, the derge regime (1975-

1991) prohibited both fixed cash rental and

sharecropping tenancy relations. The current

government lifted these restrictions (however,

the duration and area of land supplied to the

markets are limited) and at present there are

different institutional arrangements in place

that help to get access to farmland (Belay,

2004; Yared, 1995).

The objectives of the study were:

* To explore institutional arrangements

that facilitate access to farmland and

* To examine institutional mechanisms to

enforce rental contracts.

Framework of Analysis

This study was designed in the lines of

Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD)

framework developed by Ostrom et al. (1994).

The analysis consists of three major

components such as initial conditions, action

plan, and outcomes. The initial conditions, in

this study context, refer to a set of issues where


Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia 153

explanatory variables are emanating from.

Action arena is influenced by a number of

exogenous variables, broadly categorised to

be physical/material conditions, attributes of

the community/household, and rules that

create incentives and constraints for certain

actions (Ostrom et al., 1994). Based on Ostrom

et al. (1994) components of initial condition

are explained as follows;

Physical/material conditions: Includes

livestock ownership, landholding, and financial

endowment that the households possess,

mobilise, use and exchange with others. It also

refers to the physical infrastructural

development in the district that has an

influence on the renting behaviour of the

households.

Community (household) attributes : The

community/household broadly involved in the

situation is another important variable. Several

attributes of the community/household may

influence the outcome of an action situation.

These include demographic attributes such as

education level, size of the household/

community, and employment level.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Rules –in-use (formal and informal rules

or norms): Each action is influenced by sets of

rules-in –use. These are the rules actually used

by the people to guide or govern their

behaviour in repetitive activities (Ostrom,

1992). Ostrom (1992) also noted that changing

the working rules of an activity could result in

changes to the outcome of the activity. In the

context studied, it refers to any rules or norms

in place that help to increase access to land.

As configured in Figure 1, the framework

considers the effects of all components in the

initial condition on the action arena in which

participation in informal land transactions is

viewed as dependent variable. Therefore,

assessing major reasons and degree of

influences of those variables on the initial

conditions in the action arena is the central

theme of this empirical analysis. In the action

arena, the decisions of households to

participate in informal land transactions is

influenced by imperfection in credit market,

heterogeneity in the distribution of initial

wealth and specific human capital, and

rationing of off-farm labour opportunities

which are constituted in the initial conditions

(Skoufias, 1995; Sadoulet et al., 2001).

Figure 1: The Institutional Analysis and Development Framework

Physical

conditions

Community/

household

attributes

Rules in

use

Source: Based on Ostrom et al. (1994),modified.

Action arena

(participation in

informal land

transactions)

Outcomes

(improve

access to

land)


154 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

Rural areas are commonly affected by

credit rationing. Asymmetric information’s

together with dispersed location of potential

clients as well as poor rural infrastructure make

it very inconvenient for lending institutions to

provide their services. As a result, farmers are

left solely with their own capital, most often

insufficient to cover all necessary investments

connected with cultivation. Accordingly,

farmers limited by financial constraints,

notwithstanding their managerial abilities and

others endowment in their possessions, can

not engage in land market transaction

(Sadoulet et al., 2001).

To examine determinants of household

participation in land rental markets, the range

and diversity of assets at one’s own disposal

need to be a point of concern. Thus, the

decision of household to participate in these

markets is influenced by skewed landholding

pattern, imbalance livestock ownership, and

in-proportional labour force of the household

(Skoufias, 1995).

Land transactions can play an important

role for several reasons. First, it provides land

access to those who are productive but own

little or no land. Second they allow the

exchange of land as the off-farm economy

develops. Third, they facilitate the use of land

as collateral to access credit markets

(Deininger et al., 2004). To benefit from these

outcomes of land rental markets, the existing

rules or norms must ensure security of

property rights. This is a prerequisite that

determine willingness of individuals to enter

the action arena (Deininger et al., 2004).

However, in conditions where poor

infrastructure development, lack of well

enforced property rights, and poor institutional

developments (credit market imperfection

that deny smallholders insurance against

shocks such as bad harvest or accident), land

markets lead to distress sale (Belay, 2004;

Deininger et al., 2004; Teklu, 2004). This is a

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

negative consequence where individuals

come across after evaluating the outcomes of

action arena. As indicated in Figure 1, the

result of evaluation of the outcomes will have

an implicit or explicit implication on both

action arena and initial condition.

Methodological Approach

The Study Site: This paper is based on

evidence from four peasant associations in

Amigna district in Arsi zone, which are

characterised by informal land transactions

that are predominant. It is located between

7º45' – 8º07’ N latitude and 39º40' – 40 º 38’ E

longitudes. The total geographical area of the

district is about 134,372 ha with 21 per cent

Weyna-dega, and 79 per cent Kola, and consists

of 18 rural PAs and one urban PA (Addele)

(ABOARD, 2009). It is located at about 260 km

and 134 km far from Addis Ababa and Assela,

respectively along the main road to the

southeastern direction of Ethiopia. The altitude

of the area ranges between 560 meters at the

lowest to 2100 meters at the highest above

mean sea level. The mean annual rainfall of

the district ranges between 900 mm and 1200

mm with a mean temperature of 20 –250C.

Central Statistical Authority (CSA) (2007)

indicated that the total population of Amigna

district in 2007 was 73224.

Referring to land use pattern of the

district, cultivated land constituted 23.62 per

cent of the total area in the district. On the

other hand, about 19 per cent of the district is

covered with forest. Moreover, substantial part

of the land in the district (6.86 per cent) comes

under non-agricultural use (ABOARD, 2009).

Sampling and Data Collection: The

research design was based on a two-stage

sampling procedure. In the first stage, among

the 19 peasant associations found in the

district, four PAs with similar agricultural

production systems and fairly similar access

to major road and urban centres were selected


Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia 155

purposively based on information from

ABOARD and other institutions found in district

offices. In the second stage, a total of 118

sample households were selected randomly

using probability proportional to sample size

technique (Table 1).

Table 1 : Number of Households and

Sample Size by Peasant Associations

Peasant Total number Sampled

Associations of households households

Bammo 621 34

Gubbissa 449 25

Medewelabu 667 36

Dimma 412 23

Grand total 2149 118

Source: Own Survey, 2009.

Data Analysis : An in-depth qualitative

analysis of selected cases was performed by

looking into the specific factors that drive

farmers into informal land transactions. A

descriptive analysis was employed to analyse

qualitative and quantitative data. The

descriptive analysis such as frequency tables

were used to determine institutional

arrangements to get access to farmland in the

study area.

Results and Discussion

Emerging Institutional Arrangements to

Get Access to Farmland in the Study Area : Land

transactions have long provided a mechanism

for providing access 1 to land for those who

seek it and thereby for enhancing land

utilisation. There were three notable

institutional arrangements to get access to

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

farmland in the district such as administrativebased

(PA allocated land and inherited land),

re-emerging informal market 2 based, and

informal non-market based arrangements.

Majority of farm households had land through

administrative based allocation (PA-land).

Hence, it was the dominant institutional

arrangement receiving largest share (78.1 per

cent) of total land cultivated of sample

respondents (Figure 2). Land rental transaction

was widely practised in the district agriculture.

Rented-in market was the preferred contract

in the district with an average of 8.857 per

cent of total cultivated area (Figure 2).

The surface reading of the survey result

also revealed that for farmers with no access

or less access to rental markets and PA

allocated land; there were also informal

arrangements akin to the customary based

systems in the district (e.g., inheritance, and

borrowing). Inheritance was the second major

means of acquiring land in the district as

indicated by about 9 per cent of cultivated

land of sample respondents (Figure 2).

There were other means for land

acquisition (0.72 per cent) that are particularly

important for the growing ‘landless’ farmers

who often seek land through the informal

markets but constrained by lack of cash and

equity capital such as oxen.

They borrowed 3 land from their parents

and close relatives. The foregoing discussion

also revealed that the institution of marriage

acts occasionally as a non-market device

(borrowing) for getting access to land and pool

labour, especially between landholder femaleheads

and landless male labour. The remaining

0.18 per cent of land was acquired through

informal mortgaging.


156 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

Figure 2 : Share of Different Modes of Acquisition of Total Cultivated Farmland

Source : Own Survey, 2009.

Overview of Land Rental Market Activity in

the Study Area: From the 88 households

interviewed, 35 households are involved in

adjusting their operated farm size by rentingin

land (20 non-PA land allocated households

and 15 PA land allocated households) (Table

2). This is due to the fact that they owned 4

little land in general; they need to rent land to

increase their farm operations. The survey data

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

(78.1%)

(9%)

(8.857%)

(3.143%)

(0.72%)

(0.18%)

Table 2: Frequency Distribution of Sample Households by Land Rental Markets

Household Frequency Per cent PA Non-PA

type allocated allocated

Not renting-in 53 60.2 53 0

Land renting in Total 35 39.8 15 20

88 100.0 68 20

Not renting-out 53 63.9 53 0

Land renting-out 30 36.1 30 0

Total 83 100.0 83 0

Source : Own Survey, 2009.

Reasons for involvement in Land Rentingin

and Renting-out Markets: Of the 35

respondents who reported to have rented-in

indicated that this happens mostly through

renting-in land. On the other hand, Table 2

shows that from 83 households interviewed,

about 36 per cent are involved in renting-out

(all are PA land allocated households) their

plots of farmland. In general, the size of land

rental market is high both in terms of the

number of market participants and size of land

supplied to the market.

land, nearly 94 per cent indicated that their

principal reason for renting-in land is the small

size of their landholding. In this regard, the


Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia 157

survey result revealed that the renter

households had an average landholding of 1.25

hectares. The respective figure for the nonrenter

sample households is 1.77 hectares.

Other reasons cited by the respondents for

renting-in land include, availability of extra

Table 3: Percentage Distribution of Respondents by Reasons for Transfer-in Land

Reasons for land rent-in Responses % of responses % of cases

(N=76) (N=35)

Shortage of own land 31 40.8 93.9

Availability of extra cash 16 21.1 48.5

Availability of extra oxen 23 30.3 69.7

Availability of extra labour 3 3.9 9.1

To assist land right holder 1 1.3 3.0

Others not specified 2 2.6 6.1

Total 76 100 230.3

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

oxen, availability of extra cash, availability of

extra labour, to assist land right holders who

could not cultivate their land because of old

age, poor health, and lack of working capital.

The remaining 6.1 per cent failed to specify

the reasons for renting-in land (Table 3).

Percentages of cases do not add up to 100 because of multiple responses.

Source: Own Survey, 2009.

Table 4 presents that the survey

respondents identified lack of oxen as the main

reason for renting-out their plot(s) of land

(about 30 per cent), followed by shortage of

seed (about 28 per cent). The survey result

revealed also that land is rented-out by some

farmers who had no sufficient labour, lack of

working capital, and who were disabled.

Table 4: Percentage Distribution of Respondents by Reasons for Transfer-out Land

Reasons for land rent-out Responses % of responses % of cases

(N=83) (N=30)

Shortage of seed 23 27.7 76.7

Availability of extra cash 20 24.1 66.7

Availability of extra oxen 25 30.1 83.3

Availability of extra labour 8 9.6 26.7

Disability 4 4.8 13.3

Others not specified 3 3.6 10.0

Total 83 100 276.7

Percentages of cases do not add up to 100 because of multiple responses.

Source: Own Survey, 2009.


158 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

Land Access and Relationship Between

Actors: This was the role of the concrete market

setting, the constellation of actors, the

community in which the market is located and

the multilateral relationships between actors.

Some of the indications were trust and identity

between actors, but the topic had received

very little systematic analysis.

One interesting outcome of this survey

was that land rental transaction was made

among people who know each other very well.

More precisely, the dominant transaction took

place among a neighbour which accounts for

48.6 per cent followed by transfers between

friends in the same peasant association (17.1

per cent), and a relative in the same peasant

association (14.3 per cent). The foregoing

As per practice with whom land rent-out

was effected, most transfer arrangements

were limited to close kin because of mutual

trust among them. About 43.3, 36.7, and 6.7

per cent of households who rented-out their

land were exchanged among neighbours,

relatives or in-laws and friends, respectively

(Table 6). This was possibly because of the ease

at which arrangements were made (not

written, often without witness), their flexible

nature, and limited view of land tenure

security.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

discussion with key informants revealed that

such transfers were informal and there were

no formal rules and regulations to enforce land

transfers to reduce high risk that may arise

from these transactions. The land policy of the

region declared formal operation of land rental

markets; however, sample households lacked

awareness of the policy reform. As a result,

farmers preferred their neighbours, friends,

and relatives. With respect to the location of

the rented-in land, the great majority of the

respondents (88.6 per cent) reported that land

they rented-in is located within their peasant

association. However, the fact that 11.4 per

cent of the sample respondents rented land

from other villages showed that rental

transaction was not completely confined to

the boundaries of the village (Table 5).

Table 5 : With Whom Land Renting-in was Effected

Land transfer from Cases Per cent

A neighbour in the same PA 17 48.6

A relative in the same PA 5 14.3

A friend in the same PA 6 17.1

A relative outside the PA 4 11.4

Other person in the PA 3 8.6

Total 35 100

Source : Own Survey, 2009.

Table 6 : With Whom Land

Renting-out was Effected

Land transfer from Cases Per cent

A neighbour in the same PA 13 43.3

A relative in the same PA 11 36.7

A friend in the same PA 2 6.7

Neighbour and a relative

in the same PA

4 13.3

Total

Source : Own Survey, 2009.

30 100.0


Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia 159

Land Disputes and Dispute Settlement : As

stated above, the tasks of protecting and

enforcing use and transfer rights specified in

the Constitution as well as laws governing land

administration are vested in regional

government. Disputes arising with regard to

PA land were adjudicated in the PA-court,

which represents the lowest administrative

and jurisdictional level. However, even though

land transfer right through rental markets is

constitutional and legally valid in the recent

land reform of the Oromia region, these

markets were yet operating informally in the

study area. In fact, this was due to lack of public

awareness on their rights, structures, and

mechanisms to enforce those rights enshrined

in the recent land reform of the region.

From a total of 65 households

participating in land rental markets, 39

households reported that they had cases of

dispute in land (Table 7). A general look at the

most frequently cited causes of land disputes

were likely to arise over violation of agreed

use of land, shirking in assessment of harvest

to be shared, trespass (boundary conflict), and

failure in payment of rent and renewing the

contract. Inappropriate utilisation of land such

as late ploughing, sowing, weeding, harvesting,

and inefficient use of fertiliser were reported

as causes for dispute between two parties in

the case of sharecropping arrangement. The

discussion with some sample respondents

revealed a positive contribution of recently

introduced land use certificate in reducing

trespass conflict.

Because operation in land markets was

perceived as informal by the respondents,

there was no much evidence on the extent to

which disputes arose from breaching

informally arranged contracts. Often such

contracts were arranged between close

community members and subject to societal

norms and values, and hence indigenous

institutions played an important role.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Regarding the mechanisms used by the

sample respondents in order to resolve

disputes which rose, nearly 59 per cent of the

responses claimed their rights through local

elders, religious leaders, and local institutions

(Table 7). This may be due to the perception

of legal uncertainty over landholdings

particularly in the case of rental contracts,

which exist informally. Another explanation

that has been used to account for the dominant

role of these informal institutions to enforce

the dispute was not only legal uncertainty but

also transaction costs associated with enforcing

land rights were high to those landholders who

were aware that land rental markets were legal.

A surface reading of households’ perception

on informal enforcement mechanisms

revealed that informal rules of enforcement

are transparent, and the institutions were in

place to enforce the rules than legal

mechanisms to enforce the contract.

Moreover, the foregoing discussion with

key informants demonstrates that in the case

of disputes, the court system is working slowly

and generally not effective in enforcing or

solving rental or ownership disputes in the

district.

The result also demonstrates that

informally arranged land rental markets are

tightening more likely between close relatives

and friends (as stated above). The major reason

cited by the respondent to the question why

they prefer close relatives or friends to rentout

their land is due to fear of dispute that

may arise. In fact this shows us that rental

contracts are largely self-enforced. Therefore,

this tells us prevalent problems of land rental

contract enforcement in the study area.

The ability to self-enforce is often

contingent on socio-economic status of the

household. The discussion with some selected

individual sample households reveals that the

poor are at a disadvantage in enforcing

contract because of the implied high financial


160 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

requirement. As a result, the burden of

enforcing the contract falls heavily on poor

households.

Moreover, unless enforcement of land

rental contract gives a guarantee for those

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

who comply with this rule, the incentive to

participate in land rental transactions will

decrease. In fact this will hamper emergence

of dynamic land rental markets that hinder

farmers to share the benefit emerging from

it.

Table 7: Institutions Used by Sample Respondents to Settle Dispute

Institutions used Responses Per cent of responses Per cent of cases

(39 valid cases*)

State court 12 12.5 30.8

PA administration 24 25.0 61.5

Local elders 33 34.4 84.6

Local institutions 9 9.4 22.1

Religious leaders 15 15.6 38.5

Social court 3 3.1 7.7

Total responses 96 100.0 ---

* Percentages of cases do not add up to 100 because of multiple responses.

Source : Own Survey, 2009.

Conclusions

The political and financial difficulties

with land redistribution have led to renewed

interest in finding other ways to make land

accessible to poor farmers. Land transactions,

whether through sales and share tenancies,

loans or gifts, have long provided a

mechanism for providing access to land to

those who seek it and thereby for enhancing

land utilisation.

The study first describes institutional

arrangements that help to get access to

farmland as well as tend to understand with

whom land transactions are effected. It

examines how the interaction of a great

number of factors can drive farmers in

informal land transactions. It develops insights

about particular drivers that drive households

to participate in informal land transactions

which are key to access farmland.

The study reveals, notwithstanding state

ownership and control, there are multiple

modes of acquiring arable land with different

bundles of rights governing access, use and

transfer. The rural communities are moving

towards market oriented multiple and flexible

tenure arrangements. However, the rights in

these informally arranged rights systems

may have social legitimacy and sanction,

but juridical uncertainty prevails because the

statutory law of the country prohibits market

transactions. Although some regions are

relaxing legal constraints, land marketing

remains illegal in the Constitution, which is

the supreme law of the country. For farmers

with no access to official channel or rental


Institutional Arrangements for Farmland Development : The Case of Ethiopia 161

markets, particularly those with little farm

experience, skills and cash, land access through

kinship and social networks, including the

transmission of land rights through inheritance

and within families are in place in the district.

The analysis on land rental contract

enforcement demonstrates that perception of

legal uncertainty over informally arranged land

rental markets remains high. An important

lesson from the experience of the study is that

farmers preferred informal institutions to

resolve the disputes not only due to lack of

Notes

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

awareness on operation of formal land markets

but also due to fear of high enforcement cost

prevailing in the formal process.

This result sheds light on the room for

strengthening institutional mechanism to

enforce rental contract and reduce the burden

on self-enforcement with minimum

enforcement costs in the long-run and further

improving the role of local institutions used

for dispute settlement even in the prevailing

informal land rental transactions in the shortrun.

1 Access to land refers to “the ability to use land” and “ other natural resources, to control the resources

and to transfer the rights to the land and take advantage of other opportunities “. (IFAD, 2008: cited in

Yigremew, 2001).

2 Informal land transactions cover market-mediated (rental contract s such as crop-sharing and cash rental)

and non-market mediated transfers (for example, borrowing or gifts).

3 Borrowing is a temporary arrangement (often for one production season) of receiving the right to

cultivate land. This arrangement is often made between people who are related through kinship (Teklu,

2003).

4 In the Ethiopian context, households do not formally “own” land, since the 1995 Constitution proclaims

all land to be the property of the people. However, land allocated by the Peasant Association has many

characteristics of usufruct ownership, though land may not be sold or mortgaged and future

redistributions have not been ruled out in the region under study.

References

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Amigna District, Ethiopia.

2. Belay Kassa, (2004), Management of Draughts and Famine in Ethiopia, Journal of Social Development in

Africa, 19(1): 93-123.

3. Belay Kassa and W.Manig, (2004), Access to Rural Land in Eastern Ethiopia : Mismatch Between Policy and

Reality, Journal of Agricultural and Rural Development in Tropics and Sub-Tropics, 105 (2) : 123-138.

4. Bezabih Emana, Kejela Gemtessa, and Melaku Jirata, (2005), Land Transaction and Market Oriented

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Wisconsin.

6. CSA (Central Statistical Authority), (2007), The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia.

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289-325p.


162 Abayineh Amare Woldeamanuel, Fekadu Beyene Kenee

8. Deininger, K., J. Songqing, Adnew Berhanu, Samuel G. Selassie and Berhanu Nega, (2004), ‘Tenure Security

and Land-related Investment : Evidence from Ethiopia’, pp.19-50, In : Alemayehu Seyoum (Eds.),

Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopian,

Ethiopia Economic Association.

9. Demeke Mulat, (1999), Agricultural Technology, Economic Viability and Poverty Alleviation in Ethiopia,

Agricultural Transformation Policy Workshop, Nairobi, Paper Presented to the Agricultural

Transformation Policy Workshop, Nairobi, Kenya, 27-30 June 1999.

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Studies No. 3, FAO, Rome.

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Post - 1991 Contending Views, Ethiopian Journal of Development Research, 23 (2) : 35-84.

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University of Michigan Press.

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197-227. In: de Janvry, A., Gordillo, G., Platteau, J.-P. and E. Sadoulet (eds.). Access to Land, Rural Poverty, and

Public Action, A Study Prepared for the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the

United Nations University (UNU/WIDER), Oxford University Press.

16. Skoufias, (1995), Household Resources, Transaction Costs, and Adjustment Through Land Tenancy, Land

Economics, 71(1) : 42-56.

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Development Bank, Blackwell Ltd, USA.201p.

18. Toulmin, C. and Quan, J., (2000), Evolving Land Rights and Policy in Sub-saharan Africa, Pp. 12-48. In : C.

Toulmin and J. Quan (eds.), Evolving Land Rights, Policy, and Tenure in Africa, DFID, and London.

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Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 163 - 172

NIRD, Hyderabad.

EMPLOYMENT OF RURAL

WOMEN IN SERICULTURE -

AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS

ABSTRACT

S. Lakshmanan*

Employment of rural women has become an important issue in the aftermath

of Economic Reforms in the country. As income and employment opportunities in

agriculture are becoming increasingly uncertain due to persons migrating from rural

areas in search of better income opportunities in urban areas, and escalation of cost

of critical inputs in recent years, allied activities like sericulture offer sustainable

income and employment for rural women throughout the year. In this context, an

empirical study has been taken up in Tamil Nadu to show the contribution of women

workforce in sericulture. The study also revealed that female labour participation is

not only high but also the share of own family female labour employment is high.

However, role of women in decision-making in sericulture has been limited, and not

adequately recognised. This paper attempts to address several issues and strategies

to empower women in sericulture.

Introduction

In India, women constitute about half of

the total population. They are involved both in

domestic as well as agriculture activities in

rural areas. Participation of women workforce

in the primary sector is more than 60 per cent.

They support agriculture as a labourer as well

as a decision maker. Although their

contribution is noteworthy, still they are living

as an invisible force in the sector. Their role

has not been adequately recognised and

rewarded. Income earned by rural women is

generally utilised for domestic use as well as

for the socio-economic development of their

family.

It is observed that men migrate to the

nearby towns in search of higher income

oriented employment, leaving the total

burden of maintenance of households to

women. For the improvement of socioeconomic

conditions of rural people, rural

women are to be empowered both in income

generating activities and in decision-making.

This has become necessary to sustain the living

conditions of the family in rural areas.

Several attempts have been made

through various development schemes to

increase their effective participation in the

decision making process in agriculture and

allied sectors. As a result, there has been a

perceptible increase in the participation of

women in agriculture. This has resulted partly

due to rise in the seasonal demand for labour

for operations traditionally performed by

women, and increase in employment of men

in non-agricultural activities.

* Scientist, Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Sriramapura, Mysore 570 008,

e-mail : tamillakshmanan@yahoo.co.in


164 S. Lakshmanan

Sericulture is labour intensive, and

assures employment opportunities round the

year. More particularly, women play an

important role in sericulture. In this context,

an attempt has been made in this paper to

trace their contribution, in terms of

participation and constraints faced by them in

this sector. Two hypotheses are proposed for

the study. They are: (1) Mulberry cocoon

production consists of women centric

activities; and (2) Family women participation

is much higher than that of hired women in

cocoon production.

Methodology

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Work Participation of Women

Mulberry sericulture contributes more

than 80 per cent of total silk production in the

country. Production of silk cocoons at farm

household’s level involves two major

economic activities, viz., cultivation of

mulberry leaf and silkworm rearing. The former

is on-farm activity, and the latter is off-farm.

Both the activities engage largely human

labour. Women are involved as farm workers

as well as decision makers in the art of cocoon

production. Their participatory role as workers

is highly significant; and their rate of

participation in silk cocoon production is much

higher than that of male counterparts.

The present study is based on primary

data collected at farm households level in two Mulberry Cultivation

districts of Tamil Nadu. Gobichettipalayam of Cultivation of mulberry leaf involves two

Erode and Udumalpet of Coimbatore districts major activities, namely, garden establishment

were selected for the study. 120 samples (60 and maintenance. Generally, garden

each from the two settlements) were randomly establishment takes place for a period of 6 to

selected to collect the required information 8 months depending on the mulberry variety,

by direct interview method. A Cobb-Douglas and availability of resources. On the other

type of model was used to find out factors hand, maintenance of mulberry garden is a

that contributed for employment generation regular activity, and could yield continuously

of rural women in sericulture. The study period for 15 years. The data on women participation

refers to 2005-06.

Table 1 : Participation of Female Labour in Garden Establishment

(Mandays/per acre)

S.No. Activities Family labour Hired labour Total labour Male and

Female

participation

ratio

Male Female Male Female Male Female

1 Land preparation 3.56 2.10 2.35 1.65 5.91 3.75 1:0.63

2 Manuring 3.46 2.50 1.20 2.57 4.66 5.07 1:1.09

3 Cutting preparation 2.60 1.50 1.50 0.50 4.10 2.00 1:0.49

4 Plantation 3.35 1.50 1.45 4.50 4.80 6.00 1:1.25

5 Irrigation 6.75 3.54 1.20 0.75 7.95 4.29 1:0.54

6 Weeding 2.30 16.75 0.20 6.75 2.50 23.50 1:9.40

Source : Survey data.


Employment of Rural Women in Sericulture - An Empirical Analysis 165

in garden establishment are presented in

Table 1. It is evident from the Table that, of the

total labour engaged in garden establishment,

women employment accounted for about

58.74 per cent, indicating higher degree of

involvement than male labour. Like agriculture

crops, establishment of mulberry garden also

involves several activities, right from land

preparation to plantation of mulberry cuttings,

and application of inputs. For those activities,

women participation has been considered to

be crucial.

The activity-wise women engagement

indicates that employment of women was

higher in weeding operation (23.50 mandays)

followed by plantation (6 mandays), manuring

(5.07 mandays), etc. Thus, out of 77.56

mandays engaged in establishing mulberry

garden, about 45.56 mandays of female labour

were utilised in garden establishment

activities. This shows that female labour

participation is much higher than male labour

( 58.74 per cent). Another important finding is

that the share of own family female labour

Source: Survey data .

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

was to the extent of 62.31 per cent to the

total women involvement in garden

establishment. The male and female labour

participation ratio has clearly showed that

mulberry garden establishment activities are

female centric, and their participation rate is

much higher than that of male counterparts

(1:1.42).

Unlike garden establishment,

maintenance of mulberry garden is round the

year activity. Generally, an average of six crops

are being harvested by farmers under irrigated

condition in the study regions. For every

alternative crop, inter-cultural operations like

weeding, application of chemical fertiliser

etc., are being carried out; whereas activities

like pruning of the garden and application of

farmyard manure are taken up yearly once. In

case of harvesting of mulberry shoots, it is a

regular activity as and when rearing is

conducted. All the activities are carried out by

human labour. Table 2 highlights the women

labour participation in garden maintenance.

Table 2 : Participation of Female Labour in Garden Maintenance (Mandays/per acre/year)

S.No. Activities Family labour Hired labour Total labour Male and

Female

participation

ratio

Male Female Male Female Male Female

1 Inter-cultural 8.91 16.75 10.45 15.67 19.36 32.42 1:1.67

operations

2 Application of FYM 3.45 5.75 3.20 1.60 6.65 7.35 1:1.10

and NPK

3 Irrigation 28.70 2.60 6.21 0.75 34.91 3.35 1:0.09

4 Pruning 10.12 3.45 4.50 3.20 14.62 6.65 1:0.45

5 Shoot harvesting 20.45 38.20 15.35 38.60 35.80 76.80 1:2.14

6. Miscellaneous 15.10 12.60 3.40 5.50 18.50 18.10 1:0.98

Total 86.73 79.35 43.11 65.32 129.84 144.67 1:1.11


166 S. Lakshmanan

It is reported from the Table that garden

maintenance activities involved 274.51 mandays,

of which 129.84 and 144.67 mandays

are employed by male and female workers,

respectively. In terms of percentage of

participation, it was 52.70 for female and 47.30

for male workers. It is to be noted that women

employment was very high in shoot harvesting

(76.80 mandays), and very low in irrigating the

garden (3.35 mandays). The male and female

participation ratio shows that women labour

engagement was marginally higher than male

workers. Activity-wise labour participation

ratio further reveals that higher number of

female labour are involved in harvesting of

mulberry shoots and inter-cultural operations

like weeding. Therefore, it can be inferred that

both garden establishment and maintenance

activities are female centric.

Table 3 : Participation of Female Labour in Silkworm Rearing (Mandays/per acre/year)

S.No. Activities Family labour Hired labour Total labour Male and

Female

participation

ratio

Male Female Male Female Male Female

1 Disinfection 7.60 4.15 4.85 2.35 12.45 6.50 1:0.52

2 Chawki rearing 11.95 4.25 2.02 0.63 13.97 4.88 1:0.35

3 Late-age rearing 24.87 28.00 29.69 17.45 54.56 45.45 1:0.83

4 Mounting 6.78 6.97 2.56 5.53 9.34 12.50 1:1.34

5 Cocoon harvesting 7.70 7.65 4.70 11.25 12.40 18.90 1:1.52

and cleaning

6 Marketing 8.42 0.58 5.14 0.00 13.56 0.58 1:0.04

7. Miscellaneous 3.46 3.78 4.67 1.89 8.13 5.67 1:0.69

Total 70.78 55.38 53.63 39.10 124.41 94.48 1:0.76

Source : Survey data.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Silkworm Rearing

Silkworm rearing is the off-farm activity,

as it requires a separate rearing shed and

rearing appliances. The data on labour

employment in silkworm rearing (Table 3)

reveal that out of 218.89 mandays engaged in

silkworm rearing, about 94.48 mandays are

utilised by women workers, accounting for

43.16 per cent. The analysis of women

participation activity-wise indicates that higher

number of female workers are employed in

cocoon harvesting and cleaning (18.90

mandays) followed by mounting (12.50

mandays). Further, rearing is skill oriented.

Hence, participation ratio of women was lower

in silkworm rearing (1:0.76) than male workers.

However, the share of own family female

labour involvement was much higher (55.38

mandays) as compared to hired female

workers (39.10 mandays).


Employment of Rural Women in Sericulture - An Empirical Analysis 167

Silk Cocoon Production

Cocoon production is an integral part of

leaf production and silkworm rearing. Both

activities are complementary to each other. As

was stated earlier, leaf production is on-farm

activity, and silkworm rearing is domesticated.

Although cocoon production is labour

intensive, participatory role of women has

higher magnitude in general, and in particular

own family female labour involvement. The

aggregate data (Table 4) on male and female

labour participation ratio for silk cocoon

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

production suggest that there is no doubt, on

higher female labour participation in garden

establishment and maintenance activities.

However, in silkworm rearing activities, their

workforce was much less than male workers.

Considering all the activities, including garden

establishment to silkworm rearing, there was

almost equal level of participation of women

to male workers (1:0.99). However, as far as

own family female labour participation is

concerned, their participation percentage was

more (57.29) than hired female workers.

Table 4 : Male and Female Participation Ratio in Cocoon Production (Per acre/year)

S.No. Activities Family labour Hired labour Total labour Male and

Female

participation

ratio

Male Female Male Female Male Female

1 Garden Establishment 23.55 28.39 8.45 17.17 32.00 45.56 1:1.42

2 Maintenance 86.73 79.35 43.11 65.32 129.84 144.67 1:1.11

3 Silkworm rearing 70.78 55.38 53.63 39.10 124.41 94.48 1:0.76

Total 181.06 163.12 105.19 121.59 286.25 284.71 1:0.99

Source: Survey data.

Women in Decision-making

The foregoing analysis on women

participation in various activities in silk cocoon

production clearly shows that women play a

greater role in cocoon production. It is also

observed that cocoon production activities are

female centric and involve higher participation

of own female labour. In spite of their higher

participation, it is viewed that women have

not been given adequate importance in

decision-making process. For instance,

decisions on purchase of inputs, marketing of

cocoons etc., are largely decided by male

workforce. However, in the absence of male

workers, women would take decisions on

feeding, cleaning and applying bed

disinfectants in silkworm rearing. Such

activities are more crucial to ensure quality

and quantity of cocoon production. In other

words, women involvement in decisionmaking

process in cocoon production is viewed

to be limited.

Factors Contributing to Employment of

Women in Sericulture

To determine the important factors

contributing to women employment in silk

cocoon production, Cobb-Douglas type model

was used. There are five variables included in

the model, viz., family size, female literacy,

age, mulberry holding size, and number of

hired labour engaged, to find out their


168 S. Lakshmanan

influence on women employment in cocoon

production. The findings are presented in Table

5. It may be observed from the Table that

variables such as family size and mulberry

holding size not only influenced positively but

also were highly significant on employment

of women in sericulture. This shows that these

two variables were major determinants. It was

also reported by a majority of sample farmers

that non-availability of hired labour force led

Table 5 : Factors Contributing to Employment of Rural Women in Sericulture

S.No. Variables Regression SE t-value

coefficient

1 Family size 0.121 0.040 3.025**

2 Literacy -0.301 0.216 -1.393

3 Age -0.419 0.956 -0.438

4 Mulberry holding size 0.291 0.042 6.928**

5 Hired labour -0.328 0.052 -6.307**

R2 0.59

DW statistic 1.894

** Significant at 1 % level of probability.

Constraints Faced by Women

Although women play a major role in leaf

production and silkworm rearing activities,

they have been facing many constraints. Some

of them are :

1. Low access to new technology

2. Low access to extension participation

3. Low access to marketing and income

earning from cocoon production

4. Low access to credit

5. Lack of training

6. Limited participation in decision making

process

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

to engagement of own family female

members in cocoon production. However,

female literacy and age of female workforce

did not assist in employment of women. The

R2 value suggests that the variables included

in the model explained 59 per cent of total

variation. The DW statistic revealed the

absence of auto-correlation in the crosssection

data.

Achievements made on Empowerment of

Women

Although women contribute significantly

in the process of cocoon production, yet their

participation and contribution is neither

adequately recognised nor rewarded. Their

access to technology, credit, marketing and,

income is limited. This is partly due to their

lack of awareness about their role in sericulture

and partly, they do not have adequate

knowledge about new technologies.

Women-friendly Technologies in

Sericulture : Considering their disadvantaged

position, there are several women-friendly

technologies that have been developed in

sericulture. To upgrade their skills and


Employment of Rural Women in Sericulture - An Empirical Analysis 169

knowledge in sericulture, several training

programmes are being imparted through

sericulture extension units. The tools and

machines developed aimed at improving

working efficiency of women workforce and

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

reducing drudgery. Table 6 shows the tools and

machines developed in sericulture to avoid

drudgery of women workforce. These are also

being popularised in the field.

Table 6 : Tools and Machines Developed for Women's Empowerment in Sericulture

S.No. Name of technology Tools and machines developed

1 Weeding Long handled weeding hoe, peg tooth weeder,

grubber and self-propelled weeder

2 Harvesting of mulberry shoots Pruning saw, sickle, and looping shear

3 Spraying Electrical sprayer, and foot operated sprayer

4 Silkworm rearing Hand operated deflossing machine, hand-cummotorised

deflossing machine, chawki leaf

operated machine, and leaf chopping machine

5 Silkworm egg production Cocoon cutting machine

Source : Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute (2006), Annual Report 2005-06,

Mysore.

Training for Women in Sericulture : In

recent years, efforts are being made to

empower women in sericulture through

various training programmes. Some of the

training programmes conducted at CSRTI,

Mysore during 2006-07 are presented in

Table 7.

Table 7 : Women's Empowerment Through Training in Sericulture During 2006-07

S.No. Name of training programme Duration No. of women

(Days) trained

1 Integrated Nutrient and disease management

in mulberry by eco-friendly approach

06 70

2 Young age silkworm rearing 08 192

3 Composite silkworm rearing 35 18

4 Integrated pest and disease managementan

eco friendly approach with bio-pesticides,

bio-fungicides and botanicals

10 88

5 Value addition to by-products of sericulture

industry by better resource management

06 231

6 Drudgery reduction through ergonomically

sound appliances/hand tools

06 26

Source: Ibid.


170 S. Lakshmanan

Issues and Strategies

Not withstanding the fact that several

women-friendly technologies have been

developed to reduce drudgery and training

programmes in sericulture being conducted

to empower them, still there are some issues,

which need to be given prime importance by

the sericulture development agencies. Some

of them are discussed here.

(a) Credit Support : Important aspects for

women’s development are primarily

knowledge-cum-skill development, and

viability. This has direct impact on women

empowerment as well as in reducing gender

bias. The present position has resulted in

women’s disadvantaged situation arising out

of their lack of access to resources and

technology, low access to marketing, income

sharing, and decision-making. One of the

important missing links is lack of adequate

credit support to women farmers, as it directly

deals with accessibility of resources and

decision-making. Although micro-credit

mechanism in agriculture has become popular,

it is largely lacking in sericulture. Therefore,

efforts are to be made by NGOs and Sericulture

Development Agencies (SDA) to access credit

support through lending institutions to

promote women participation more

effectively in decision-making process.

(b) Access to Technology and Extension

Support : Although many technologies were

developed to help the women workforce in

sericulture, their awareness and utility have

not reached extensively in the field. Therefore,

in order to educate rural women workforce in

the utilisation of such women-friendly

technologies, SDA should train women farmers,

and if required, counseling can be organised

periodically in the event of crop failure.

(C) Access to Marketing and Income

Sharing : It is understood that women shoulder

higher responsibilities right from cultivation

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

of mulberry to cocoon harvesting. However,

they are denied access to benefits such as

marketing of cocoons, and income earned

from cocoon production. The prevailing social

and economic condition in rural villages and

family customs prevent women from

participating in marketing directly. Therefore,

it is time to create marketing avenues for

women to sell their cocoons directly. This will

help both in social transformation and in

empowering the women workforce.

(d) Effective Women’s Participation : There

is need for a campaign for effective

participation of women in the participatory

role and decision-making process. Increasing

rural migration by male workforce to urban

places for seeking higher wage-oriented

opportunities created more work burden for

women. It has created a sort of compulsion on

rural women to stay back in villages to take

care of domestic works as well as farming.

Hence, to reduce their work stress relatively,

SDA should conduct health care campaigns

and motivational programmes to improve their

skills, and ensure their effective participation

in sericulture.

(e) Implementation of Women Oriented

Programmes: No doubt women contribute

extensively to improve their social and

economic conditions through increased

participation. Although several schemes/

programmes are being implemented in

agriculture to improve the working conditions

of rural women, similar developments are

lacking in sericulture. It is suggested that the

following schemes/programmes be

implemented in sericulture by the SDAs in

letter and sprit.

(1) Establishment of mulberry Kisan

nurseries by women managed self-help

groups (SHGs)

(2) Women-headed and women organised

technical service centres (TSCs) to

provide technical support to women

workforce


Employment of Rural Women in Sericulture - An Empirical Analysis 171

(3) Health-insurance for women workers

who work for promotion of biofertilisers

and bio-pesticides

(4) Encouraging setting up of SHGs by

women through creation of sericulture

development fund by SDAs.

(5) Plan for long-term projects for women

development in sericulture.

Conclusion

The analysis on women participation in

cocoon production has proved the hypotheses

that mulberry cultivation and silkworm-rearing

References

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

activities are both women centric, and employ

higher degree of own family female labour.

Therefore, in this context, it would be

appropriate as well as mandatory to empower

them in sericulture, as women are not being

given importance in decision-making and

economic empowerment. In other words,

they are not adequately recognised in

sericulture in important activities like resource

mobilisation and marketing. It is time to

implement women development oriented

projects by Sericulture Development Agencies

to recognise their contribution and, increase

their effective participation in silk industry.

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R.K. Datta.R.K. (1996), "Economic Issues of Production of Mulberry Cocoon in Tamil Nadu - A Micro

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Cocoon Production in Mandya District of Karnataka", Indian Journal of Sericulture, 44 (2) , pp : 179-

182.

6. Lakshmanan. S (2007a), "Yield Gaps in Mulberry Sericulture in Karnataka: An Econometric Analysis", Indian

Journal of Agriculture Economics, Vol. 62(4), pp : 623-636.

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Agriculture, 39(4), pp : 28-30.

8. Lakshmanan S. and R.G. Geetha Devi (2007a), "Employment Generation in Dry Farming Sericulture in

Karnataka- An Empirical Study", Manpower Journal, Vol. XLII, No.1, pp : 181-198.

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MANAGE Extension Research Review, Vol. VII (1), January-June, pp: 85-92.

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Empirical Study", SBI Monthly Review, April, pp:16-19.


172 S. Lakshmanan

11. Lakshmanan, S, H.M. Munikrishnappa., B. Mallikarjuna and R.G. Geetha Devi (2008), "An Economic Appraisal

of Silk Cocoon Production in Southern India", Indian Journal of Sericulture, 47(1): 40-44.

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Sericulture : An Economic Analysis", The IUP Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. VII (3):75-83.

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An Analysis", Manpower Journal, Vol. XLV (2), April-June, pp:1-12

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Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 173 - 192

NIRD, Hyderabad.

INDIA’S TOTAL SANITATION

CAMPAIGN : IS IT ON THE RIGHT

TRACK? PROGRESS AND ISSUES

OF TSC IN ANDHRA PRADESH

ABSTRACT

M. Snehalatha,

V. Anitha*

The Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) is the flagship sanitation programme of

Government of India to reach the Millennium Development Goals. But this programme

has not yet achieved its set targets. This paper raises some key research questions like

will India and Andhra Pradesh achieve the Millennium Development Goal of

Sanitation ?Are the TSC targets realistic? What is the coverage and usage status of the

sanitation facilities? etc. Analysis of field data reveals that Andhra Pradesh has

achieved a coverage status of 60 per cent but the usage of toilets by households is

alarmingly low. The major challenges include insufficient fund allocations as

compared to water, lack of effective strategies for demand creation, no or low

expenditure on the IEC components etc. For taking the TSC in a mission mode there is

an immediate need to restructure and strengthen the Village Water and Sanitation

Committees (VWSCs) and the Panchayats by decentralising powers and finances. The

Government should focus on public-private partnerships that can accelerate

solutions and enhance service provision. Proper steps are to be taken for demand

generation through mass awareness campaigns using the local media, mobile

networks and creative advertisements, keeping the principles of human dignity,

quality of life, shame and fame and finally the environmental safety at household

and community level as central focus. Demand generation, capacity building and IEC

strategies have to become the integral part of the system using the Non- Government

Organisations (NGOs) or local resource persons or centres. Further, massive

programmes like TSC require intense community support and involvement, hence

building community vision beyond construction is essential to sustain the sanitation

behaviour change.

* Country coordinator, and Research Scholar and Project Secretary, Respectively, for the WASHCost India

project at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), N.O Campus, Begumpet, Hyderabad.

WASHCost is an ongoing international project being implemented by IRC, Netherlands in four countries.

Thanks are due to Dr. A. J. James (Environmental and Natural Resource Economist, ICRA Management

Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd) and Professor. V. Ratna Reddy (Director, Livelihoods and Natural Resource

Management Institute - LNRMI) for their useful comments on the earlier drafts of the paper. The authors

would also like to thank all our colleagues and field staff of WASHCost (India) Project for their valuable

support in collecting the information from the field which was very instrumental in compilation of this

article. Thanks are due to Dr. Charles Batchelor (WASH Governance specialist, International Water and

Sanitation Centre - IRC) and Prof. Manoj Panda (Director, CESS) who supported to bring this working

paper. However, the usual disclaimers apply.


174 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

Introduction

Sanitation is vital for human health and

it is one of the important indicators that reflect

the quality of life of the people. It is a basic

necessity that affects everyone's life and is a

yard stick of socio-cultural and economic

development of a nation.

Over one billion people worldwide have

gained access to improved sanitation in the

past 14 years, with the global sanitation

coverage having increased from 49 to 59 per

cent between 1990 and 2004 (UNICEF, 2008a).

Yet, the world continues to be off the track to

meet the Millennium Development Goal

(MDG) to reduce by half the proportion of

people without access to basic sanitation by

2015. India stands second amongst the worst

places in the world for sanitation. The severity

of the problem in India could be judged from

the fact that hardly 33 per cent of overall

population has sanitation facility available. A

mere 14 per cent of people in rural areas of

the country had access to toilets in 1990, the

proportion had gone up to 28 per cent in 2006.

Interestingly, the coverage is 59 per cent in

urban areas (WHO/Unicef, 2004). In rural areas

of India, 74 per cent of the population still

defecate in the open and the latest survey

reveals that it has decreased to 65 per cent

which is still low (NSSO, 2008). Developing

countries like India, where the cash income is

very low and the idea of building a facility for

defecation in or near the house may not seem

natural. And where facilities exist, they are

often inadequate. India is losing billions of

dollars each year because of poor sanitation.

Illnesses are costly to families, and to the

economy as a whole in terms of productivity

losses and expenditure on medicines, health

care, and funerals (United Nations, 2008).

According to Hutton and Bartram (2008), it is

estimated that about US$ 42 billion for water

and US$ 142 billion for sanitation, a combined

annual equivalent of US$ 18 billion is required

to meet the MDG target worldwide. The cost

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

of maintaining existing services totals an

additional US$ 322 billion for water supply and

US $216 billion for sanitation, a combined

annual equivalent of US$ 54 billion.

Given these hard realities Government

of India remains committed to making India

open defecation-free by 2012 (MoHRD, 2002).

Such a strong commitment of the Government

can be witnessed through India's TSC

programme with an outlay of ` 120 billion,

which is one of the largest sanitation

programmes in the world. Keeping this

background in view, this paper has tried to

address some of the key research questions

such as 1) what is the sanitation coverage

across India and in Andhra Pradesh? 2) is

sanitation getting enough attention in budgets

and in project implementation? 3) are the

Central and State Governments able to reach

the set targets of TSC and Millennium

Development Goals? 4) what are the

constraints and issues in implementation of

Total Sanitation Campaign etc.

Methodology

This paper is based on the secondary data

collected from online TSC monitoring website

and the data collected from Department of

Drinking Water Supply (DDWS) both from GoI

and Andhra Pradesh. Further, the Government

of India and Government of Andhra Pradesh

budget documents were used to assess the

allocations made specifically for sanitation.

Further, the field data from WASHCost study

are presented wherever appropriate to support

the analysis. The analysis is focused both at

National (India) and State levels (especially for

Andhra Pradesh).

History of Sanitation Initiatives : Water

supply and sanitation is a state responsibility

under the Indian Constitution. The first Five

Year Plan had allocated very negligible

investments to sanitation while the Sixth Plan

had considerable amount due to the launch


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 175

of International Drinking Water Supply and

Sanitation Decade in 1980. The Ministry of

Urban Development (MoUD) was the nodal

agency for water and sanitation sector at the

beginning of the Seventh Plan. Subsequently,

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation is

transferred to the Department of Rural

Development (DRD). Rural water supply was

an important constituent of the State sector

during the Seventh Plan. In 1986, the National

Drinking Water Mission (NDWM), popularly

known as the "Technology Mission" was

launched in order to provide scientific and

cost-effective content to the Centrally

sponsored Accelerated Rural Water Supply

Programme (ARWSP). Later in 1986, it was

decided that a portion of the funds, made

available under the rural employment

programme and the Indira Awaas Yojana, to

be utilised for rural sanitation. Rural sanitation

programme was also added to the State sector

MNP (Minimum Needs Programme) from

1987-88. In November 1986, a new Centrally

Sponsored Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP)

was launched. The CRSP relied on providing

the hardware subsidies and did not focus on

other aspects resulting in just 1 per cent

increase of rural sanitation. The 2001 census

revealed only 22 per cent of the households

had access to a toilet with an investment of

over 6 billion to construct 9 million toilets.

Recognising the limitations of this approach,

the Total Sanitation Campaign was launched

in 1999. According to guidelines, the TSC

moves away from the infrastructure focused

approach of earlier programmes and

concentrates on promoting behaviour change.

In addition, it includes a fiscal incentive

scheme, Nirmal Gram Puraskar that promotes

the role of Gram Panchayat and local

communities in achieving community-wide

total sanitation status.

Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) : The

Central Rural Sanitation Programme (CRSP),

launched in 1986 and revised in 1992, was a

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

traditional, supply-driven subsidy-oriented

programme. In April 1999, CRSP was

restructured and launched as the Total

Sanitation Campaign (TSC) making it 'people

oriented' and 'demand driven'. TSC projects

have been sanctioned in 593 rural districts of

the country with a total outlay of `. 17,885

crore with a Central share of `. 11,094 crore.

TSC lays strong emphasis on Information,

Education and Communication (IEC), Capacity

Building and Hygiene Education for effective

behaviour change with involvement of

Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs), Community

Based Organisations (CBOs), and Nongovernmental

organisations (NGOs), etc. The

key intervention areas are Individual

Household Latrines (IHHL), School Sanitation

and Hygiene Education (SSHE), Community

Sanitary Complex, Anganwadi toilets

supported by Rural Sanitary Marts (RSMs) and

Production Centres (PCs).

Although the concept of sanitation has

undergone qualitative changes over the years,

there has been slow progress in the sanitary

conditions compared to rural water supply. To

combat this, State Water and Sanitation

Missions (SWSM) were established as per

Government of India (GoI) guidelines to have

mission mode approach with an objective to

cover problem villages, improve performance

and cost-effectiveness of ongoing

programme.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Analysis of the secondary data reveals

that TSC has helped in changing the

momentum of sanitation but unable to reach

the expected targets. Detailed findings are

discussed under the following sub-headings.

Status of Coverage of Physical Targets

under TSC Programme

The TSC programme had a herculean task

of providing access to the toilets in the rural


176 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

areas and accordingly the targets have been

fixed to reach every household by 2012.

Despite the full decade of continuous efforts

and incentives, the achievement percentage

is quite discouraging especially looking at the

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

It could be seen from Fig.1 that the

targets reached in the last 10 years is below

56 per cent in IHHL for BPL though it is 79 per

cent in school toilets and 68 per cent in

Anganwadi toilets for all India, while the

achievement per cent for Andhra Pradesh is

62. If we look at the target of TSC which is

expected to reach the balance target (38 per

cent) to be achieved in just two years (i.e by

2012) seems to be almost impossible with the

existing institutional arrangements and the

approach followed to reach the rural

households. At the all India level only Rural

Sanitary Marts target has crossed 124 per cent

and in Andhra Pradesh sanitation components

and Rural Sanitary Marts have reached targets

of 158 and 190 per cent, respectively which

seems to be unbelievable given the IHHL

coverage.

It could be seen from Fig. 2 that there

was good progress between 2003 and 2004

in terms of coverage providing the hardware.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

target ahead. The physical target for Eleventh

Plan is to cover 69 million households with

IHHLs, 25769 sanitary complexes, 1,33,114

anganwadis and all the remaining schools to

be provided with safe sanitation facilities.

Fig. 1: Sanitation – Component-wise Physical Targets and Achievements (2001 to 2010)

But it could be noticed that progress in the

last two years is declining, indicating the low

priority given to sanitation. Further, it is evident

from the graph that though the percentage is

little high in case of Andhra Pradesh, the

overall performance is similar to that of India.

This could have made the Government focus

more on the start up and IEC activities but the

achievement percentage for the last three

years (2006 - 2009) towards sanitation brings

back the question “are the MDGs a myth”? Or

“are the TSC goals realistic?” The hard realities

of reaching 40 per cent of households with

sanitation facilities in just two years with the

given institutional arrangements is not only

difficult but unrealistic.

Financial Targets and Achievements of TSC

Programme

The total project outlay for the TSC is

more than ` 12,580 million, out of this GoI

share is 783 million, State’s share is 2861


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 177

Fig. 2 : Year-wise Physical Progress of Achievement in India and Andhra Pradesh

Source: www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

millions and beneficiary share is 1920 million.

It is projected that the full coverage of rural

drinking water supply is to be achieved by

March 2009 and 100 per cent sanitation

coverage by the end of Eleventh Plan (2012)

with mass awareness campaigns and Nirmal

Gram Puraskar (Eleventh Planning Commission

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Report, 2007-2012). The outlay proposed for

Eleventh Plan is ` 7816 crore (` 6910 crore at

2006-07 prices). The allocation for AP in 2007

and 2008 is `1060 crore. The funds allocated

for water and sanitation are meagre (4-8 per

cent) compared to the budget allocations for

other sectors (Reddy & Batchelor, 2009).

Fig. 3 : Year-wise Allocations and Expenditure on Sanitation in India

d

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.


178 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

Further, it could be seen from Fig.3 that

the year-wise approvals for the last three years

(2006 – 2009) were low and hence the

allocations and expenditure. It needs to be

noted that though the allocations were made

to the states, they are not able to spend the

amounts and reach the targets. The reasons

could be improper planning and lack of efforts

in demand creation, low or no staff members

specifically dedicated to promote the

sanitation activities.

It could be seen from Fig.3 that, from

2006 onwards the approvals got declined from

the Central budgets. While the budget releases

declined for the fiscal year 2009-2010 and

consequently the expenditure, causing

concern to reach the full coverage of sanitation

and subsequently the Millennium

Development Goals.

Sanitation Component-wise Financial

Progress

If we analyse the financial progress

among the various sub-components of the

Total Sanitation programme it clearly reveals

that there is much more to achieve under each

component.

Fig. 4 : Component-wise Financial Progress (percentage)

in Andhra Pradesh and India under TSC

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Fig.4 reveals that except under the

school sanitation and anganwadi toilets, the

expenditure is below 35 per cent which is an

alarming situation and it raises lot of concerns

over the realistic nature of the targets set to

achieve. Further, the reasons for the progress

in school sanitation could be attributed to the

fact that funds are released to the SSA (Sarva

Siksha Abhiyan) programme of Education

Department for construction of school toilets.

They take up construction of school sanitary

complexes as part of improving the school

infrastructure and facilities. Further, nonprovision

of toilets within the school premises

were causing school dropouts especially in

case of girl children, hence the acceleration

to complete toilet construction gained

momentum. But field reality is that the toilets

constructed are not being used by children,

they are either locked or not being used due

to lack of water and other cleanliness issues

(Snehalatha et al., 2010). The percentage of

achievement with respect to solid and liquid

waste management is least both at India level

(5 per cent) and in Andhra Pradesh level (6

per cent) indicating low importance given to

the task. Further, the Panchayats are to be

receiving the funds for undertaking activities

Andhra Pradesh


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 179

but the reality on the ground is that the

Panchayats often do not receive funds, even

if received, the priority is not given to using

the funds for the intended purpose, hence the

coverage is very low.

Expenditure on Soft Vs Hardware

Component

Expenditure on soft components like

Information, Communication and Education

(IEC) activities is very important and it is one

of the major shifts in policy through TSC. But

the Figure below reveals that the expenditure

incurred on this component is below the

sanctioned amounts.

The expenditure pattern for software

component (Fig. 5) reveals that a meagre or

negligible amount has been spent on the IEC

especially in case of Andhra Pradesh compared

to India. The administritative costs booked are

also less indicating the lack of staff working

for sanitation. During the secondary data

analysis for the State of Andhra Pradesh it is

revealed that out of the sanctioned 5380 posts,

1742 posts are vacant which is around 25 per

cent of the total staff (Source: Department of

Rural Water Supply and Saniation status note,

2009). The existing staff are stretching beyond

their capacity to work without any incentives.

It was revealed by some staff members that

Fig. 5 : Expenditure on Software

Components of Sanitation

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

they are working in five to eight divisions

instead of one or two. Further, the IEC

component which is crucial for the

behavioural change of the rural households is

given least priority leading to less demand for

toilets. Role of Non-Governmental Organisations

in demand generation activities is

completely ignored.

Fig.6 reveals that the expenditure under

hardware is more than approved both for India

and Andhra Pradesh indicating the dominance

of engineering bias towards only construction.

But this is an incorrect approach of addressing

the most sensitive problem of India where 74

per cent of rural population considers that

open defecation is an accepted cultural norm.

Fig. 6 : Comparative Analysis of

Percentage of Expenditure on

Hardware and Software (2001-10)

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Are the Targets Realistic?

Andhra Pradesh

It can be noted that though the

Government of India has initiated all the above

programmes with new targets and dimensions

each year, the coverage seems to be picking

up at a very slower pace than anticipated. It

could be noted from Figure 7 that after the

launch of Total Sanitation Programme there is

considerable improvement in terms of

sanitation coverage levels mostly in rural areas.

The coverage is about 57 per cent until year

2008. The baseline coverage was 21 per cent,


180 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

which means that it precisely took eight years

to reach 57 per cent. Another 43 per cent is to

be achieved in just three years i.e. by 2012, to

Source : Govt. of India, Dept. of Drinking Water Supply.

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

reach the Millennium Development Goals,

which seems to be a highly difficult task given

the scale of operation.

Fig. 7 : Rural Sanitation IHHL Coverage in India

In the case of Andhra Pradesh also the

year wise percentage of achievement is

almost similar to that of all India figures causing

concerns over the target that still needs to be

achieved.

Coverage Vs Usage

As it is, coverage of households with

toilets itself is an issue, but the usage of these

toilets is another major challenge. A number

Fig. 8 : Year-wise progress of IHHL in Andhra Pradesh

Achievement percentage of IHHL in Andhra Pradesh


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 181

of studies pointed that though there is

coverage, lots needs to be done to make these

toilets used by the intended beneficiaries

through awareness creation. Snehalatha and

Reddy (2009) reported that though toilets are

present in majority of households, they still

defecate openly. Further, the school toilets

are either used by teachers or under lock. Even

the adolescent girls reported that they do not

have access to the toilets even in a single

school of the study area and have to urinate in

BOX 1: Access to 1 and Usage 2 of Individual Sanitary Latrines (ISLs)

Surveys in sample villages (20) across two agro climatic zones at household level

reveal that around 76 per cent of the households in NGP villages and 32 per cent of

households in non-NGP villages have access to household toilet facilities. The higher

access in NGP villages may be due to long-term efforts on sanitation promotion which

is probably absent from non-NGP villages. Access levels vary across villages depending

on household income, water availability, awareness, support from government

schemes, etc. Despite the subsidy provided through the government programmes,

sanitation is poor and requires intensive efforts from both Government and

communities. Factors such as low awareness levels, lack of space to construct toilets,

resistance to changing a traditional practice of open defecation, and non-affordability

act as major constraints to gaining access to toilets (Snehalatha et al., 2010).

1 An individual sanitary toilet (ISL) is designed to provide safety, privacy and dignity and

is usually located within the house premises.

2 Usage means use of the toilet by all the family members at all times. This paper does not

discuss in detail WASHCost data on hygiene behaviour in families.

Inter-State Performance in Achieving

TSC Targets

The percentage of achievement of

different components of sanitation i.e

Individual Household Latrines (IHHLs), school

toilets, anganwadi toilets and sanitary complex

across the states in India is indicated in Table

1. It is observed that, Goa achieved 100 per

cent target regarding IHHL, whereas Manipur

and D&N Haveli were least in percentage of

achievement. The performance of states like

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

the open. The difficulty in changing the

mindset of the people remains a major

challenge for the successful implementation

of the TSC programme. The main reasons for

non-use of the constructed toilets under TSC

are cultural and traditional beliefs, scarcity of

water, lack of awareness on health benefits if

using toilet, myths about filling of pit etc.

Further, the box provided gives the reality on

the ground.

Bihar (15.54 per cent), Rajasthan (11.6 per

cent), Maharashtra (25.43 per cent) and

Jammu & Kashmir (8.36 per cent) is low. States

such as Sikkim (105.02 per cent), Gujarat (101.7

per cent), Mizoram (97.49 per cent), Kerala

(98.27 per cent) and Haryana (98.24 per cent)

were achieving good targets with respect to

school toilets. At all India level, the

achievement targets of IHHL (35.34 per cent)

was much lesser as compared with the

achievements of school toilets (69.75 per cent)

and anganwadi (63.46 per cent).


182 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

Table 1: Component-wise Achievement in TSC Across the Different States (in per cent)

S. No. State Name IHHL School Anganwadi Sanitary Complex

1 Andhra Pradesh 36.85 67.6 20.15 95.18

2 Arunachal Pradesh 12.67 82.07 46.16 7.12

3 Assam 11.85 58.51 26.14 2.22

4 Bihar 15.54 52.34 15.31 9.03

5 Chhattisgarh 32.51 91.49 75.92 29.82

6 D & N Haveli 0.36 0 0 6.67

7 Goa 10 1.68 18.37 9.1

8 Gujarat 47.77 101.7 87.6 82.02

9 Haryana 62.49 98.24 79.45 75.47

10 Himachal Pradesh 12.89 38.83 30.36 7.53

11 Jammu & Kashmir 8.36 46.55 7.51 9.96

12 Jharkhand 23.29 78.46 32.98 6.4

13 Karnataka 23.69 64.83 94.11 43.8

14 Kerala 84.85 98.27 67.29 58.15

15 Madhya Pradesh 32.9 73.65 78.03 42.93

16 Maharashtra 25.43 82.14 91.95 20.85

17 Manipur 3.52 27.59 79.79 18.95

18 Meghalaya 17.15 32.84 19.16 17.19

19 Mizoram 89.41 97.49 96.2 46.66

20 Nagaland 19.75 54.51 49.3 26.55

21 Orissa 21.74 68.65 41.99 2.84

22 Puducherry 7.33 0 100 0

23 Punjab 1.44 25.49 0 9.83

24 Rajasthan 11.6 59.48 36.81 16.66

25 Sikkim 344.5 105.02 117.65 58.56

26 Tamil Nadu 57.02 94.23 105.56 56.49

27 Tripura 83.49 71.07 82.32 109.31

28 Uttar Pradesh 69.94 83.8 73.36 97.28

29 Uttarakhand 22.85 41.96 13.7 2.09

30 West Bengal 53.44 47.36 30.13 29.46

Grand Total 35.34 69.75 63.46 35.08

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 183

Further, inter-state comparison is done

by classifying the percentage of achievements

into three categories such as below 50 per

cent, 50-75 per cent and above 75 per cent as

shown in Table 3 which indicate the

forerunner states in terms of their progress

towards total sanitation. It could be noticed

Table 2: Categorisation of States Across the Sanitation Components

Achievement IHHL Sanitary School Anganwadi

percentage Complexes Toilets Toilets

Below 50%

Andhra Pradesh,

Arunachal Pradesh,

Assam, Bihar,

Chhattisgarh, D & N

Haveli, Himachal

Pradesh, Jammu &

Kashmir, Jharkhand,

Karnataka, Gujarat,

Madhya Pradesh,

Maharashtra,

Manipur,

Meghalaya,

Nagaland, Orissa,

Puducherry, Punjab,

Rajasthan and

Uttarakhand

50-75% Haryana, Tamil

Nadu and West

Bengal

Above 75% Sikkim has the

highest % of 344.5,

followed by Goa,

Kerala, Mizoram,

Tripura and Uttar

Pradesh

Source : ddws.nic.in

Arunachal

Pradesh, Assam,

Bihar,

Chhattisgarh,

D & N Haveli,

Jammu &

Kashmir,Jharkhand,

Karnataka,

Manipur,

Meghalaya,

Nagaland, Orissa,

Puducherry,

Punjab, Rajasthan

and Uttarakhand

Andhra Pradesh,

Madhya Pradesh,

Maharashtra and

Uttar Pradesh

Goa, Gujarat,

Haryana, Himachal

Pradesh, Kerala

Mizoram, Sikkim,

Tamil Nadu, Tripura

and West Bengal

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

that when the performance across all the

states on the IHHL progress is seen, more than

15 States are below 50 per cent of

achievement and around 5 States are between

50-75 per cent of achievement. There are

about 6 states which have achieved above 75

per cent.

Arunachal Pradesh,

Assam,Bihar,

Chhattisgarh,

D & N Haveli, Goa,

Himachal Pradesh,

Jharkhand,

Karnataka,

Madhya Pradesh,

Maharashtra,

Manipur,

Meghalaya, Orissa,

Puducherry,

Punjab, Rajasthan,

Uttarakhand and

West Bengal

Jammu & Kashmir,

Mizoram, Nagaland,

and Tripura

Andhra Pradesh,

Gujarat, Haryana,

Kerala, Sikkim,

Tamil Nadu and

Uttar Pradesh

D & N Haveli,

Himachal Pradesh,

Jammu & Kashmir,

Manipur,

Meghalaya,

Nagaland,

Puducherry and

West Bengal

Assam, Bihar, Goa,

Rajasthan and

Uttarakhand

Andhra Pradesh,

Arunachal Pradesh,

Chhattisgarh,

Gujarat, Haryana,

Jharkhand,

Karnataka, Kerala,

Madhya Pradesh,

Maharashtra,

Mizoram, Orissa,

Punjab, Rajasthan,

Sikkim, Tamil Nadu,

Tripura and Uttar

Pradesh


184 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

IHHL Coverage Status Across India : Under

IHHL coverage across the different States in

India, Arunachal Pradesh , Assam, Bihar,

Chhattisgarh, D & N Haveli, Himachal Pradesh,

Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka,

Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur,

Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Puducherry,

Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand fall under

the category of below 50 per cent of IHHL

coverage. In the States of Haryana, Andhra

Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the

coverage status is in between 50-75 per cent.

Notable feature is that Sikkim has the highest

percentage of IHHL coverage accounting to

344.5 per cent which implies the importance

given for the IHHL in the mindsets of people

and care for the health and environment,

followed by Goa, Kerala, Mizoram, Tripura and

Uttar Pradesh. Further, all these states are very

small in geographical area except Uttar

Pradesh, hence reaching the households to

motivate on IHHL access and usage could be

easy.

Sanitary Complexes Coverage Status

Across India : Sixteen States have less than 50

per cent of coverage under the sanitary

complexes component, which is a clear

indication that focus is not given to this area.

The poor who do not have enough space and

money to construct toilets depend on these

complexes and low coverage on this area

would increase the number of households not

having accessibility to toilets which makes

MDGs much more difficult to achieve.

Between 50 to 75 per cent of coverage is seen

in Andhra Pradesh (67.6 per cent), Madhya

Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh

implying the role played by the respective

State Governments towards total sanitation.

Ten States i.e Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal

Pradesh, Kerala Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu,

Tripura and West Bengal have a coverage of

above 75 per cent which clearly puts forth the

fact that these states are focusing more on

sanitation coverage. The achievement could

be attributed to the literacy levels and priority

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

given to the agenda by the state Governments

etc. But as reported earlier, the coverage does

not mean the usage and many studies (TARU

(2008), have reported that despite access,

household members are not using the toilets.

School Toilets Coverage Status Across

India : Nineteen States fall under the category

of below 50 per cent coverage. The reasons

that can be attributed partly could be the

disproportionate use of funds, diversion of

funds to some other sector, lack of interest

amongst the elected as well as the community

members to build toilets in school premises

etc. States of Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram,

Nagaland and Tripura have been pooled in the

category of 50 to75 per cent coverage, could

be that these states have realised the need

for the construction of school toilets. Andhra

Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Sikkim, Tamil

Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have more than 75

per cent of coverage of the school toilets.

Reasons that can be attributed are State

Governments involving Education Department

for construction of toilets and also the massive

drives combined with girl child education etc.

Anganwadi Toilets Coverage Status Across

India : Eight States are categorised under below

50 per cent coverage. More than 75 per cent

coverage is seen in 18 States (Andhra Pradesh,

Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat,

Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya

Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Punjab,

Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and Uttar

Pradesh). This is mostly due to the promotion

of the self-help groups and Anganwadi centres

across the States for the upliftment of women

groups. But it can be noted that in States of

Assam, Bihar, Goa, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand

coverage is between 50-75 per cent.

Status of Sanitation in Andhra Pradesh

As per the Report of the Department of

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in Andhra

Pradesh, 60 per cent of the rural households


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 185

were covered with sanitation facilities by the

end of the year 2009. Out of this majority had

Individual Sanitary Latrines (66 per cent)

outside their houses while 34 per cent had

attached latrines. About 36 per cent of

habitations have drainage facilities. Forty five

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

habitations are covered with solid waste

management facilities in an unscientific way.

Thirty two per cent of people are dumping in

front of houses and 44 per cent are dumping

on the road side (source: Progress Report of

ENC and PD SWSM, 2009).

Table 3: TSC Achievements in Andhra Pradesh (up to 2009 March)

Component Sanctioned Achieved Balance % Achievement

programme

up to 2012

ISLs to BPL 65,21,091 39,39,689 25,81,402 60.41

ISLs to APL 36,29,688 17,28,680 19,01,008 47.62

School toilets 1,14,861 96,823 18,038 84.29

Anganwadi toilets 15,645 4,789 10,856 30.61

Sanitary complexes 575 443 132 77.04

Source : Project Director, SWSM, RWSS, GoAP 2009 (Please note that the online data and state

report data differ slightly).

It can be inferred from the above Table

that the percentage of achievement of ISLs to

the total sanctioned ISLs for BPL families in

Andhra Pradesh is around 60.41 (up to March,

2009) and a balance of 39.59 has to be

achieved by 2012. The percentage of

achievement of sanitary complexes is around

77.04 indicating a balance of only 22.96 to be

achieved by 2012. But the Government has

decided a slow down on the community

complexes as O&M is becoming very difficult.

In fact it was learnt from the district offices

that they are dismantling the filled toilets as

the communities are not managing them

properly. The school toilet coverage is the

highest (84.29 per cent) among all the

components. The reasons for the success

could be that the Education Department takes

up the work and the school sanitation

committees are formed for O&M and the

special drive for girl child education which is

linked to toilet construction etc. On the

contrary, the percentage of achievement

under anganwadi toilets is only about 30.61

indicating no focus on this component. This

might increase the morbidity rate among the

children who attend the anganwadis. Further,

the children are losing an opportunity to get

themselves trained on sanitation and hygiene

practices due to lack of facilities. Apart from

these, the unit costs ( ` 25,000 ) provided for

school toilets and anganwadi toilet complexes

is much lower than actual costs (ranges

between 40,000 to 50,000) which might be

the reason for slow progress in many cases.

The families whoever have constructed the

ISLs with Government incentive (` 2500) had

to invest their own money to ensure the

quality of the structure. The toilets constructed

with subsidy without awareness generation

have been converted as storage room,

bathroom, livestock/ fuelwood storage room

etc. There is a need for a special drive for

bringing awareness among both BPL and APL


186 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

households on the importance of hygiene and

sanitation to avoid the unaccounted major

expenditure on medical treatment to combat

the diseases due to bad sanitation practices.

Table 4 : Component-wise Progress of Sanitation in Andhra Pradesh (per cent)

S.No. State/ IHL- IHL- Total - Sanitary School Anganwadi

District BPL APL IHL Complexes Toilets

1 Adilabad 37.81 26.6 33.61 0 85.57 32.55

2 Anantapur 100 2.21 68.04 0 100 100

3 Chittoor 68.37 55.89 62.82 0 85.75 100

4 Kadapa 70.36 7.71 39.04 0 70.38 89.17

5 East Godavari 49.09 27.66 41.79 72 92.88 34.28

6 Guntur 51.57 17.18 35.67 0 67.21 62.33

7 Karimnagar 40.93 20.65 33.31 0 92 70.47

8 Khammam 64.68 100 65.57 0 100 62.38

9 Krishna 53.79 30.8 46.12 17.65 71.07 100

10 Kurnool 51.88 100 72.6 0 71.77 9.62

11 Mahabubnagar 40.5 100 89.31 100 86.47 39.78

12 Medak 57.18 31.21 51.05 6 48.64 26.43

13 Nalgonda 94.9 55.16 78.15 0 86.9 100

14 Nellore 53.23 4.01 36.51 0 80.87 14.11

15 Nizamabad 90.98 100 100 0 100 100

16 Prakasam 43.97 59.36 49.1 0 90.71 80.13

17 Rangareddy 57.85 49.78 55.81 0 93.24 68.09

18 Srikakulam 30.53 36.52 33.09 15 71.48 32.71

19 Visakhapatnam 59.47 19.47 44.18 10 100 0

20 Vizianagaram 71.14 62.06 66.35 50 100 8.03

21 Warangal 100 100 100 0 91.34 6.31

22 West Godavari 98.21 100 99.21 100 100 62.41

Total 61.76 57.47 60.23 100 86.45 35.96

Source : www.ddws.nic.in dt: 01:01:2010.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

The progress across different districts of

Andhra Pradesh across different components

of sanitation is presented in Table 4.


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 187

Per cent of Total - Sanitary School Anganwadi

achievement IHHL Complexes Toilets Toilets

Below 50%

Adilabad, Kadapa,

East Godavari,

Guntur,

Karimnagar,

Krishna, Nellore,

Prakasam,

Srikakulam and

Visakhapatnam

50-75% Anantapur, Chittoor,

Khammam, Kurnool,

Medak, Rangareddy

and Vizianagaram

Above 75% Mahabubnagar,

Nalgonda, West

Godavari,

Nizamabad (100%)

and Warangal

(100%)

Source:ddws.nic.in

Table 5 : Inter-district Comparison of Various TSC Components

Krishna,

Srikakulam,

Visakhapatnam,

Vizianagaram,

Medak

0% or No -

Sanitary

complexes in

Adilabad,

Anantapur,

Chittoor, Kadapa,

Guntur,

Karimnagar,

Khammam,

Kurnool,

Nalgonda, Nellore,

Nizamabad,

Prakasam and

Rangareddy

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

East Godavari Kadapa, Guntur,

Krishna, Kurnool

and Srikakulam

West Godavari and

Mahabubnagar

Medak Adilabad, East

Godavari, Kurnool,

Mahabubnagar,

Medak, Nellore,

Srikakulam,

Vizianagaram and

Warangal

Adilabad,

Anantapur,

Chittoor, East

Godavari,

Karimnagar,

Mahabubnagar,

Nalgonda, Nellore,

Nizamabad,

Prakasam,

Rangareddy and

Warangal

100% - School

toilets in Anantapur,

Khammam,

Visakhapatnam,

Vizianagaram and

West Godavari

Guntur, Khammam,

Karimnagar,

Rangareddy and

West Godavari

Kadapa, Prakasam

100%- Anganwadi

toilets in

Anantapur,

Chittoor, Krishna,

Nalgonda and

Nizamabad,


188 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

The inter – district comparison is done by

classifying the percentage of achievements into

three categories such as below 50 per cent, 50-

75 per cent and above 75 per cent to indicate

the forerunner districts in terms of their progress

towards achieving total sanitation.

IHHL Coverage Status Across Andhra

Pradesh : From the above Table it can be inferred

that for physical achievements under different

components of TSC when IHHL coverage across

different districts in Andhra Pradesh is taken,

districts of Adilabad, Kadapa, East Godavari,

Guntur, Karimnagar, Krishna, Nellore, Prakasam,

Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam have below 50

per cent coverage and Anantapur , Chittoor,

Khammam, Kurnool, Medak, Rangareddy and

Vizianagaram have the coverage ranging

between 50-75 per cent and the districts of

Nizamabad and Warangal have 100 per cent

coverage and Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and

West Godavari have coverage above 75 per cent.

Sanitary Complexes Coverage Status Across

Andhra Pradesh : There are no – sanitary

complexes in Adilabad, Anantapur, Chittoor,

Kadapa, Guntur, Karimnagar, Khammam, Kurnool,

Nalgonda, Nellore, Nizamabad, Prakasam and

Rangareddy districts of Andhra Pradesh and

below 50 per cent coverage is seen in Krishna,

Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and

Medak. East Godavari is the only district which

has coverage of about 72 per cent and it falls in

the category of 50-75 per cent. West Godavari

and Mahabubnagar have 100 per cent coverage

of sanitary complexes in the districts which

speaks in volumes about the community and

the GP initiatives for a safe, clean and hygienic

environment for the people.

School Toilets Coverage Status Across

Andhra Pradesh : Medak (48.64 per cent) is the

only district which has a coverage of below 50

per cent for school toilets construction. Kadapa,

Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool and Srikakulam have

coverage status percentage ranging between

50-75 per cent and districts of Adilabad,

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Anantapur, Chittoor, East Godavari, Karimnagar,

Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Nellore, Nizamabad,

Prakasam, Rangareddy and Warangal have

coverage above 75 per cent and Anantapur,

Khammam, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and

West Godavari have 100 per cent coverage status

for school toilets.

Anganwadi Toilets Coverage Status Across

Andhra Pradesh : Adilabad, East Godavari, Kurnool,

Mahabubnagar, Medak, Nellore, Srikakulam,

Vizianagaram and Warangal have < 50 per cent

and Anantapur, Chittoor, Krishna, Nalgonda and

Nizamabad have 100% – anganwadi toilets.

Guntur, Karimnagar, Khammam, Rangareddy and

West Godavari have coverage between 50-75

per cent and Kadapa and Prakasam have > 75

per cent of coverage status.

The above findings show that the

coverage is quite good but the real picture on

the ground is something different which is

represented in Box-2 from WASHCost research.

BOX-2 : Access and Usage in Six

Districts of Andhra Pradesh

As part of the WASHCost project, field

survey was conducted in six districts of

Andhra Pradesh and the findings revealed

that the access to toilets is very low

especially in the non-NGP villages. The

coverage of toilets is quite low compared

to the figure indicated in the above Tables.

Further, even those households who own

the toilets are not using the toilets which is

quite evident from the percentage of open

defecation. Open defecation in villages

like Chennipad, Maliala, Kamkole,

Machireddipally etc. is so alarming that

reaching the coverage target of

Millennium Development Goal seem to be

very distant. Further, the usage in some

villages despite having the toilets causes

more concern and confirm the findings

(Fig. 7) of low amounts spent on the IEC

activities.


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 189

District Village % of HHs having IHHLs % of open defecation

Ranga Reddy Godamkunta (NGP) 89 12

Munirabad (NGP) 88 9

Ramdaspally 50 10

Khanapur 76 22

Tulekalan 42 62

Nalgonda Bandasomaram (NGP) 79 22

Malkapur (NGP) 73 15

Gopalapuram 47 48

Mahabubnagar Kistaram(NGP) 44 78

Chennipad 9 90

Warangal Gangadevipally (NGP) 88 0

Maliala 13 88

Pembarthi 30 70

Khammam Mangalithanda 40 58

Medipally (NGP) 91 8

Jagannadhapuram (NGP) 84 17

Venkatapuram 76 20

Medak Kamkole 11 89

Machireddipally 16 86

Enkepally 37 65

Source : WASHCost Survey 2010.

Challenges for Total Sanitation Campaign

(TSC)

As seen from the above discussions it

can be noted that achieving total sanitation is

a very complex problem and there are various

types of constraints to implement the

programme. It is important that policymakers

and implementors need to strictly adhere to

programme principles when planning and

implementing the strategies to solve the

sanitation problems. As identified by Lenton

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

et al. (2005) as well as Tipping et al. (2005), the

problems with governance are one of the main

impediments of sanitation sector. The everchanging

political system makes it challenging

to create a lasting progress especially since

the investments may not yield results during

one term (Lenton et al., 2005). The major

challenges observed are:

* Sanitation coverage across all the TSC

components is low, and reaching TSC

targets by year 2012 is difficult.


190 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

* There are huge variations across the

States in reaching the targets indicating

that there is no cross learning and

sharing between the States on how to

take this agenda forward. Similar results

are found across the districts within the

State of Andhra Pradesh.

* Though TSC allocated huge amounts for

Information, Communication, Education

(IEC) and start up activities, the amounts

have not been spent reflecting the low

priority given to the software against the

hardware components.

* The allocated amounts for building the

ISLs and school sanitation blocks and

anganwadi complexes were perceived

very low (actual costs Vs unit costs) and

ensuring the quality is a major challenge

using these unit costs. Further, the

allocations for sanitation were declining

from Central Government budgets.

* The funds for drainages and solid

disposal are either limited or nonexistent

at the Panchayat level making

the sanitation incomplete and difficult

to cover.

* Generating awareness and building the

capacities of local institutions on the

Operation and Maintenance and

monitoring the sanitation behaviour

change are perceived as a major

challenge. Further, the department does

not have specialised staff/ experts for

undertaking these promotion campaigns

and trainings.

* Village Water and Sanitation Committees

(VWSC) do not exist in the villages and

the water and sanitation component is

given least priority by the Panchayat.

* To achieve TSC targets various

departments are brought in, but inter -

departmental coordination among the

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

implementing agencies is completely

lacking leading to less coverage as many

of these activities are interlinked and

require a sequence in implementation.

* The staff vacancy in the department is

very high and given the workload it is

very difficult to focus on the sanitation

where they are trained more for

technical engineering rather than the

social engineering which is essential to

reach the sanitation coverage.

Conclusions and Way Forward

Proper sanitation is the basis of a healthy

environment. For reaching the Millennium

Development Goal of “Halve, by 2015, the

proportion of people without sustainable

access to safe drinking-water and basic

sanitation”, the Government should take

proper initiatives to make people aware about

the impact of improper sanitation on the

environment and should make some

emergency programme to achieve the

Millennium Development Sanitation Goal.

Since usage is the major issue than

coverage, the Government should take proper

steps for demand generation through Mass

Awareness Campaigns using the local media,

mobile networks and creative advertisements,

keeping the principles of human dignity,

quality of life, shame and fame and finally the

environmental security at household and

community level as central focus. For taking

the TSC in a mission mode, efforts have to be

made in establishing the Village Water and

Sanitation Committees (VWSC) and the

Panchayats have to be strengthened using the

Non-Governmental Organisations or local

resource persons or centres. Further, behaviour

change messages have to be disseminated

across various stakeholder groups by making

individual household contacts and also by

using the local bodies or community based

organisations such as Self-Help Groups (SHGs),


India's Total Sanitation Campaign : Is It on the Right Track? 191

Rythu Mitra groups etc. For undertaking these

activities the Department should hire

specialised staff by providing necessary

facilities like transport and audio-visual

material to disseminate the messages

effectively. Further, for any programme to be

successful there needs to be a continuous

monitoring and learning. The NGP villages and

the households which have constructed the

toilets need to be monitored for a certain

period of time to stabilise the behaviour

change. Department must take initiatives in

this direction and accelerate the monitoring

process by hiring additional staff which is very

crucial. The District Water and Sanitation

Mission has to be rehabilitated and their

functioning may be initiated on the model of

Water and Sanitation Management

Organisation (WASMO) in Gujarat and Tamil

Nadu Water and Drainage (TWAD) Board in

Tamil Nadu.

Notes

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Further, massive programmes like TSC

require community support and involvement

is essential, hence it is critical to build the vision

of the community beyond construction and

towards ownership and management. The

communities need to build their capacities

towards good governance, operation and

minor repair management, systems for

generating the income at community level in

the form of user charges etc. The community

should take active responsibility in solid and

liquid disposal systems following the slopes

and contour lines etc. Further, the funds need

to be allocated for undertaking the drainage

systems in a systematic manner. For effective

implementation of TSC there is an urgent need

for convergence and sequence of activities,

i.e. “demand generation” followed by “fund

disbursal” followed by “regular monitoring” for

ensuring effective results in sanitation

behaviour adoption at household, school and

community levels.

1. Guy Hutton and Jamie Bartram (2008), "Global Costs of Attaining the Millennium Development Goal for

Water Supply and Sanitation", Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol.86 No.1, 86:13-19. Water

and Sanitation Program, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

2. Lenton Roberto., Albert M. Wright and Kristen Lewis (2005), "Health, Dignity and Development: What

Will It Take?" Earthscan, London.

3. MoHRD (2002), "The Indian Child", New Delhi.

4. Snehalatha. M, Ratna Reddy. V and N. Jaya Kumar (2010), "Pumps, Pipes and Promises -Assessing Sanitation

Costs and Services in Andhra Pradesh, India", Paper Presented at the IRC Symposium, Netherlands.

5. Reddy V. Ratna & Batchelor, C.,(2009)."Can Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services be Improved by

Mainstreaming Life-cycle Cost Approaches (LCCA) into Planning and Other Governance Processes? Initial

Assessment of LCCA in Andhra Pradesh". Working Paper 7, Centre for Economic and Social Studies,

Hyderabad.

6. Tipping David C., Daniel Adom and Anna K. Tibaijuka (2005)," Achieving Healthy Urban Futures in the

21st Century: New Approaches to Financing and Governance of Access to Clean Drinking Water and

Basic Sanitation As a Global Public Good", Publications of Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Helsinki.

7. TARU (2008), "Impact Assessment of Nirmal Gram Puraskar Awarded Panchayats", Study Conducted by

TARU for UNICEF.

8. Unicef (2008a), "Gearing up for International Year of Sanitation", Unicef Media Centre, NewYork.


192 M. Snehalatha, V. Anitha

9. United Nations (2008), "The Millenium Development Goals Report", New York.

10. WHO/Unicef (2004), "Joint Monitoring Programme Estimate for 2004 Based on the 2001 Extrapolation

of Previous Trends", Geneva.

Web-links accessed

http://planningcommission.nic.in/plans/planrel/fiveyr/11th/11_v2/11th_vol2.pdf

Last accessed on 01.01.2010.

http://mospi.nic.in/mospi_cso_rept_pubn.htm

Last accessed on 01.01.2010

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 193 - 210

NIRD, Hyderabad.

POLITICAL INCLUSION AND

PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN

LOCAL GOVERNANCE : A STUDY

IN KARNATAKA

ABSTRACT

N. Sivanna*,

K.G. Gayathridevi *

The paper examines the situation of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) at

various levels - political, social, economic and personal. More particularly, it aims to

understand the ways in which the EWRs use their agency to address and negotiate

issues like feminisation of invisibility, proxy governance and politics of exclusion. The

paper also critically looks at the participation and performance of women and thereby

attempts to understand the process of their attaining confidence in undertaking

responsibilities in the public sphere. The paper, while documenting the women's

participation in panchayats, discusses such criticisms levelled against these women.

Examples are the beliefs and prejudices that there is proxy rule in the panchayats by

these women; it is their husbands or other male relatives who exercise power and

responsibility on their behalf. The findings of the study reveal that there is dearth in

literature as to and inadequate understanding of, the ways by which women have

succeeded in combining their multiple roles in performing their duties in the

panchayats. The study on which this paper is based, significantly demonstrates that

at best, these women have been inevitably travelling between genuine participation

and proxy participation. It was observed that women's contribution, true to their rights,

has to come from their knowledge and further empowerment and not by mere

affirmative action in their favour alone. Only this inner transformation and learning

can make them contribute better towards democratic decision-making and

participation and also lead to substantive difference from what they are today.

Introduction

Decentralisation is a key concept in the

on-going progressive reform strategies in the

developing world, aiming at promoting

qualitative governance (Villadsen 1999). The

process is expected to contribute towards

increased quality and quantity in the context

of service delivery and public participation.

Decentralisation is defined as transfer of

competencies and responsibilities for

performing public service obligations for

planning, management, raising and allocation

of resources from the Central Government and

its agencies to their field units and regional

authorities and to democratically elected

institutions (Cheema and Rondinelli 1983:

Cohen and Peterson 1999: Smith 1985). In the

* Adjunct Professor, Ramakrishna Hegde Chair, and Associate Professor, Centre for Ecological Economics

and Natural Resources , Respectively, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Nagarabhavi, Bangalore

Karnataka, India. sivanna@isec.ac.in, gayathridevi@isec.ac.in

This paper is based on the data collected for the larger research study "Engendering Rural Governance:

A Study in the State of Karnataka" conducted by the ISEC Team in collaboration with TISS, Mumbai.


194 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

Indian context, it is also seen as a process of

empowerment and a way for hitherto deprived

groups to reach mainstream social, economic

and political life (Aziz 1996: Mathew 1995).

Furthermore, democratic decentralisation is

expected to facilitate expanding the space for

the participation of subordinated groups and

as also being responsive to their interests. Such

participation becomes even more significant

and critical for women as a subordinated

group for two reasons: proximity and

relevance of local government to the lives of

ordinary people (and women) and lack of

democracy in gender relations resulting in the

exclusion of women from participation in

governance and in considering their interests

in the business of governmental decisionmaking.

In a country like India, where a complex

set of caste-gender-class-based discrimination

continues to exclude the great majority of

people from the process of governance,

gendering becomes one of the critical and

structural pre-requisites for the

democratisation of Local Self-Governance

(LSG). In fact, if there is one notion that is

gaining almost universal acceptance in recent

times - even in the face of neo-liberal

onslaught, which is devouring every inch of

democratic space across the country - it is

perhaps the idea that governance is being

increasingly oriented towards gendering

through state agenda. State agenda for

gendering governance envisages political and

statutory mandate to Elected Women

Representatives (EWRs) and empowers them

to use their agency to stamp their collective

political identity in governance.

A Silent Revolution

The last two decades have witnessed a

silent revolution of decentralised system of

governance in the country as a whole,

especially after the passing of 73rd and 74th

Amendments to the Constitution. These two

amendments provided the much-needed

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

constitutional and statutory status to the

hitherto neglected and much-maligned

institutions, viz., panchayats as rural local selfgovernments

and municipalities as the urban

local self-governments, and thereby enabled

the process of making them an integral part

of our Indian federal polity. One of the more

radical and liberal aspects of these two

amendments is the provision of providing

reservation to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and

Scheduled Tribes (STs) (in proportion to their

population) and earmarking reservation of a

minimum of one-third of seats to women in

membership and offices of chairpersons (like

president and vice-president) in all the tiers

of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). As a result

of this highly progressive measure, at present,

there are more than one million women

representatives (Panchayati Raj Ministry 2008))

on these bodies shouldering the complex

responsibilities of local governance in India.

As of now, in a congenial environment, more

and more members of socially disadvantaged

groups of the society are getting into the

political process in the normal course and

participating in decision-making. At the same

time, they are organising themselves and

lobbying for their rightful share in all walks of

life - a development that has succeeded in

creating political awareness among these

groups.

Situation in Karnataka

The 73 rd Constitutional Amendment has

greatly contributed to the political

empowerment of women and marginalised

communities in the rural society. It has thrown

open political opportunities to these

disadvantaged sections. It is well said that

democratic decentralisation would be

rendered meaningless as long as genderequity

is not ensured. The pace of

development in any civil society would be slow

if women, who constitute about 50 per cent

of the population, are left out of the

development process.


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 195

In the State of Karnataka also, reservation

of seats and offices of Chairpersons in their

favour has brought a large number of women

to panchayats as members and presidents. The

enhanced quota for women (compared to the

previous regime) and the category-wise

reservation has also brought into panchayats

a large proportion of ‘first generation’ elected

representatives (Table 1). Women membership

outnumbers the assigned quota of onethird

reservation. Together for all the three

panchayats, 42.91 per cent (almost 43 per cent)

of the membership is occupied by women. As

The increased presence of EWRs in PRIs

which had otherwise been an exclusive male

domain, brought about by vigorous

implementation of State initiatives has given

a semblance of political identity for women in

the landscape of governance across the State.

One of the underlying philosophies of the State

towards engendering governance is to

empower women – a process that will enable

them to overcome the traditional barriers

which place certain handicaps in their

participation and performance as elected

representatives.

Women in Local Governance

The patriarchal norm that women's place

is at home (private sphere) and not outside

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

regards scheduled castes, they have a

membership of 18.58 per cent, followed by

scheduled tribes with 10.74 per cent. Of the

total membership, members belonging to

other backward classes (group-A) are to the

tune of 26.60 per cent and to group-B 6.59

per cent. It is significant to note here that

dominant castes like Lingayats and Vokkaligas

come under the category of reservation called

‘Group-B’, though the members of these two

castes also contest elections under the general

category.

Table 1: Membership Representation of SCs, STs and Women in Karnataka PRIs

S.No. Panchayat Total members Women SC ST BC-A BC-B General

1 Zilla Panchayat 1005 373 184 84 268 66 403

2 Taluk Panchayat 3695 1555 678 361 983 248 1425

3 Gram Panchayat 91402 39318 16997 9880 24316 6028 34181

4 Total 96102 41246 17859 10325 25567 6342 36009

5 Percentage to 100.00 42.91 18.58 10.74 26.60 6.59 37.46

the total

Source : Government of Karnataka.

the home in the public realm, has laid several

barriers to women's political empowerment

and even to members of those few families

who try to overcome them. The feeling that

women are meant only for home is being

replaced by a feeling of equal partnership

between the two sexes (Singh 2009). A

significant departure from traditional notion,

in the context of evolving strategies or best

ways to break the barriers, is not to force

women to fit into the political arena; it is rather

to make the political system more womenfriendly

(Strutlik 2003).

The available literature on the

participation and performance of women in

rural governance paints both a positive and

negative picture. However, there are


196 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

pronounced apprehensions that disabilities

like illiteracy, continued and haunting domestic

responsibilitie, poverty, lack of experience,

poor exposure and communication skills of

women as compared to men come in the way

of effective participation of women in

decentralised planning and governance. Seen

in terms of positive outcomes, several micro

level studies point out that about 80-90 per

cent of women attend panchayat meetings

regularly. Given their sheer numbers, one

might conclude that democracy has become

more participatory than before at least at the

grassroots level (Mohanty 2001; Sivanna,

1998). A study conducted in Kerala upholds

that despite facing numerous problems,

women's performance on the basis of

qualitative and quantitative indicators is in no

way inferior to that of males. A sizable

segment of society has come to accept the

fact that women are perhaps more suitable

for running village panchayats than their male

counterparts (Chatukulam and John 2000: pp

66-101). Experiences from some states reveal

that "The women elected to these bodies

(panchayats) have shown startling results in

performance, particularly in the sectors of

health, education, access to basic services and

in ensuring a significant change in the living

conditions of their respective communities.

Even in strong patriarchal culture, one-third

reservation has encouraged women to

demonstrate their leadership" (Singh 2005: Kot

2007).

Structural and Functional Constraints

Notwithstanding the above mentioned

positive aspects of women in local

governance, there are some issues which

centre round the negative aspects, seen

mainly in terms of constraints in the path of

effective and meaningful participation of

women in governance related activities. To

be specific, patriarchal culture and social

strictures seem to inhibit women's

participation in local governance through

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

panchayats. A woman may access the position

of a sarpanch through reservation in her favour.

But her deputy is usually a man. Often, it is

found that he joins hands with other members

and gets a vote of no-confidence passed

against her, and starts acting as sarpanch in

her place. Thus, what is given by law and the

Constitution is taken away by intrigue and

chicanery (Baviskar 2003).

Despite the documentation of women's

participation levels and leadership in

panchayats, the belief persists that women in

the reserved seats are there by proxy and that

their husbands and male relatives exercise

power and responsibility on their behalf. There

is inadequate understanding of the way

women combine their multiple roles and

perform their panchayat functions. The

epithets of 'sarapanch-pati' and 'pradhan-pati'

have become part of the panchayat lexicon

though there are husbands who do not

interfere in their wives' panchayat work and

are in fact supportive of their work (Buch 2009:

pp 8-9).

The above discussion puts into

perspective the major outline of this paper and

its theoretical framework. A review of existing

literature on the subject has enabled shedding

light upon the concepts of gendering

governance, empowerment of women etc. It

has also led to a few questions that have been

moderated into objectives of the paper. The

specific objectives of the paper are as follows:

Objectives

* To critically understand the situation of

Elected Women Representatives (EWR)

at multiple levels- political, social,

economic and personal,

* To understand the ways in which EWRs

use their agency to address and

negotiate issues like feminisation of

invisibility, proxy governance and politics

of exclusion, and


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 197

* To critically look at the notions of the

concept of 'performances of elected

women representatives' and to

understand the process of learning

leadership roles by women in the public

sphere.

Methodology

The study on which this paper is based

has used a combination of qualitative and

quantitative approaches. However, primarily

qualitative methods were used to analyse the

participation of elected women

representatives. The household (HH)

questionnaires comprising multiple sections

were administered to 300 respondents (200

ERs and 100 HHs) to obtain both qualitative

and quantitative data. Five districts, Gulbarga,

Bagalkot, Bellary, Mandya and Dakshina

Kannada were selected for their distinct socioeconomic

and cultural profiles. Similarly, two

GPs in each district were selected based on

the criteria, viz.,Upper caste male-headed;

Upper caste female-headed; OBC_A/B/

Muslim male-headed; OBC_A/B/Muslim

female-headed; OBC caste female-headed;

OBC male-headed; Mahadalit/ST maleheaded;

Mahadalit/ST female-headed; SC

male-headed and SC female-headed; in total

ten gram panchayats were selected for

conducting the study.

Engendering Governance: Process and

Implications

Governance needs to be considered as a

means of social construction, which includes

ways of inclusion, equity and equality in order

to be meaningful to the lives of ordinary

people. The plurality of domains in

governance also suggests that governance is

a process based and not structure based, and

the players include a range of organisations

and stakeholders, as well as complex

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

relationships among them. The following

paragraphs will take a critical look at the status

of engendering governance vis-à-vis

representation of women in Gram Panchayats

(GPs) and their situation in their respective

democratic institution in the five sample

districts of Karnataka State.

Women Membership in PRIs

The presence of a large number of

elected women representatives in the

institutions of local governance in Karnataka

is indeed significant. The past five years has

witnessed a remarkable, if not phenomenal,

increase in the presence of women in GPs.

Seen across the districts there has been an

increase of 10.3 per cent over the last five

years in the number of HHs having EWRs. It is

equally heartening to note here that most of

the GPs covered by this study had EWRs in

excess of the quota for women in GPs.

Despite the prevalence of patriarchy and

male dominated political system, an increasing

number of women are entering the electoral

fray at local level in almost all the sample areas

of the study. There is a significant improvement

in the support extended by the families to their

female members - especially in the backward

district of Gulbarga to join political parties,

where the support extended by HHs had

shown an increase of 16.7 per cent as against

an overall 10 per cent increase across the

districts (Table 2). However, when we look at

their participation in politics vis-à-vis their

political affiliation, there has only been a

marginal increase of 5 per cent in the number

of HHs having female members having

affiliation with political parties (see Table 3).

Even those having political affiliation, a very

small percentage of respondents were the

office bearers of political parties either at local

or district levels.


198 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

Table 2 : Details of Households Having Female Members with Affiliation to Political

Parties and Nature of Affiliation

Response Gulbarga Bagalkot Bellary Mandya Dakshina Kannada Total

Yes, Affiliated 6 7 8 5 10 36

Percentage 10 11.7 13.3 8.3 16.7 12

No 54 53 52 55 50 264

Percentage 90 88.3 86.7 91.7 83.3 88

Total 60 60 60 60 60 300

Nature of membership

a) Office Bearer

at District/

State Level

0 0 0 0 1 1

Percentage 0 0 0 0 10 2.8

b) Active but

Ordinary

Member

0 1 1 0 2 4

Percentage 0 14.3 12.5 0 20 11.1

c) Member 5 6 7 5 7 30

Percentage 83.3 85.7 87.5 100 70 83.3

d) Other Specify 1 0 0 0 0 1

Percentage 16.7 0 0 0 0 2.8

Total 6 7 8 5 10 36

100 100 100 100 100 100

Table 3 : Support Enjoyed by Women from their Family Members to Join a Political Party

Response Gulbarga Bagalkot Bellary Mandya Dakshina Kannada Total

Yes 25 32 41 39 35 172

Percentage 41.7 53.3 68.3 65 58.3 57.3

No 35 28 19 21 25 128

Percentage 58.3 46.7 31.7 35 41.7 42.7

Total 60 60 60 60 60 300

100 100 100 100 100 100

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 199

It is very significant to note here that

despite being drawn into village politics

consequent to their entry into GPs and despite

enjoying a better support from the family

members to join any political party, women

have, by and large, remained alienated from

the mainstream politics or continue to remain

obscure in the larger politics. This is not to

suggest that women contesting GP elections

have remained non-partisan or were above

political leanings; as a matter of fact a vast

majority of women had expressed clear

political leanings. The picture that emerges

from the foregoing discussion suggests an

overwhelmingly male dominated political

process where women continue to play a

‘useful’ but non-descript or secondary role in

the larger politics.

Politics of Exclusion

Since the existing legislative measures

concerning the local self-governments (LSGs)

have an inclusive approach towards local

governance, it can safely be assumed -at least

theoretically-that there can be no exclusion in

the context of LSG. The field based

observations and the recent developments in

the politics in the State reveal a different

picture.

It has been seen from the study that far

from inaugurating an era of inclusive politics,

the process of democratisation and

decentralisation seems to be emerging as a

kind of 'contra-indication' for all the ills that

has been affecting this society. True, neither

patriarchy nor hegemony (all kinds) can be

uprooted overnight. But reinforcement of

hegemonic power structures and polarisation

of the society along caste and religion is the

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

least expected unfortunate development that

has taken place during the postdecentralisation

phase in Karnataka. Some of

the examples can be cited here:

A complex interplay of both social and

economic hegemony as witnessed during the

recently concluded elections to GPs provides

ample proof about politics of exclusion that

present an overwhelming challenge to

gendering and inclusive development. It is

quite alarming to note from recent gram

panchayat elections that, in the name of

conducting GP elections on non-partisan and

consensus basis, the seats of ERs were either

put up for auction or were 'sold'. The seats

were either sold or declared elected

uncontested. Usually, auction takes place in

the temple premises and there are reports of

seats being allotted to the highest bidders. The

amount of bid was in the order of ` 2-3 lakh

(field notes). In any village of Karnataka, only

the landlords and moneylenders can spend

such large sums on elections. These trends can

potentially preclude possibilities for women,

especially from the poorer families, of having

any role in the affairs of local governance.

Untouchability is still being practised in

almost all the villages of the gram panchayats

in Gulbarga, Bellary, and Bagalkot and Mandya

districts (see Table 4). Denial of access to public

places like drinking water taps, barber shops,

hotels, temples, etc. are some of the castebased

discriminations that can be seen in the

villages even now. Furthermore, dalit women

were made to sit separately in gram sabha (GS).

These practices have been noted in all the

three northern districts of the State (Bellary,

Gulbarga and Bagalkot).


200 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

Table 4 : Practice of Untouchability

Districts Response EMR EWR Ex-EMR Ex-EWR Total

Gulbarga Yes 5 4 2 2 13

Percentage 33.3 28.6 28.6 50 32.5

No 10 10 5 2 27

Percentage 66.7 71.4 71.4 50 67.5

Total 15 14 7 4 40

Bagalkot Yes 4 9 5 2 20

Percentage 28.6 69.2 71.4 33.3 50

No 10 4 2 4 20

Percentage 71.4 30.8 28.6 66.7 50

Total 14 13 7 6 40

Bellary Yes 12 8 6 5 31

Percentage 85.7 61.5 75 100 77.5

No 2 5 2 0 9

Percentage 14.3 38.5 25 0 22.5

Total 14 13 8 5 40

Mandya Yes 4 5 5 1 15

Percentage 22.2 41.7 62.5 50 37.5

No 14 7 3 1 25

Percentage 77.8 58.3 37.5 50 62.5

Total 18 12 8 2 40

Dakshina

Kannada

Yes 7 3 1 2 13

Percentage 50 25 11.1 40 32.5

No 7 9 8 3 27

Percentage 50 75 88.9 60 67.5

Total 14 12 9 5 40

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 201

Proxy Governance and Invisibility

If we were to go by the definition of

proxy governance as ‘exercise of

Constitutional powers by persons not enjoying

the constitutional mandate’ (Aziz 2002), we

would end up taking an innocuous view of a

phenomenon which had potentially defeated

the very vision behind state initiatives towards

engendering governance. There are others

who contend that proxy governance is not

confined to EWRs alone but could be seen

Some cases in the above context are as follows:

Case 1

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

among elected male representatives (EMRs)

as well. In both the cases, we are confronted

with a situation where governance is getting

more and more hegemonic. The entire issue

of proxy governance revolves around

systematic subjugation of women by

according symbolic status in governance.

While it is either husbands or other male

members of the family who not only help the

EWRs but also play the role of ERs on behalf of

EWRs.

The female president of Perne Panchayat of Bantwal Taluk, Dakshina Kannada district belongs

to a rich family of agriculturists owning about 10 acres of fertile and irrigated land. She was

formerly with BJP (elected as ER with support from BJP during 2000-2005).In the second

term she switched over to Cong (I) and won the GP election with support from Cong(I).She

is active, knowledgeable and regular to GP meetings. She can speak fluently and

authoritatively about various government programmes. She took personal interest in

implementing MGNREGA - in a district where the scheme holds little appeal to the working

class but- in her GP which provided employment to women who were till then dependent

on seasonal work in the paddy fields. She is assertive and can dictate terms to other male

members of the GP.

This is a case of a rich and successful

housewife who had an almost armchair raid

during her tenure as GP president on the sheer

strength of her status as a rich land lady. But

the sad reality is majority of women in the

rural households continue to lead a nondescript

and an invisible life. What makes the

Case 2

situation sadder is the fact that even after

becoming prominent individuals in their

respective villages (on the strength of being

elected as GP member and being made the

office bearer), they still continue to remain

alienated from the public sphere.

EWR and President of Halagali GP of Mudhol taluk, Bagalkot district is a typical rustic woman

belonging to ST community. She cannot work independently and is entirely dependent on

her son who attends to most of the GP-related activities. She merely puts her signatures on

papers placed before her. As a president of the GP she never had the opportunity to interact

with the government officials. She informs that her son is well accepted in the GP and gets

the necessary cooperation in discharging his mother's responsibilities. She is financially

sound and has 12 acres of irrigated farm land. She is aged but not weak. But she is meek,

docile and least assertive as an ER/President. She does not enjoy equal status with other

EWRs who belong to upper caste Lingayath families. She was not offered a chair to sit in nor

invited inside the homes of upper caste families.


202 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

This is another instance of invisibility

where the president of a GP who is a well

settled farmer continues to remain invisible

in her participation. Both political power as

head of a panchayat and economic power with

farming have not given her the right

perspectives and abilities to perform her roles

independent of male support.

Gender Perceptions

The EWRs and EMRs have shown

progressive perception by stating that they do

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

not consider men to be more efficient than

women (for details see Table 5). There is not

much difference in the responses of ex EWRs

and ex-EMRs on this. A large majority have

disagreed with the statement that men are

more efficient than women. The percentage

of women who have disagreed is higher (83

per cent PRI women and 82 per cent ex PRI

women) than that of men’s on this (62.7 and

76.9 per cent, respectively).

Table 5 : Responses to Gender Relations and Equality

S. No. Response PRI- PRI- Ex-PRI- Ex-PRI- Total

Men women Men Women

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

1. Men are more efficient Yes 28 11 9 4 52

than women per cent 37.3 17.2 23.1 18.2 26

No 47 53 30 18 148

per cent 62.7 82.8 76.9 81.8 74

2. For effective functioning Yes 30 25 17 8 80

of society, a patriarchal per cent 40 39.1 43.6 36.4 40

structure is necessary No 45 39 22 14 120

per cent 60 60.9 56.4 63.6 60

3. There are equal Yes 49 39 22 16 126

opportunities available per cent 65.3 60.9 56.4 72.7 63

for men and women to No 26 25 17 6 74

access the resources per cent 34.7 39.1 43.6 27.3 37

4. A family should have one Yes 38 48 26 11 123

male child per cent 50.7 75 66.7 50 61.5

No 37 16 13 11 77

per cent 49.3 25 33.3 50 38.5

5. Men have to look after Yes 31 20 14 10 75

the economic matters of per cent 41.3 31.3 35.9 45.5 37.5

the family No 44 44 25 12 125

per cent 58.7 68.8 64.1 54.5 62.5

6. Women have to look after Yes 26 22 11 10 69

the domestic chores per cent 34.7 34.4 28.2 45.5 34.5

No 49 42 28 12 131

per cent 65.3 65.6 71.8 54.5 65.5

(Contd..)

(Contd..)


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 203

Table 5 : (Contd..)

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

7. It is not advisable for men Yes 36 14 13 12 75

to sweep the house per cent 48 21.9 33.3 54.5 37.5

No 39 50 26 10 125

per cent 52 78.1 66.7 45.5 62.5

8. Politics is not a woman’s Yes 25 8 6 7 46

forte per cent 33.3 12.5 15.4 31.8 23

No 50 56 33 15 154

per cent 66.7 87.5 84.6 68.2 77

9. Since women are not able Yes 57 50 29 16 152

to take-up work that per cent 76 78.1 74.4 72.7 76

demands hard physical No 18 13 9 6 46

labour, there is no problem per cent 24 20.3 23.1 27.3 23

in women having low wages No Response 0 1 1 0 2

per cent 0 1.6 2.6 0 1

10. With my given position, Yes 30 44 17 11 102

I would have got more per cent 40 68.8 43.6 50 51

acceptance had I been a man No 37 19 17 11 84

per cent 49.3 29.7 43.6 50 42

No response 8 1 5 0 14

per cent 10.7 1.6 12.8 0 7

11. Only women have to look Yes 19 14 11 8 52

after the kids per cent 25.3 21.9 28.2 36.4 26

No 56 50 28 14 148

per cent 74.7 78.1 71.8 63.6 74

12. Girls should not study in Yes 1 2 0 2 5

co-ed schools per cent 1.3 3.1 0 9.1 2.5

No 74 62 39 20 195

per cent 98.7 96.9 100 90.9 97.5

13. Dowry is a social evil Yes 75 63 39 22 199

per cent 100 98.4 100 100.0 99.5

No 0 1 0 0 1

per cent 0 1.6 0 0 0.5

Total 75 64 39 22 200

per cent 100 100 100 100 100

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


204 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

To the question if a patriarchal structure

is necessary for the effective functioning of a

society, again those who have disagreed are

larger in proportion than those who were in

agreement (all above 60 per cent). This is again

encouraging since the women who are

elected to PRIs have realised that they are also

important to run a democracy. They have also

come to learn about male-female equality, and

are clear that patriarchal structures are

exploitative and oppressive of women. That

such a realisation has come about among male-

ERs is a welcome trend. They live in a society

where women are given reserved seats to

contest elections. Besides this, the self-help

group (SHG) revolution has mobilised many

women to come out of their homes and

participate in meetings of the group.

In today’s society, due to many reforms,

there is equal opportunity for men and women

to access resources like land, livestock,

property, etc. Whether this was agreeable to

men is the question. When asked about their

views on this statement, 65.3 per cent of males

in PRIs said ‘yes’ to this question and it was a

lesser proportion of 60.9 per cent for the

females. Taking the members who are ex-EWRs

and EMRs, we find that more than males (56.4

per cent), it was the females or ex-EWRs who

have answered in the affirmative that there is

better equity between gender today to access

resources (72.7 per cent). About 43.6 per cent

of ex-PRI men however felt that it is not so

which is the highest among all responses.

To the question, whether all families

should have at least one male child, first of all

there is consensus among all that it is so.

Interestingly, taking negative answers to this

question, we find that it is the young male

members who have not agreed to this

statement than their counterparts in the

category of ex-EMRs. If not by practice, at least

by perception, the ERs are concerned about

gender equality. A majority of them,

irrespective of sex, have appreciated that

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

household work is not the responsibility of

only the females while men have to look after

the economic matters of the household. More

than 60 per cent of both men and women from

both categories of present and past ERs denied

that household work is the burden of women

alone, and that women also should take care

of economic matters. Moreover, even in the

case of such notions that men should not

sweep the floor, surprisingly 45.5 per cent of

ex- PRI women, agreed that it is not correct to

expect men to sweep the floor.

Having been exposed to reservations to

women in PRIs, it is expected that majority of

both males and females from both categories

of current and ex-members, are very

vehemently supportive of women’s political

participation at least for experience. To the

question about wage discrimination between

males and females, both men and women,

irrespective of their duration of position in PRIs

(past or present) have vociferously supported

wage discrimination on the ground that

women are not physically equally capable of

hard work as men are. Therefore, giving them

wages lower than that of men is nothing wrong

and is quite justified.

Despite their struggles and toil, women

have been longing for more empowerment

and freedom from gendered discrimination.

This is clear when we refer to the Table where

women have felt that the ERs would get better

acceptance in the position of ERs if only they

were men (EMRs). Gender discrimination on

grounds of one’s capacity to participate was

experienced by all of them. This is clear when

we see that a majority have answered in the

affirmative to the question and wished they

were born as men to get the certificate of

being good leaders.

There are three other questions as seen

in the Table above that were posed to the

women. All of them hint at the gender relations

in the household and signify how they should


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 205

have molded the thinking of men and women.

For the question of child care by both father

and mother also, there was an overwhelming

response involving men or father in childcare

activities. While the responses of present EMRs

(74.7 per cent) is lower than that of the present

EWRs (78.1 per cent), it is not so in the case of

former members. Here, the number of ex-

EWRs is lower (63.6 per cent) than their male

counterparts (71.8 per cent).

Another area of gender discrimination is

in choosing educational institutions for girls

vis-a-vis boys in rural households. Normally,

restrictions are placed on girls by disallowing

them to attend co-education schools. But this

traditional practice is held as conservative and

illogical by our respondents. More than 90 per

cent of both men and women from both

categories of old and new members have

negated the statement and denied that it

should be put to practice. They feel that girls

should study in co-educational schools and mix

with the opposite sex that helps in building

their personality. It enables developing a sense

of understanding between sexes, and prepares

them to face life better.

Lastly, being the worst social evil of the

present times, dowry system is condemned

by one and all, and there is almost 100 per

cent response that it is a social evil. There are

no male female differences in such response.

On the whole, we find that the ERs,

whether past or present, or male or female,

are equally progressive. We found that social

and economic processes that are in vogue in

the rural areas in the last few decades have

prepared men and women equally well in at

least developing an opinion or attitude about

gender equality.

Participation and Performance

The most outstanding feature of the 73 rd

and 74 th Constitutional Amendments is the

visibility and space that it has provided to

women. Reservation of seats to women from

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

all caste and class categories and all levels of

administration - village, taluk and district - is

an important indicator of women’s

empowerment through decentralised bodies

that have opened up the gates of political

power and status to hitherto such

unrepresented sections of our society. One of

the most positive outcomes from the

increased representation of women in PRIs is

expected to be their social elevation.

Representation of women and other weaker

sections apart from their ability to participate

in decentralised governance and planning

process is another issue that they have to

tackle as soon as they are elected to power.

Being novices to politics and political activities,

these women needed time and support to

really pick up the threads of effective

participation. After more than two decades of

experience in panchayat system one expects

them to have picked up the art or skill of

participation. Yet the ever-complex process

of political administration in a regime of

panchayats being shielded by party politics, it

is presumed that such participation by these

new entrants is still difficult. Participation

involves taking right decisions at the

appropriate time and place. The ERs, male or

female, are expected to understand the needs

of the people in their constituency better as

they are elected as ‘one among them’ for this

purpose (Gayathridevi 2004).

When asked if the ERs were interested

in launching any special plans for making

panchayat development more gender

sensitive, 66 per cent of our respondents have

replied in the affirmative. A majority of

respondents in the districts of Mandya (72.5

per cent), Dakshina Kannada (DK) and Gulbarga

(70 per cent) and Bellary (60 per cent) stated

to make panchayati raj system gender-friendly

(see Table 6). A very large percentage (73.5 )

of them have also informed us that women

from their constituency approach them for

help in solving their problems. It is the highest

in Mandya with 87.5 per cent, followed by


206 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

Response Gulbarga Bagalkot Bellary Mandya Dakshina Kannada Total

a) Have you undertaken

initiatives to

empower women

in your Panchayat?

Yes 20 20 23 19 15 97

Percentage 50 50 57.5 47.5 37.5 48.5

No 20 20 17 21 25 103

Percentage 50 50 42.5 52.5 62.5 51.5

Total 40 40 40 40 40 200

b) As an ER would you

like to make the plans

for Panchayat

Development more

Gender Sensitive?

Yes 28 23 24 29 28 132

Percentage 70 57.5 60 72.5 70 66

No 12 17 16 11 12 68

Percentage 30 42.5 40 27.5 30 34

Total 40 40 40 40 40 200

c) Do women folk

approach you for

solution to their

problems?

Yes 28 31 27 35 26 147

Percentage 70 77.5 67.5 87.5 65 73.5

No 12 9 13 5 14 53

Percentage 30 22.5 32.5 12.5 35 26.5

Total 40 40 40 40 40 200

Bagalkot with 77.5 per cent and Gulbarga with

70 per cent. Thus, while nearly 49 per cent of

the respondents stated that they are

undertaking initiatives to empower women in

Table 6: Initiatives by ERs to Empower Women

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

100 100 100 100 100 100

their constituencies, when it is decoded as to

how they are doing so, the responses are

rather skewed.


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 207

Furthermore, upon questioned as to what

are the general issues of grievance that

women in the constituency bring to the notice

of their ERs (male or female), there were

several types of problems that women in the

area state to have actually encountered. These

responses could be categorised for purposes

of analysis here into those falling into the

public and private spheres. Matters relating to

availing of benefits of the government

schemes meant for them belong to the former

while issues like demand for dowry and sexual

harassment fall into the latter domain.

Table 7 : Issues that are Generally Brought Before the ERs by Women

Issues Gulbarga Bagalkot Bellary Mandya Dakshina Kannada Total

a) Apathy or

discrimination in

government offices 5 8 7 13 4 37

Percentage 13.9 20.5 18.9 28.9 12.5 19.6

b) Dowry 2 4 7 9 1 23

Percentage 5.6 10.3 18.9 20 3.1 12.2

c) Harassment at

Work place 9 6 8 8 8 39

Percentage 25 15.4 21.6 17.8 25 20.6

d) Sexual harassment 2 5 5 6 12 30

Percentage 5.6 12.8 13.5 13.3 37.5 15.9

e) Travel Related 3 1 2 0 0 6

Percentage 8.3 2.6 5.4 0 0 3.2

f ) Any Other 15 15 8 9 7 54

Percentage 41.7 38.5 21.6 20 21.9 28.6

Total 36 39 37 45 32 189

That problems like ‘dowry system’ are not

very significant in few places in the State is

perhaps evident when we look at the Table

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Put together, about 20 per cent of all ERs

in the selected and about 20 per cent of

respondents (Table 7) have stated that women

from their constituencies approach them for

reasons of exclusion in the government

programmes. Apathy and discrimination in

government offices is reported to be the

highest according to some of our respondents

from Mandya (28.9 per cent), followed by

Bellary (18.9 per cent) and others.

100 100 100 100 100 100

where DK district has one ER saying that dowry

harassment is an issue for their voters

approaching them. Mandya has registered the


208 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

highest number of responses (20 per cent)

followed by Bellary (18.9 per cent), Bagalkot

(10.3 per cent) and Gulbarga (5.6 per cent).

Both harassment at work place and

sexual harassment are stated to have been

present in the selected districts. About 25 per

cent in Gulbarga and DK, 21.6 per cent in

Bellary, 17.8 per cent in Mandya and 15.4 per

cent of the ERs in Bagalkot have admitted that

their voters come to them with complaints

about harassment at work place. DK has topped

the list (37.5 per cent) among other districts

as far as people complaining and seeking the

help of ERs is concerned. The other districts

also have it to some extent as is visible from

the number of people who are approaching

the ERs for redressal. However, panchayats

have no right to solve this kind of problem. So

what happens to rehabilitation problem? Just

reporting will not work!

On the whole, the study has shown that

the ERs are aware that legal provisions made

have to reach the needed sections without

fail. They are aware of the shortcomings,

including corruption and other irregularities.

They have also observed that funds earmarked

for development works do not reach the

panchayats on time and this delay also adds to

the inefficiency in performing their duties.

Although many have said that they were able

to fulfill election promises, there is a void in

the performance.

Concluding Reflections

The foregoing analysis shows that

although Constitutional provisions relating to

women in rural areas have done substantial

good for their exposure and empowerment,

women continue to encounter a number of

challenges and constraints in their

participation in the social and political spheres.

Despite several years of introduction of

reservation of seats in their favour, women

continue to depend on male relatives and

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

officials in playing their roles and discharging

their responsibilities. Thus, proxy governance

is seen in almost all GPs under the study.

Untouchability is still being practised in almost

all the villages of the GPs in Gulbarga, Bellary,

Bagalkot and Mandya districts. Denial of access

to public places like barber shops, hotels,

temples, etc., are some of the caste based

discriminations that can be seen in the villages

that come under the present study. Dalits are

obeying an unwritten code by not daring to

enter hotels run by the upper caste Hindus.

The paper also highlights that women are

caught between genuine participation and

proxy participation.

Policy Suggestions

The following are a few suggestions for

ensuring better empowerment of women in

and out of the PRIs. Leadership by women

needs to be a continuous process stretching

beyond the official position in the panchayats.

They have been travelling between genuine

participation and proxy participation. Their

contribution, true to their rights, has to come

from their knowledge and further

empowerment. Only that can make them

contribute better and make substantive

difference than what they are today.

Transformative politics is countered by

patriarchy that is directed by issues of power,

authority, hierarchy and control which affect

changes in power structures and gender

relations. Concerted efforts are needed to

enable the above. A few suggestions in this

regard are as follows:

1. Formation of EWR collectives/forums to

help develop strategies to empower

women as leaders.

a) This would provide platform for women

to share their real life experiences as

leaders

b) Creation of awareness about their roles

and responsibilities


Political Inclusion and Participation of Women in Local Governance ... 209

c) Awareness about right to information

(RTI), right to education (RTE) etc. that

would enable their further

empowerment with knowledge and

security

d) Enhance their role as stakeholders in

gender budgeting

e) Self-analysis of the potential impact of

women’s participation on the functioning

of the PR institutions.

2. Women leaders have to understand their

role in improving the living conditions

of fellow women, especially women

from the weaker sections. EWRs can make

a difference if they are trained in

understanding the constraints of poor

women in accessing essential services

like public distribution system (PDS),

drinking water, equal wages, social

security for health, children’s education,

child labour etc.

References

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

3. Training of EWRs is felt to be inadequate.

The State government has to take steps

to look into the contents of training

modules offered both by state training

institutions and the government.

4. Organising crash programmes for

illiterate EWRs is of utmost necessity.

5. Formation of women’s associations and

groups at different levels to act as

pressure groups on all fronts-communityeducation,

better law enforcement and

deterrent punishment for continuing

social evils like female foeticide, dowry,

violence on women at home and work

place etc.

6. Empowering the EWRs to implement

equal wages to women is important.

7. Ensuring equality and efficiency in

gender budgeting to achieve complete

gender autonomy in leadership.

1 Aziz, Abdul (ed.). (1996), Decentralized Governance in Asian Countries, New Delhi, Sage Publications.

2 Baviskar, B S. (2003), Impact of Women's Participation in Local Governance in Rural India, October 20-21,

New Delhi: ISS.

3. Bidyut, Mohanty. (2001), The Daughters of the 73rd Amendment, New Delhi, Institute of Social Sciences.

4. Buch, Nirmala (2009), 'Reservations for Women in Panchayats : A Sop in Disguise?', EPW, XLIV ( 40): 8-9.

5. Cheema, G. Shabbir and Dennis A. Rondinelli (ed.s). (1983), Decentralization and Development: Policy

Implementation in Developing Countries, Beverly Hills, Sage Publications.

6. Cohen, M. John and Peterson, B. Stephen. (1999), Administrative Decentralization: Strategies for

Developing Countries, Kumarian Press.

7. Gayathridevi, K G. (2004), Development through Decentralization: The Role of Women Presidents in the

GPs of Karnataka, Bangalore : ISEC.

8. Government of Karnataka. (2006), 'Institutional Reforms for Human Development: Panchayat Raj' (Abdul

Aziz) in Karnataka Human Development Report 2005, Bangalore: Department of Planning and Statistics.

9. Jos, Chathuculam and M.S.John. (2000), 'Empowerment of Women Panchayat Members: Learning from

Kerala (India)', AJWS, 6 (4): 66-101.

10. Lokendra, Singh Kot. (2007), 'Women in Rural Democracy- A Changing Scenario', Vikas Samvad Fellowship

2007, Bhopal : People's College of Medical Science and Research Centre.


210 N. Sivanna, K.G. Gayathridevi

11. Mathew, George (ed.). (1995), Status of Panchayati Raj in the States of India, New Delhi : Concept.

12. Ministry of Panchayati Raj. (2008), Study on Elected Women Representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions

: Report (Year of Survey 2007-2008), New Delhi : Government of India.

13. Meenakshisundaram, S.S. (1994), Decentralisation in Developing Countries, New Delhi: Concept.

14. Singh, Dharam Pal (2005), 'Women in Grass-root Democracy in India : Experiences from Selected States',

Conference Paper - 3rd International Conference on Women and Politics in Asia, 24-25, November,

Islamabad, Pakistan.

15. Sivanna, N. (1998), 'Decentralised Governance and Planning in Karnataka: A Historical Perspective', Social

Change, 28(1).

16. Sivanna, N. (2009), 'Reservation (fifty per cent) for Women in Panchayats: Myths and Realities', Critique,

IV (3). Bangalore: ISI.

17. Smith, B C. (1985), Decentralization: The Territorial Dimensions of the State, London: Allen and Unwin.

18. Stefanie, Strulik (2003), 'Demonstrating "Proxy" Women' in A Decade of Women's Empowerment Through

Local Government in India, Workshop Report, October 20-21, New Delhi, Institute of Social Sciences.

19. The Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, (1993), 2004, Bangalore: Karnataka Law Journal Publications.

20. Villadsen, Soren (1999), Good Governance and Decentralization, Public Sector Reforms in Developing

Countries, Copenhagen.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 211 - 222

NIRD, Hyderabad.

RISK MANAGEMENT AND RURAL

EMPLOYMENT IN HILL FARMING -

A STUDY OF MANDI DISTRICT OF

HIMACHAL PRADESH

ABSTRACT

Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma

K.D. Sharma *

The study was carried out in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh during 2002-03

to examine the labour employment in hill agriculture under risk. Stratified two stage

random sampling technique was adopted to select the sample. A total of 150

households were selected from different sub-ecological regions viz. Low Hills, Mid Hills

and High Hills. The risk efficient farm plans were developed using the Minimisation of

Total Absolute Deviation (MOTAD) Model. The plans were existing resources with

existing technology,( Plan I) and existing technology with augmented resources (Plan

IV). In addition, two plans in between these two were developed. The study revealed

that the per farm as well as per hectare labour use was higher during kharif season as

compared to rabi season, as more labour intensive crops (paddy and vegetables) were

grown during kharif season. With the introduction of dairy, the human labour

employment increased by 59 per cent in plan-I whereas in plan-IV, it increased by 60

per cent in low hill region. In mid hills, this increase was estimated as high as 162 and

148 per cent. The corresponding figures in high hills were to the extent of 74 and 58 per

cent. This clearly indicates that crops + dairy farming provided higher farm labour

employment than crops enterprise alone. It was important to examine that the dairy

activity with crops enterprise also reduced the risk. Thus, to increase the employment

and minimise the risk in hill agriculture, emphasis needs to be given to encourage

mixed farming. The crossbred cows were found to be the best dairy animals in the

study area in terms of profitability as well as employment generation. Vegetables

were found to be important in the cropping pattern particularly in plan IV. Thus, there

is a need to popularise cultivation of vegetable crops in which the role of the

Department of Agriculture is crucial in promoting scientific cultivation and orderly

marketing to reduce risk.

Introduction

Generation of adequate and sustained

employment opportunities has become the

focus of attention of the development

paradigm since the inception of planning era.

Ever since the introduction of economic

reforms in 1991, there has been an immense

debate on the impact of economic reforms

on employment, poverty and well-being of the

poor in India, especially in the rural areas. In

hilly regions, there is little scope for

* Research Associate, Professor and Sr. Scientist, Respectively. Department of Agricultural Economics,

Extension Education and Rural Sociology, CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur-176062,

India.


212 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

employment generation outside agriculture

due to lack of non-farm avenues of

employment as well as abundance of unskilled

labour force crowding in farm sector.

It is trite observation that the production

process itself is extremely susceptible to the

caprices of the weather. The weather

uncertainties in terms of paucity/

superabundance of rainfall, its lack of proper

correspondence with the various stages of

production, technological uncertainties in

terms of failure of new varieties, nonavailability

of plant protection measures for

diseases/insect pests, etc., contribute greatly

to an uncertain production. In Himachal

Pradesh, farming is fraught with risk and

uncertainty where the performance of the

monsoon directly governs the economy of

about 83 per cent of cropped land. Owing to

low, erratic and uncertain rainfall, crop yields

in rainfed areas are low and highly variable

and risky (Mruthyunjaya and Sirohi, 1979). Risk

and uncertainty in production have also been

recognised as important constraints in the

process of rapid adoption of the high-yielding

variety (HYV) technology in agriculture

(Sasmal, 1993 and Saha, 2001).

Add to this the fact that product prices

at the end of the cropping season vary

significantly from what they were at the

sowing time. All these reasons result into a

considerable amount of revenue uncertainty.

In addition to this, labour employment in

agriculture particularly family labour, is

seriously affected. In the absence of welldeveloped

insurance and capital market in less

developed agriculture, producers often use

diverse mechanisms to mitigate the impact of

this revenue uncertainty through various

alternatives including crop and employment

diversification. Of course, the extent to which

the farmer can do so effectively will also

depend on the uncertainty attaching to labour

market employment. This is particularly true

in hill agriculture.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Within agriculture also, it needs to be

diversified by incorporating land-based and

allied enterprises to enhance the employment

avenues and reduce income variability,

especially in hilly areas having fragile agroeco-systems.

Risk analysis showed that there

is scope to enhance employment and

minimise risk at farm level by enterprise-mix

incorporating judicious-mix of crops and

livestock enterprises (Sekar and Palanisami,

2000). The crop farming alone has been proved

much risky under severe resource restrictions

while crop-cum-livestock combination has

been found to enhance the buffering capacity

of the farm by reducing risk and increasing

land-labour productivity in agriculture (Singh

and Sharma 1988). Even under irrigated

conditions, vegetable plus dairy was the most

appropriate choice for the farmers as the pure

vegetable farming was found to be more risky

and less remunerative (Kumar et al., 2002).

Hilly regions are characterised by small,

scattered, fragmented and rainfed

landholdings, weak market infrastructure,

traditional production practices, etc. More than

70 per cent of the population of hills earn their

livelihoods directly from farming business.

Due to low level of education and skill, the

movement of labour force from land based

activities (farming) to urban oriented activities

(industrial production) is low. All these factors

affect the economy and livelihoods of hill

people under some mountain specificities

which separate the hilly region from other

areas (Jodha, 1996). Thus, there is a need to

study the labour employment under existing

situation and explore possibilities for

enhancing gainful employment through

alternative farm plans. These plans would be

more useful if studied under varying degrees

of risk so that farmers can choose the plan as

per their risk bearing capability. Keeping this

in view, the present study was undertaken with

the following specific objectives.


Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming ... 213

1. To examine the existing employment

pattern for different farm situations in

Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh

2. To study the changing pattern of

employment under risk efficient farm

plans for different farm situations in the

study area

3. To suggest suitable policy measures for

enhancing employment in agriculture.

Methodology

Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh was

purposively selected where 74 per cent of

total population is directly or indirectly

dependent upon agriculture. The district has

been divided into three distinct sub-ecological

regions viz. (i) Foot hills areas (ii) Mid hills areas

(iii) High hills areas (Anonymous, 1981).

Stratified two stage random sampling

technique was adopted to select the sample

for the study considering sub-ecological

regions as strata. In the first stage of sampling,

five villages were selected randomly from

each sub-ecological region. In the second

stage, a complete list of all the farm

households in each of the selected villages

was compiled and 50 farm households from

each sub-ecological region were

proportionally allocated in the selected

villages. Thus in all, a sample of 150 farm

households of different sub-ecological regions

was selected. Both cross section and time

series data for the present study were

collected through personal visit to the

households. Commensurate with the set

objectives of the study, cross sectional data

collected during 2002-03 and time series data

(1998-99 to 2002-03) were collected on area,

production and prices of different crops and

number and production of livestock from

households. To study the employment pattern

under risk, risk efficient farm plans were

developed for different sub-ecological

regions using Minimisation of Total Absolute

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Deviation (MOTAD) Model. The model used

was of the following form;

s

Minimise Z = Σ Y h- (Objective Function)

h=1

n

Σ (C hj - g j ) x j Y h- ≥ 0 (Linearity

j=1 constraints)

n

Σ f j x j = ? (Parametric constraints)

j=1

n

Σ a x ≤ b (Resource constraints

ij j i

j=1 viz, land, peak labour use,

capital)

n

Σ a x ≥ b ij j i

j=1

(Minima constraints)

x j , and Y h- ≥ 0 (Non-negativity constraint)

Where,

Z = Sum of the absolute values of deviations

of the returns of various enterprises from

their mean values

Y h- = Absolute values of the negative total

returns deviation of various enterprises

in the hth year from their mean (h = 1,

2……..,s)

C hj = Returns of jth farm activity in the h th year

g j = Mean value of the returns of the j th farm

activity

x j = Level of j th farm activity

f j = The expected returns per ha of the j th

activity

λ = Parameter showing total Returns to

Fixed Farm Resources (RFFR) from all the

farm activities. Parameter to start from


214 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

minimum prescribed income (λl) under

restricted supply to maximum (λm)

attainable income under unrestricted

supply of resources

a ij = Technical requirement of the jth activity

for the ith resource

b i = The constraint level of the ith resource

s = Number of time-series observations

n = Number of farm activities

The risk efficient farm production plans

were obtained under the following two

situations :

1. Situation-I: Crop enterprises

2. Situation-II: Crop-cum-dairy enterprises

Four risk efficient farm plans were

developed at different levels of farm income

(determined under above two situations for

each sub-ecological region). To determine the

extent of employment, labour hiring was

included in all these plans. These farm plans

are as follows:

P1: Risk efficient farm plan minimum (λl)

level of income

P2: Risk efficient farm plan for λl + α level of

income

P3: Risk efficient farm plan for λl+ 2 α level

of income

P4: Risk efficient farm plan for λl + 3 α level

of income

Where, α, 2α and 3α are the additional

income levels in the successive plans at

varying degrees of risk and α is computed as;

Optimised income Optimised income

with augmented - with restricted

α = resources (λm) resources (λl)

3

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Results and Discussion

Occupation Pattern : Occupational

pattern of working population has been

presented in Table 1. It was observed that 76

per cent of the total working persons were

engaged in agriculture in the study area as

majority of the family workers did not prefer

to leave their homes in search of off-farm

avenues of employment. Dependence on

agriculture was found to be higher in high hills

(93 per cent) as compared to other two

regions, which can be attributed to the reason

that the high hills were less developed and

majority of the population had poor access to

education and other infrastructural facilities.

Service including daily paid labour was next

to agriculture in employment generation.

Similar results were found by Singh and Singh

(1999). It is interesting to note that all the

females were engaged in agriculture except

in low hills where 3 to 4 per cent were in

government services.

Existing Labour Use : The human labour is

the crucial input in farming, especially in those

regions where farm mechanisation has not

taken place. The existing use of labour

employment in different regions of Mandi

district is depicted in Table 2. Results of the

study showed that the use of total human

labour employment on the farm was observed

to be higher (31.03 mandays) during kharif

season as compared to rabi season (22.45

mandays). Similar trend was noticed in

different hills which were mainly due to the

fact that kharif crops like maize, paddy and

vegetables required more labour for intercultural

practices. Further, it is interesting to

note that existing use of human labour was

121 and 51 per cent higher in low and high

hills over mid hills. Such results might be due

to cultivation of more vegetable crops in low

and high hills as compared to mid hills. Lowest

exiting use of human labour was found in mid

hills due to the small landholdings of the

respondent farmers as well as less area under


Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming ... 215

Table 1 : Occupational Pattern of Working Persons (16-60 years) in Different Regions (per cent)

(Per cent)

Occupation Low Hills Mid Hills High Hills Overall

Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total

Agriculture 35.72 96.51 66.47 34.43 100.00 68.50 85.02 100.00 93.20 51.85 98.68 75.90

Service 29.76 3.49 16.47 27.87 0.00 13.39 2.82 0.00 1.36 20.37 1.32 10.59

Business* 9.52 0.00 4.71 16.39 0.00 7.87 4.22 0.00 2.04 9.72 0.00 4.23

DPL 25.00 0.00 12.35 21.31 0.00 10.24 7.04 0.00 3.40 18.06 0.00 8.78

Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

(89) (86) (175) (70) (66) (136) (72) (76) (148) (231) (228) (459)

* Business including cottage industries.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Figures in parentheses show total working population.

Source: Field Survey, 2002-03.


216 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

labour intensive vegetable crops. As far as per

hectare labour use is concerned, it was found

Table 2 : Existing Labour Use in Different Regions of Mandi District

(Mandays/farm)

Particulars Low Hills Mid Hills High Hills Overall

Kharif season 40.55(50.13) 19.30(43.65) 32.96(43.49) 31.03(46.25)

Rabi season 34.33(42.79) 14.57(32.78) 18.35(28.12) 22.45(35.46)

Total 74.89(46.48) 33.87(38.20) 51.31(36.38) 53.48(41.01)

Figures in parentheses show per hectare labour use.

Source : Field Survey, 2002-03.

Labour Employment Under Different Farm

Plans : The peak season-wise human labour

utilisation under different plans in low, mid and

high hills has been shown through Table 3 to

Table 5. While estimating peak seasons labour

availability, family labour (male and female)

was converted into mandays. A period of eight

hours of work was considered as one

manday.In the present study four human

labour peak periods were identified during the

year as Peak-1 (April 15-30), Peak-2 (July

1-15), Peak-3 (Sept. 15-30) and Peak-4 (Oct.

15-31). The labour use was estimated by using

peak period labour constraints through MOTAD

model.

It is evident from the Tables that there

was shortage of human labour in all the peak

periods under all the plans in situation-II (crops

+ dairy farming) in all the three regions.

Human labour utilisation increased

successively from plan-I to plan-IV in all the

peak periods in both the situations. These

Tables further revealed that except peak

period-1, there was surplus human labour

under all the plans in situation-I in mid and

high hills. There was marginal increase in the

human labour employment during different

peak periods under different farm plans. As

far as total labour use per farm is concerned,

in situation-I it varied from 83.07 to 89.88

mandays in low hills, 33.69 to 36.64 mandays

in mid hills and 56.76 to 72.28 mandays in

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

highest in low hills followed by mid and high

hills in both kharif as well as rabi seasons.

high hills in plan-I to plan-IV. With the

introduction of dairy the human labour

employment per farm increased by 59 per cent

in plan-I whereas in plan-IV, it increased by 60

per cent in low hills. In mid hills, the increase

in situation-II over situation-I for plan-I and

plan-IV was estimated at 162 and 148 per cent.

The corresponding figures for high hills were

74 and 58 per cent. This indicated that crop +

dairy farming was more labour intensive than

crop enterprises. Further, it can be inferred

from the results that dairy activity with crop

enterprise reduced the risk which was clearly

shown by the comparison of respective

coefficients of variation in situation-I and

situation-II. This implied that the combination

of crop and dairy was most useful in stabilising

farm income and reducing associated risk.

Results of the study further indicated that

human labour employment for different risk

efficient plans increased with the increase in

the risk under different plans. Utilisation of

human labour in peak period -1 was higher as

compared to peak period -2, peak period -3

and peak period -4 in both the situations. Peak

period -1 was found to be the most critical

peak period for land preparation for sowing of

vegetables that took more time of labour and

sowing of other kharif crops and harvesting of

rabi crops in the study area hills. There was

marginal increase in the human labour

employment


Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming ... 217

Table 3 : Human Labour Utilisation Under Different Farm Plans in Low Hills (Mandays/Farm)

Situations Particulars Availability P I P II P III P IV

Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional

I Crop Peak-1 14.46 34.24 19.78 35.62 21.16 36.29 21.83 36.97 22.51

Enterprises Peak-2 14.46 14.59 0.13 15.21 0.75 15.57 1.11 15.94 1.48

Peak-3 14.46 14.59 0.13 15.21 0.75 15.57 1.11 15.94 1.48

Peak-4 14.46 19.65 5.19 20.41 5.95 20.72 6.26 21.03 6.57

Total 57.84 83.07 25.23 86.45 28.61 88.15 30.31 89.88 32.04

Risk 9.63 14.42 19.94 25.19

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

II Peak-1 14.46 54.46 40.00 58.47 44.01 59.1 44.64 59.24 44.78

Crop + Dairy Peak-2 14.46 36.39 21.93 36.91 22.45 37.24 22.78 37.63 23.17

Enterprises Peak-3 14.46 36.39 21.93 36.91 22.45 37.24 22.78 37.63 23.17

Peak-4 14.46 41.1 26.64 44.6 30.14 44.89 30.43 44.63 30.17

Total 57.84 168.34 110.50 176.89 119.05 178.47 120.63 179.13 121.29

Risk 7.19 12.35 18.46 23.19


218 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

Table 4 : Human Labour Utilisation Under Different Farm Plans in High Hills (Mandays/Farm)

Situations Particulars Availability P I P II P III P IV

Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional

I Peak-1 11.07 13.64 2.57 14.19 3.12 14.73 3.66 14.97 3.90

Crop Peak-2 11.07 6.40 -4.67 6.40 -4.67 6.43 -4.64 6.70 -4.37

Enterprises Peak-3 11.07 6.40 -4.67 6.40 -4.67 6.43 -4.64 6.70 -4.37

Peak-4 11.07 7.25 -.82 7.79 -3.28 8.27 -2.80 8.27 -2.80

Total 44.28 33.69 -10.59 34.78 -9.50 35.86 -8.42 36.64 -7.64

Risk 21.02 23.07 25.21 35.96

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

II Peak-1 11.07 35.76 24.69 36.14 25.07 36.52 25.45 36.84 25.77

Crop + Dairy Peak-2 11.07 28.51 17.44 28.51 17.44 28.51 17.44 28.57 17.50

Enterprises Peak-3 11.07 28.51 17.44 28.51 17.44 28.51 17.44 28.57 17.50

Peak-4 11.07 29.37 18.30 29.75 18.68 30.12 19.05 30.38 19.31

Total 44.28 122.15 77.30 122.91 78.63 123.66 79.38 124.36 80.08

Risk 19.50 20.60 21.75 23.47

Note: Peak period for labour use; Peak-1 (April 15-30), Peak-2 (July 1-15), Peak-3 (Sept. 15-30) and Peak-4 (Oct. 15-31).


Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming ... 219

Table 5 : Human Labour Utilisation Under Different Farm Plans in High Hills (Mandays/Farm)

Situations Particulars Availability P I P II P III P IV

Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional Used Additional

I Peak-1 18.27 23.15 4.88 25.74 7.47 28.33 10.06 30.6 12.33

Crop Peak-2 18.27 10.46 -7.81 10.46 -7.81 10.46 -7.81 11.07 -7.20

Enterprises Peak-3 18.27 10.46 -7.81 10.46 -7.81 10.46 -7.81 11.07 -7.20

Peak-4 18.27 12.69 -5.58 15.28 -2.99 17.86 -0.41 19.54 1.27

Total 73.08 56.76 -16.32 61.94 -11.14 67.11 -5.97 72.28 -0.80

Risk 21.28 23.66 25.86 29.12

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

II Peak-1 18.27 40.38 22.11 43.09 24.82 45.79 27.52 48.49 30.22

Crop + Dairy Peak-2 18.27 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53

Enterprises Peak-3 18.27 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53 31.80 13.53

Peak-4 18.27 29.92 11.65 32.62 14.35 35.32 17.05 38.03 19.76

Total 73.08 133.9 60.82 139.31 66.23 144.71 71.63 150.12 77.04

Risk 18.52 19.42 20.92 22.66

Note: Peak period for labour use; Peak-1 (April 15-30), Peak-2 (July 1-15), Peak-3 (Sept. 15-30) and Peak-4 (Oct. 15-31).


220 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

during different peak periods under different

farm plans. As far as total labour use per farm

is concerned, in situation-I it varied from 83.07

to 89.88 mandays in low hills, 33.69 to 36.64

mandays in mid hills and 56.76 to 72.28

mandays in high hills in plan-I to plan-IV. With

the introduction of dairy, the human labour

employment per farm increased by 59 per cent

in plan-I whereas in plan-IV, it increased by 60

per cent in low hills. In mid hills, the increase

in situation-II over situation-I for plan-I and

plan-IV was estimated at 162 and 148 per cent.

The corresponding figures for high hills were

74 and 58 per cent. This indicated that crop +

dairy farming was more labour intensive than

crop enterprises. Further, it can be inferred

from the results that dairy activity with crop

enterprise reduced the risk which was clearly

shown by the comparison of respective

coefficients of variation in situation-I and

situation-II. This implied that the combination

of crop and dairy was most useful in stabilising

farm income and reducing associated risk.

Results of the study further indicated that

human labour employment for different risk

efficient plans increased with the increase in

the risk under different plans. Utilisation of

Table 6 : Human Labour Employment Per Farm Under Different Farm Plans in Low, Mid

and High Hills of Mandi District

Situations Particulars Farm Plans

PI PII PIII PIV

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

Low Hills

I Human labour requirements 83.07 86.45 88.15 89.88

Crop (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 4.07 6.12 8.20

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 1.97 3.97

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 1.96

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

human labour in peak period -1 was higher as

compared to peak period -2, peak period -3

and peak period -4 in both the situations. Peak

period -1 was found to be the most critical

peak period for land preparation for sowing of

vegetables that took more time of labour and

sowing of other kharif crops and harvesting of

rabi crops in the study area.

Increase in Human Labour Employment

Under Different Farm Plans: The increase in

human labour employment under subsequent

farm plans in low, mid and high hills has been

analysed and presented in Table 6. It is clear

from this Table that increase in human labour

employment over plan-I was 8.20 per cent in

low hills, 8.76 per cent in mid hills and 27.34

per cent in high hills in plan-IV under situation-

I. In situation-II, the corresponding figures were

worked out to be 6.41, 1.82 and 12.11 per

cent. The results indicated that the human

labour employment increased even under risk

efficient farm plans. The maximum increase in

human labour employment was found in high

hills in both the situations due to introduction

of more labour intensive crops (garlic) in

cropping pattern.

(Contd..)


Risk Management and Rural Employment in Hill Farming ... 221

Table 6: (Contd..)

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

II Human labour requirements 168.34 176.89 178.47 179.13

Crop + Dairy (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 5.08 6.02 6.41

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 0.89 1.27

Mid Hills

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 0.34

I Human labour requirements 33.69 34.78 35.86 36.64

Crop (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 3.24 6.44 8.76

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 3.11 5.35

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 2.18

II Human labour requirements 122.15 122.91 123.66 124.36

Crop + Dairy (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 0.62 1.24 1.82

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 0.61 1.18

High Hills

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 0.57

I Human labour requirements 56.76 61.94 67.11 72.28

Crop (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 9.13 18.23 27.34

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 8.35 16.69

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 7.70

II Human labour requirements 133.90 139.31 144.71 150.12

Crop + Dairy (MD)

Enterprises Increase over plan-I (%) - 4.04 8.07 12.11

Increase over plan-II (%) - - 3.87 7.76

Increase over plan-III (%) - - - 3.74

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


222 Vinod Kumar, R.K. Sharma, K.D. Sharma

Conclusion

Agriculture was found to be the main

occupation absorbing more than two-thirds of

the working population in all the three regions.

The risk efficient farm plans formulated on

different hill situations with crop and crop +

dairy farming revealed that dairy activity

created additional employment opportunities

in all the three regions. The introduction of

dairy activity reduced the coefficient of

variation associated with each level of income

(RFFR) thereby indicating its role in stabilising

farm income. Thus to increase the employment

and minimise the risk in hill agriculture,

References

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

different risk efficient farm plans need to be

adopted by farmers by incorporating judiciousmix

of crops and dairy activities with prudent

guidance from the extension officials of

department of agriculture. Emphasis needs to

be given to maintain cross-bred cows for

generating additional employment to the

farmers. During survey it was observed that

there is fodder scarcity in the area. For this,

there is need to establish fodder storage for

adequate supply. In addition to this,

introduction of green fodder trees as well as

exotic grass species will also help in fodder

availability.

1. Anonymous (1981), District Census Handbook, Census Operations, Himachal Pradesh.

2. Jodha, N.S. (1996), Sustainable Mountain Agriculture: Some Predictions, In: S.L. Shah ed. Agricultural

Development in Hilly Areas, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics.

3. Kumar, A., Sharma, S.K., and Vashist, G.D. (2002), Profitability, Risk and Diversification in Mountain

Agriculture: Some Policy Issues for Slow Growth Crops, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 57

No. 3, pp 356-365.

4. Mruthyunjaya and Sirohi, A.S. (1979), Enterprise System for Stability and Growth on Draught-prone Farms:

an Application of Parametric Linear Programming, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 34 No.

1, pp 27-42.

5. Saha, A. (2001), Risk in HYV and Traditional Rice Cultivations : An Inquiry in West Bengal Agriculture,

Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 56 No. 1, pp 57-70.

6. Sasmal, J. (1993), Considerations of Risk in the Production of High Yielding Variety Paddy: A Generalized

Stochastic Formulation for Production Function Estimation, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics,

Vol. 43 No. 4, pp 694-701.

7. Sekar, I. and Palanisami, K. (2000), Farm Planning Under Risk in Dry Farms of Palladam Block of Coimbatore

District in Tamil Nadu, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 55 No. 4, pp 660-670.

8. Singh, J. and Singh, A. (1999), Implementation of Employment Generation Programmes: A Study of JRY in

Rajouri District of J&K, ICSSR Seminar on Poverty and Income Distribution in North-Western States of

India, Organised by Department of Agricultural Economics, Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya,

Palampur May 28-29.

9. Singh, R. and Sharma, A.C. (1988), Farm Production Plans for Risk Averters : A Case Study of Small Peasant

Farms, Indian Journal of Economics, Vol. 69 No. 272, pp 59-70.


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 223 - 234

NIRD, Hyderabad.

IMPACT OF MICRO-FINANCE ON

POVERTY : A STUDY OF TWENTY

SELF-HELP GROUPS IN NALBARI

DISTRICT, ASSAM

ABSTRACT

This paper is an empirical study conducted in Nalbari district, Assam about the

impact of micro-finance on poverty. It examines the nature of loans provided by the

SHGs to its members, and finds that the amount of loans provided under the

programme to its members is too small to help them cross the poverty line. Again

these loans were utilised mainly for consumption purposes, followed by expenditure

on current productive activities. Thus, there were only a few capital investments. But

these capital investments were also not enough to provide the members full

employment opportunity and sufficient income to cross the poverty line. Again it was

seen that still the members of the SHGs go either to the moneylenders or to the banks

for higher amount of loan. Moreover, it was found that a large segment of the SHGs

are closed down. The closing of SHGs was found more in case of those formed under

NABARD-sponsored SHG- Bank linkage programme and those formed under SGSY.

Actually these SHGs were formed with the motive to have subsidised credit from the

government sponsored schemes. When they found that they would not get any more

subsidised credit, they closed the SHGs. It is proposed that perhaps providing higher

amount of credit by banks to the SHGs will enable the SHGs to provide more and higher

quantum of loans to the members. The most important thing for the success of SHG-

Bank linkage programme is that the members of SHGs must be made aware of the

concept of self-help.

Introduction

Easier credit to the poor is identified as

an instrument to fight against poverty. Again,

it is frequently stated that poor are not

bankable, and the formal financial institutions

in developing countries often fail to meet the

credit requirements of the poor. It makes it

necessary for the government to interfere with

the credit market directly or indirectly to

channelise credit to this vulnerable section of

the society. The government of India too in

the past six decades took various initiatives to

Prasenjit Bujar Baruah*

provide easier credit facilities to the poor. But

most of these policies were unable to achieve

their goals; which led to the emergence of

micro-finance programme as an alternative

instrument to provide credit to this venerable

section of the society in India; along with the

rest of the world. The micro-finance

programme in India is popularly known as the

Self-Help Group - Bank Linkage Programme

and NABARD sponsored SHG - Bank linkage

programme is the single largest micro-finance

programme in the world. Along with an

* Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Dispur College, Dispur, Guwahati, Assam - 781006.

Email: prasenjitbb@gmail.com


224 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

alternative source of credit, presently microfinance

is also seen as an instrument to

alleviate poverty. Especially when Md. Yunus

won the Nobel peace prize, the belief on

micro-finance as an instrument to eradicate

poverty increased tremendously. At the same

time it is also one of the most debated issues

considering whether micro-finance has the

capacity or not to eradicate poverty. According

to the Nobel committee, micro-finance can

help the poor to come out of poverty, which

in turn is seen as an important prerequisite to

establish long lasting peace in the world

(Nobel Committee, 2006; cited in Hermes et

al.). Again providing support to the view that

Micro-finance is an instrument to fight against

poverty, the UN declared 2005 to be the year

for micro-finance. The World Micro-Finance

Summit held in Washington, DC in February

1997, in its declaration and action plan, among

other objectives, reaching to the poorest of

the poor and helping them so that they can

come out of the grip of poverty was kept as

the first objective. About the coverage of the

poor by the programme, one segment of

literature states that micro-finance programme

has succeeded in covering the poor (Basu and

Srivastava, 2005; Murthy et al, 2006), while

another segment tells that this programme is

unable to include the poorest of the poor

(Satish, 2001). About the impact of the

programme on poverty, one segment of

literature states that this programme has

helped the members of Self-Help Groups

(SHGs) to cross the poverty line (Galab et al,

2003; Dev et al, 2007; Singha,2000) while

another segment states about the falling of

non-poor SHG members into the grip of

poverty (Dev et al, 2007). According to Vijay

Mahajan (2005), the amount of loan provided

by the micro-finance programme to its

members is so small that it is unable to take

the members above the poverty line. Bujar

Baruah (2009) stated that although microfinance

has emerged as an alternative source

of credit, it has limited impact on poverty. He

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

further states that the loans taken by the

members from SHGs were mainly for

consumption purposes. Although some

investment activities were undertaken by a

few members, these activities were such that

they are unable to provide them full

employment opportunities or enable them to

cross the poverty line. Moreover, this paper

stated that a large number of SHGs were going

to be closed. Thus from the existing literature,

it is not clear about the impact of microfinance

on poverty. The main argument against

micro-finance as an instrument to alleviate

poverty is that this programme provides too

small amount of loans to the borrowers that is

unable to take them above the level of

poverty. But along with the amount of credit,

information about the utilisation of credit is

also important to comment on its impact on

the level of poverty. At the same time queries

arise in mind about the causes of the closure

of SHGs, at the time when micro-finance is

considered as an instrument to alleviate

poverty. This paper tries to analyse the nature

of loans taken by the members of SHGs and

also find out the causes of the closure of the

SHGs. Thus, there are two objectives covered

in this paper.

This paper studies the loans taken by the

members from Self-Help Groups and it tries to

examine the causes of closure of SHGs.

Methodology

Study Area : The present study was

conducted in the Borigog-Banbhag

Development Block of Nalbari district, Assam.

Nalbari is one of the relatively backward

districts in the State. It is assumed that perhaps

SHGs can play a major role to fulfil the credit

needs of the people of this area. Moreover,

this district is familiar to the researcher. This

district has thus been purposively selected for

the study.

Data Source : This study is based on

secondary as well as primary data. Secondary


Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty Self-Help Groups in ... 225

data were collected from sources like NSS

Report, Statistical Handbook of Assam,

Economic Survey of Assam, various research

articles and papers, the Block office, Banks and

NGOs concerned with the promotion of SHGs

in the concerned area, and internet.

Primary data were collected by

conducting a field survey in Borigog- Banbhag

Development Block of Nalbari district, Assam.

Data were collected at two stages. At first,

block officials dealing with the SHGs and NGOs

concerned, with the formation of SHGs were

met, and the list of SHGs, those they formed or

nurtured were collected. Then twenty SHGs

were selected from these lists to study them

as saving and credit groups. These twenty SHGs

were selected using stratified random

sampling; so that SHGs consisting of people

from each section of the society could be

selected. At the second stage, eight out of the

twenty SHGs were selected to study the credit

behaviour of the members; i.e., to know about

the borrowing and utilisation of credit by the

members. These eight SHGs consist of eighty

eight members, and data were collected about

all of them. Schedule/questionnaire were used

to collect these data. Again to know about

the causes of the closure of SHGs, focus group

discussions were held among the members

of SHGs, and discussions were also conducted

with the officials of the NGOs.

About the Self-Help Groups

Assam is one of the relatively backward

States of India. According to the Census Report

2001, Assam with 2.39 per cent of the total

land of the country has to support 2.6 per cent

of the total population of the country. The

density of population in this State is 340 per

square km as per the 2001 census. As per

2011 provisional population, Assam's

population is 31.2 million (2.6 per cent of the

population of the country) with growth rate

of population during 2001-11 declined to

16.93 per cent compared to 18.92 per cent in

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

the previous decade. Density of population per

square km is 397 persons, and sex ratio

(females per 1000 males) is 954 compared to

935 in 2001. Assam is still one of the

industrially backward States. Except the four

oil refineries, large industries are totally absent

in the State. Over and above this, Assam still

remains predominantly an agrarian economy

where 53 per cent of her total population

depend on agriculture and allied activities

(Assam Government, 2006). Moreover, it is

frequently affected by the occurrence of flood.

The agricultural sector of this State mainly still

depends on monsoon, and lower percentage

of the gross cropped area (13.33 per cent) has

irrigation facility. Thus, although Assam

Economy depends on agriculture, the

condition of agriculture itself is very poor. It is

assumed that the poor people frequently need

credit for consumption purposes as well as for

production purposes. But the data about the

indebtedness of rural households indicate that

the percentage of indebted rural households

as well as the average amount of credit per

rural household was very low in this State. Thus

there is a need for an alternative system to

provide credit to the rural people of this State.

The literature indicates that the SHG-Bank

Linkage Programme has emerged as an

alternative source of credit for the rural people

all over the country, and also enables the

members to get income generating assets. In

Assam too this programme has the potentiality

to play an active role in the rural areas. It seems

to be important to have an empirical study

about the impact of micro- finance on the level

of poverty of the SHG members in Assam.

Moreover, only a few studies have been

conducted in Assam about the Self- Help

Groups. The present study attempts to have an

empirical study about the SHGs in Assam.

Again within Assam, Nalbari is one of the

relatively backward districts. Up to 2008, the

registered number of unemployed in the

district was 97,622, which indicates a high


226 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

pressure of unemployment in the district.

Moreover, the occurrence of flood causes

huge damage to the agriculture of this district.

In such a situation where there are lesser

number of industries available, only selfemployment

activities undertaken by the

youth can play a major role. In such a situation,

the SHGs can play a major role.

The field survey was made in Borigog

Bonbhag block of Nalbari district, Assam. In

this area the block authority is concerned with

the formation of SHGs under the government

subsidised credit programme, Swarnajayanti

Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY). According to

the block authority, up to April, 2009 more

than one thousand SHGs were formed in this

particular block. A large segment of them were

able to complete first grading, and got

revolving fund amount up to `10,000. Some

of them are also able to succeed in achieving

second grading, and have received higher

amount of credit.

A number of NGOs are also working in

this area and concerned with the formation

and nurturing of SHGs. While conducting this

study, three NGOs, viz. Weavers Development

Society (WDS), Nalbari; Gramya Vikash Mancha

(GVM), Nalbari; and DREAMS, Dhurkuchi were

met. All these NGOs are concerned with the

formation and nurturing of SHGs; while

additionally, WDS and GVM are providing

micro-credit to the SHGs through their microfinance

wings. GVM formed 100 SHGs under a

NABARD sponsored SHG-Bank linkage project,

and linked them to banks. Additionally, they

formed 20 SHGs under another project

sponsored by TATA TRUST. In addition to these

120 SHGs, it helped a large number of other

SHGs. It is to be noted that all the SHGs formed

by GVM are registered at the block under SGSY.

Thus these groups are also included in the list

prepared by the block authority. WDS reported

to form about 300 SHGs, and link them to banks.

But it was able to give a list of 80 SHGs only.

DREAMS formed about 25 SHGs. Out of the 20

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

SHGs this study covers, nine come under SGSY,

five formed by WDS, and the rest six were

formed by GVM under NABARD's SHG-Bank

Linkage Programme. Again, six SHGs are male

SHGs, and the rest 14 are female SHGs.

All the SHGs under study were more or

less homogeneous considering all the aspects

like caste, religion, landholdings, etc. Most of

the SHGs consist of members from single

religion and caste. Moreover, they are the

habitants of the same locality. Of course, there

is a great variety among the members

according to the level of education. Lesser

numbers of SHGs under SGSY qualify the norm

that SHGs should have 70 per cent of members

from BPL. The SHGs initiated by WDS contain

lesser members from BPL. Those SHGs initiated

by WDS are found to be more homogeneous

than those come under SGSY. Those SHGs

initiated by GVM contain poorer families but

they are not the poorest of the poor.

The monthly savings mobilised by the

members of the SHGs ranges between ` 20

to ` 100. Highest nine groups save ` 30 p.m.

and only one group is saving `100 p.m. The

cumulative funds with the group also range

between `1,650 and ` 50,000. Out of the total

20 SHGs, four SHGs had stopped their savings.

Of these four groups, three are male SHGs, and

another is a female SHG. Out of 14 female SHGs,

13 are continuing saving; only one has stopped

savings. But in case of the male SHGs, only

three out of the six SHGs are continuing saving.

Thus it seems that among SHGs, female is a

better saver than the male.

The present amount of lending

circulated among the members ranges from 0

to ` 42,000. The zero lending by the SHG

means that those SHGs had stopped lending

among the members. The cumulative amount

of lending by the SHGs is between ` 6,200

and ` 76,800. One SHG is able to provide the

cumulative amount of lending at ` 76,800,

and another one provided ` 72,400. In case of


Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty Self-Help Groups in ... 227

four SHGs, the cumulative lending is more than

` 50,000; and in case of other three SHGs, it is

more than ` 40,000. The cumulative amount

of loan seems to be directly related to the age

of the SHG. The cumulative amount of lending

indicates the huge demand for credit by the

members. The interest rate on lending ranges

between 24 and 36 per cent.

All the SHGs under study have their

account with the banks; and all the SHGs

except one have some form of financial

transactions with banks or MFIs. All the SHGs

under SGSY got financial help from the

government either in the form of revolving

fund or in the form of subsidy with credit.

Beyond this `10,000 revolving fund, one SHG

has also qualified for the second grading and

could get an amount of loan ` 2,50,000 from

the bank with subsidy of ` 1,25,000. About

the repayment of loan by the SHGs, the bank

authority told that the repayment rates of the

SHGs are more than 90 per cent, which is far

better compared to that in case of individual

lending. The WDS and GVM also stated to have

100 per cent recovery while lending to the

Self-Help Groups. This point proves the

effectiveness of the SHGs as an alternative to

the government subsidised, credit

programmes; where lower repayment was the

main problem.

Out of the 20 SHGs, nine undertook group

investment activities. But most of the groups

were unable to make profit from their

investment activities. Only a few groups were

making some amount of profit. Actually, the

SHGs undertook investment activities under

SGSY only to get subsidised credit; as SHGs

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

under SGSY have to undertake some group

activities to avail of subsidised credit. And

when they came to know that they would not

be able to get subsidised credit in future, they

stopped their activities. Thus, those activities

were undertaken without any commercial

motive. Even after starting their activities, they

did not pay adequate attention to those

aspects which may be the causes of their

failure. The important point is that most of

them measured their profit from investment

as (Total loan amount- total repayment -other

costs of credit* + Subsidy). Thus, there was no

business motive in their investment. Of course,

a few groups are continuing their activities

efficiently and have the motive to continue

those activities irrespective of whether

getting the subsidised credit or not. Those

SHGs initiated by WDS need not necessarily

undertake investment activities; only one of

those five SHGs undertook investment

activities. And this group was making some

amount of profit from the investment. All the

SHGs initiated by GVM are registered under

SGSY. Although these groups need to

undertake investment activities according to

the rules of SGSY, only two SHGs did it.

Thus, most of the SHGs were working

efficiently as saving and credit groups; and a

few of them stopped their saving and lending

activities. However, while considering the

point of group investment it is to be mentioned

that only a few SHGs seem to have succeeded.

Borrowing by the Members from SHG

Basically SHGs are saving and credit

groups. Initially the NABARD sponsored SHG-

* These costs include mainly the bribe they have to pay to the bank and block authority to get credit. All

the SHGs stated that they provided bribe to the bank and block authority. To have the revolving fund of

`10000 these SHGs provided bribe to the block officials ranging between `500 to `1500. In case of the

loan of ` 2.5 lakh, the SHG stated to provide bribe of ` 45000 to the block officials and also to the bank

manager. One SHG gave `60000 to the block authority to get a tractor under flood area relief programme.

Even when asked to the block officer in charge about it, he did not deny about such type of corruption

prevailing in the programme. These types of corruption do not have any proof.


228 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

Bank Linkage programme was started with the

motive to provide easier credit facilities to the

poor who are unable to have credit from the

formal financial institutions due to lack of

physical assets to provide collateral. Thus, it

has emerged as an alternative source of credit

after the failure of the government sponsored

subsidised credit programmes to make the

poor free from the grip of moneylenders.

Presently along with an alternative source of

credit, micro-finance is also seen as an

instrument to alleviate poverty. But the main

criticism against micro-finance as an

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

instrument to alleviate poverty is that this

programme provides so small amount of credit

to its clients which is unable to take the poor

above the poverty line. Thus it is important to

have an idea about the amount of credit the

members borrow from the SHG and also have

an idea about the utilisation of credit. This

section explains about the borrowing

behaviour of the members from SHGs based

on the information collected from the 88

members of the eight SHGs under study. The

borrowing behaviour of the SHG's members is

explained in Table 1.

Table 1: Borrowing Behaviour of the SHG Members

Name of the SHG Total No. of Total members Cumulative Interest rate

members who took Amount of on lending to

loan Lendings members

(in `) (per cent)

Ramdhenu SHG 10 7 45,000 36

Arunodai SHG 10 6 14,000 24

Naba MilanSHG 10 10 72,400 36

Surujmukhi SHG 13 8 16,000 36

Milanjyoti SHG 10 10 76,800 24

Rangdhali SHG 10 9 12,000 36

Shiva Shakti SHG 15 11 30,000 36

Ujala SHG 10 10 27,350 36

Total 88 71 2,93,550 -

Source : Field Study, August, 2009.

The above Table indicates that out of the

total 88 members from eight SHGs, 71

members took loan from the SHGs at least

once. The rest 17 members never took loans.

All the members of three SHGs, viz., Milanjyoti

SHG, Naba Milan SHG and Ujala SHG took loans.

The cumulative amount of loans provided by

these SHGs to their members ranges between

` 12,000 and ` 76,800. The total amount of

loans provided by these SHGs is ` 2,93,550.

Among the SHGs Milionjyoti SHG provided

highest amount of loans to its members;

followed by Naba Milan SHG. The lowest

amount of loan is provided by Rangdhali SHG;

followed by Arunodai SHG. Presently Arunodai

SHG has stopped its lending activities. The


Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty Self-Help Groups in ... 229

cumulative amount of loan provided by the

SHG is directly related to the age of the SHG.

The size of the single loans ranges between

` 100 and `15,000. The rate of interest on

these loans ranges between 24 and 36 per

cent. Some members of Milanjyoti SHG took

loan also from the micro-finance wings of GVM

at the rate of interest 18 per cent.

During the study it was seen that many

members of the SHGs took loans from outside

the SHG. It was seen that the members went

to the SHGs when they needed smaller

amount of loans; but for higher amount of

loans, still they go either to the moneylenders

or to the banks. The loans taken from outside

the SHG seemed to be taken for some

specialised purposes, while most of the loans

from the SHGs were for current consumption

expenditure or expenditure on current

productive activities. The rate of interest on

loans taken from outside the SHGs ranges

between 36 and 60 per cent. Over time, there

Table 2 : Distribution of Loans Taken by the Members from SHGs

Size of the ` 100 to ` 501 to ` 1001 to ` 2001 to >5000 Total No.

loans ` 500 ` 999 ` 2000 ` 5000 of loans

No. of 34 28 61 27 4 154

loans (22.07%) (18.18%) (39.61%) (17.53%) (2.59%) (100%)

Source : Field Survey, August, 2009.

Thus from the above Table it is clear that

the size of 80 per cent of the loans taken by

the members from the SHGs is less than or

equal to ` 2000. Out of 154 loans, 22.1 per

cent fall in ` 100-500 range, only 17.5 per cent

range between ` 2001-5000. Only four loans

(2.6 per cent) are above ` 5000 level. Among

these four loans, the maximum for one person

` 15,000, and another is of ` 10,000; and the

other two are slightly above ` 5,000. The

average size of the loan is ` 1906.17, and the

average amount of loan per borrower is `

4134.50. Thus it is clear from the above

analysis that the amount of loan provided by

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

is a fall in the interest rate on loans provided

by the moneylenders. This fall in interest rate

is due to the increase in the number of

moneylenders, and not due to the presence

of SHGs. Thus it seems that SHGs have lesser

and lesser impact on the moneylenders.

Size of Loans Provided by the SHGs : The

micro-finance programme is widely criticised

on the ground that the size of loans this

programme provides to the clients is too small

to help them in undertaking any productive

activities, and finally, unable to help them to

cross the poverty line. Thus it is important to

have an idea about the size of the loans this

programme provides to the clients. Out of the

88 members of the eight SHGs, 71 took loans

at least once. There are some members who

took loans more than four times. Altogether

154 loans were provided by these eight SHGs

to the clients. The size of the loans the SHGs

provided to the members can be seen in

Table 2.

the micro- finance programme to its borrowers

is so small that it can’t help the members cross

the poverty line. Of course, there should be

no doubt about the role of micro-finance as

an alternative source of credit. It is fulfilling

the small and frequent credit needs of the

borrowers.

Utilisation of Credit Taken by the Members

from the SHGs : Along with the size of the loan,

it is also important to have an idea about the

utilisation of loan taken by the members, to

know about its impact on the economic

condition of the members.


230 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

While talking about the utilisation of loan,

Debraj Ray (2000) classified the purposes of

loans into three categories. These are Capital

Expenditure, Working Capital Expenditure, and

finally, Consumption Expenditure. According

to him, Capital Expenditure is that part of

expenditure made to start up new businesses

or for large scale expansion of the existing one.

Working capital includes the ongoing

production expenditures like raw materials or

labour cost. Finally, the consumption loans are

needed to bridge the gap between

consumption period and income receipt

period or sometimes due to win fall losses in

businesses. Here in this study the consumption

expenditure is divided into two categories.

One is current consumption expenditure, and

the other is expenditure on consumer

durables. Thus while talking about the

utilisation of credit; here the purposes are

divided as current consumption expenditure,

expenditure on consumer durables, current

production expenditure (working capital

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

expenditure), capital expenditure and other

expenditure. The utilisation of loan itself will

determine whether micro-finance programme

is contributing towards poverty alleviation or

not. If the loan taken from the SHG is invested

in some productive activity then surely it is

contributing towards alleviation of poverty.

Again if the loan is spent on consumer durables

like houses, then also it is contributing towards

alleviation of poverty. But simply if the loan

amount is spent on current consumption, then

it may deteriorate the economic condition of

the clients. In case of current consumption, if

the loan is to link the gap between the

consumption and income periods then it may

not deteriorate the economic condition of the

client, as he will be able to repay the loan from

his future income. On the other hand, if the

consumption loan is taken due to lack of

income, then it will deteriorate the economic

condition of the client. The structure of

utilisation of loan is explained in Table 3.

Table 3 : No. of Loans from SHGs for Different Purposes

Name of the No. of loans No. of loans No. of loans No. of loans No. of loans Total

Self -Help for current for Capital for Current for Capital for others No. of

Group consumption Consumption Production Expenditure purposes Loans

expenditure Expenditure Expenditure

Total 55 42 44 8 5 154

(35.7%) (27.27%) (28.58%) (5.19%) (3.24%) (100.0%)

Source : Field Study; August, 2009.

The Table indicates that altogether 55

loans from SHGs were taken for current

consumption purposes, i.e., 35.7 per cent of

total loans were meant for this purpose.

Current consumption expenditure includes

mainly the consumption expenditure, medical

expenditure, educational expenditure on the

children etc.

Capital consumption expenditure or

expenditure on consumer durables mainly

includes expenditure to build new houses or

to repair old houses or expenditures on

marriages etc. Out of the total number of loans,

42 were taken for the expenditure on

consumer durables. Thus this head accounts

for 27.27 per cent of the total loans provided

by the SHGs. The expenditure on building or

repairing of houses, definitely contributes

towards the economic well-being of the poor

members.


Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty Self-Help Groups in ... 231

Again out of the 154 loans, 44 were

taken for current expenditure on production.

Thus this head accounts for 28.58 per cent of

the total loans provided by the SHGs to their

members. Current production expenditure

includes mainly the expenditure on variable

inputs of production such as on labour or

agricultural inputs like fertiliser or seeds. Here

the group members under study took loans

for current production expenditure mainly for

expenditure on agriculture and to buy variable

inputs for weaving. Some of the members took

loan to meet the current expenditure in their

family business, and returned the loan with

the sales realisation from the investment. Most

of the members who took loan for agricultural

expenditure are mainly cultivators and wage

employed. They repaid the loans from wage

income; and most of them did not keep any

record regarding repayment of loans. Those

female members who took loans for weaving

repaid the loan either from their family income

or return from weaving. It is to be noted here

that current production expenditure seems to

be the dominant cause of borrowing next to

the current consumption expenditure.

Although it is the expenditure for productive

purposes, it is not able to take a family above

the poverty line.

The most important purpose of credit

taken by the SHG members is the capital

investment of loan amount. Only such type of

credit has the capacity to take the poor above

the poverty line. Capital investment is that

investment which creates some income

generating asset for the investor. Thus if the

credit amount is invested in capital asset,

there is a future flow of income to the investor.

And there is little chance for the investor to

face any problem while repaying the loan, and

his economic condition will not deteriorate in

future. Eight loans were taken for capital

expenditure, made by the members. Thus this

purpose accounts for 5.19 per cent of the total

loans the SHGs provided. Thus, this head, which

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

is most important for the members to have

income generating activities accounts only for

a small amount of the total loans.

Although these eight members had gone

for capital investment, the loan did not enable

most of them to be fully employed. Only one

woman belonging to the Milanjyoti SHG took

` 15,000 from that SHG and `10,000 from the

micro-finance wings of GVM. With that money,

she started a shop. Additionally, she invested

` 20,000 from her own. Moreover, most of

them were doing these as their subsidiary

business. For example, a woman who bought

a sewing machine, along with operating the

machine she also works at the paddy field, and

does domestic works as housewife. She

operates the machine hardly for half an hour a

day on an average. Another one who went for

micro business left the business when he got

a temporary job in a government department.

Thus, it is questionable about the return from

these investments and how far it will help

them to be lifted above the poverty line. The

impact of this programme on the level of

poverty of the borrowers is thus questionable.

Closure of Self-Help Groups

During the field survey it was found that

a large number of SHGs were closed down.

The block authority gave a list of SHGs

registered under SGSY programme. But during

the field survey it was found that about 70 per

cent of these SHGs were closed down. But

officially these are considered working. These

SHGs have their accounts in the banks. But in

reality neither they save any money nor they

provide any loan to the members. All the

group activities these groups started are no

longer functioning. Similar is the problem with

those SHGs started by the Gramya Vikash

Mancha (GVM). As per the information

provided by GVM officials, 60 per cent of the

SHGs they started were closed. Twenty per

cent are working irregularly and going to be


232 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

closed; and only 20 per cent of the SHGs are

working efficiently as saving and credit groups.

All these SHGs of GVM were formed under

NABARD sponsored programme. Again

although they are closed down, the matter is

not informed to NABARD, and still NABARD

takes these groups into account when they

provide data about the cumulative number of

SHGs. Thus it raises questions about the success

of NABARD sponsored SHG-Bank linkage

programme as well as of Swarnajayanti Gram

Swarozgar Yojana. In case of the SHGs started

by Weavers Development Society (WDS), it was

found that sometimes if such a situation arises

that some group is going to be closed, the

WDS’s workers come and discuss about the

situation with the members, and take possible

steps. They replace those members who do

not want to continue with the group with

some new members. Sometimes it so happens

that all the existing members are replaced by

new members. Thus the active presence of

the WDS’s workers saves these groups. But if

such a situation arises in a SHG formed under

SGSY, and those initiated by GVM, that group is

closed down.

During this study it was found that the

main problem with the groups was that the

SHG members were not aware of the concept

of Self Help. They did not start the group to

help themselves. Rather they considered SHG

as an instrument to have some benefit from

the government sponsored subsidised credit

programmes like SGSY. Most of the male SHGs

were started with this motive; and almost all

of them are closed down. The story is similar

to the female SHGs too. The female SHGs were

started with the motive either to have

subsidised credit or to utilise their surplus time,

after completing their works at home. Those

female SHGs started with the latter motive are

working properly as saving and credit groups;

but those SHGs formed with the former motive

are closed.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Almost all the SHGs registered under

SGSY got the revolving fund. After having this

revolving fund, some of the SHGs were closed.

Some others tried to have higher amount of

credit; but when they realised that they will

not be able to get the same, they wound up

the group. Some other groups got higher level

of credit with higher level of subsidy.

Thereafter when it became clear that they will

not get any more credit, they closed the SHG.

Another point to be noted here is that

although the SHGs are closing down, there is

another form of saving and credit groups

continuing with prosperity. These groups are

popularly known as “Sanchaya” which mean

saving institutions. These groups are also

informal groups. The total number of members

of such groups ranges from 10 to 20 or 30;

sometimes the maximum number even

crosses 100. The members monthly save some

definite amount of money with the Sanchaya

and lend to the members according to their

needs. Sometimes they even lend to the

people outside the Sanchaya. After a specific

period, they distributed the total funds among

the members. The Sanchaya may or may not

have a bank account. The main difference

between a Sanchaya and a SHG is that the SHGs

have the option to have credit from the banks,

while a Sanchaya never applies for a bank loan.

Again the maximum number of members of a

SHG is fixed at 20, but there is no such limit in

case of a Sanchaya.

It was seen that although a SHG and a

Sanchaya are more or less similar

organisations; most of the members of SHGs,

are leaving the SHGs; but the same members

generally do not leave a Sanchaya. Here the

question arises as to why some members leave

the SHG, but do not leave the Sanchaya. It

seems to be an area of research. The causes

behind this may be that generally the

members of SHGs consider a SHG as a part of


Impact of Micro-finance on Poverty : A Study of Twenty Self-Help Groups in ... 233

government programme. So they do not give

much importance to it; and consider it to be

an instrument to have some benefit from the

government. But at the same time they

consider Sanchaya to be their own institution.

Moreover, they save lesser amount of money

with the SHG to show themselves to be from

below the poverty line, so for a person from

higher income level, the importance of such

saving decreases. But as there is nothing such

with Sanchaya, the members save as much as

they can afford. Thus it is clear that although

SHGs are not performing well, self-help is

performing well.

Conclusion

The above discussion reveals that as

saving and credit groups, some of the self-help

groups are working properly, and some others

stopped all their activities. As an alternative

source of credit, although SHGs were able to

fulfil the credit needs of the members to some

extent; it was unable to fully satisfy their credit

needs. The amount of loans provided by SHGs

to their members is so small that it can’t help

the members to fight against poverty.

References

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Moreover, the loans taken by the members

from the SHGs are mainly for consumption

purposes, and for expenditure on consumer

durables. Although some capital investments

took place, these are not of that kind that can

help the members to cross the poverty line.

Moreover, it was seen that a large number of

SHGs are closed down or going to be closed.

But at the same time Sanchaya, another type

of saving and credit group is working properly.

Thus there is the failure of SHGs, but not the

failure of self-help.

It is clear from the above discussion that

to be able to enable the members to fight

against poverty, self-help groups should

provide larger amount of loans to the members.

More and more loans should be provided to

the SHGs by the formal financial institutions

for on-lending. Moreover, the most important

point is that to be a successful programme,

the members of the SHGs need to be

educated about the concept of self-help, and

the pattern of working must be demonstrated

through exposure to successful groups in

nearby areas.

1. Basu, Priya and Srivastava (2005), 'Scaling-Up Micro-finance for Rural Poor', Policy Research

Working Paper 3646, The World Bank, South Asia Region, Finance and Private Sector

Development Unit, June, 2005.

2. Bujar Baruah, Prasenjit (2008), 'Self-Help Group and Asset Creation : A Case Study of Deharkuchi

Gaon Panchayat of Nalbari District, Assam', M. Phil. Dissertation, Submitted to Department of

Economics, University of Hyderabad, August, 2008 (Unpublished).

3. Bujar Baruah, Prasenjit(2009), "Self-Help Group and Asset Creation : A Case Study of Deharkuchi

Gaon Panchayat of Nalbari District, Assam", The Micro-finance Review, Vol.1, No.1, Journal of the

Centre for Micro-finance Research, Bankers Institute of Rural Development, Lucknow, January-

June.

4. Dev S. Mahendra, Galab S. and Ravi C. (2007), 'Indira Kranthi Patham and Poverty Reduction in

Andhra Pradesh', International Conference on Andhra Pradesh Experience with Membership-

Based Organisations of Poor, June 5-6, 2007; Organised by Centre for Economic and Social

Studies, Hyderabad, India


234 Prasenjit Bujar Baruah

5. Galab, S., Rao N. Chandrasekhar (2003), 'Women's Self Help Groups, Poverty Alleviation and

Empowerment', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.38, No.12 & 13, March, 23-29, Pp.1274-1283.

6. Government of Assam (2006), 'Statistical Hand Book of Assam, 2006', Directorate of Economics

and Statistics, Government of Assam, Guwahati.

7. Hermes, Niels and Lensink Robert (2007), "Impact of Microfinance : A Critical Survey", Economic

and Political Weekly, February-10, 2007.

8. Mahajan Vijay (2005), 'From Micro Credit to Livelihood Finance', Economic and Political Weekly,

October 8.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 235 - 243

NIRD, Hyderabad.

CAPACITY BUILDING THROUGH

WOMEN GROUPS

ABSTRACT

Structured efforts for women empowerment and poverty alleviation should

involve capacity building of the targeted group parallel to the provision of economic

means to them. The Self-help Groups (SHGs) formed nation-wide for the

empowerment of poor women pool small savings of their members to begin with

and supplement the financial requirement of the members by associating with banks

and other financial institutions. To enable the group members to handle micro-credit

with care, manage micro-enterprises, and involve in social and political activities with

confidence, capacity building programmes of varied nature are inevitable. The paper

examines the capacity building programmes undertaken through women groups in

Kerala by Kudumbashree, the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM), launched by

the Government of Kerala, India.

Introduction

Empowerment of women constituting

nearly fifty per cent of the population in India

has been considered as an important issue

seeking remedies through varied means.

Women Reservation Bill to remedy political

backlog among women and formation of Selfhelp

Groups throughout the country aiming at

social and economic empowerment of

women, especially poor women, have been

well appreciated as significant movements in

this direction. The poor women are deprived

of capabilities to lead the kind of lives they

value, to be free of fear and able to express

themselves. Therefore, any form of

empowerment of poor women demands basic

awareness and literacy from the part of target

groups on different fields of normal life.

Moreover, identification, training and

Santhosh Kumar S.*

sharpening of skills possessed by the groups

also assume significance. Therefore, capacity

building is a prerequisite for any genuine

practical empowerment of poor women in the

country. Capacity building, in a sense, is the

process of equipping the individuals to

improve their skills, knowledge and access to

information, which enable them to perform

effectively. For poor women capacity building

is intended to inculcate basic awareness on

financial, social, environmental and law related

concepts. It may also include training of poor

women to run micro ventures and its basic

accounts keeping.

Capacity Building

In general terms, ‘capacity building’ is a

process or activity that improves the ability of

a person or entity to carry out the stated

* Associate Professor, Post Graduate and Research Department of Commerce, St. Peter’s College,

Kolenchery, Ernakulam, Kerala, India.


236 Santhosh Kumar S.

objectives. The existing body of literature

presents a wide range of definitions for

capacity building and also many arguments for

why capacity building is important. Capacity

building often refers to assistance that is

provided to entities, usually societies in

developing countries, which have a need to

develop certain skills or competence, or for

general upgrading of performance ability.

Capacity building enhances the ability and

skills at the individual level to realise their full

potential and live a more happy and

meaningful life. The United Nations

Development Programme (UNDP) defines

capacity building as, ‘the creation of an

enabling environment with appropriate policy

and legal frames, institutional development,

including community participation (of women

in particular), human resource development

and strengthening managerial systems. The

UNDP also recognises that capacity building

is a long-term, continuing process in which all

stakeholders participate’ (ministers, local

authorities, non- governmental organisations

and water user groups, professional

associations, academics and others). As a

process that improves the ability of a person,

group, organisation or system to meet its

objectives or to perform better, capacity

building initiatives are all the way important

for sustainable development.

Evidently, capacity building is closely

related to empowerment. Brews (1994) rightly

observed, if empowerment is the value, then

capacity building is the content. Empowerment

is a process to gain strength, confidence and

vision to work for positive changes in life.

Women groups functioning in the third world

countries like India and Bangladesh are

embraced with the key word empowerment

to remedy the poverty and poor condition of

women. Different measures for poverty

alleviation and empowerment could catch the

desired result only if the target group is

equipped to receive the different inputs for

empowerment with reasonable amount of

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

confidence, background knowledge and

positive attitude. Training programmes are

nowadays the popular means among the

women groups in these countries for capacity

building. Imparting awareness, skills and

knowledge through training programmes

along with other economic provisions have

been given more thrust today especially in

developing nations as part of empowering

poor women to bring them to the mainstream.

Review of Literature

Domestic and international studies on

capacity building at the institutional level are

many, but at the community level are rare

especially studies relating to the poor women.

Therefore, search for a gap in the available

literature is not meaningful. However, the

available literature can pave ways for

proceeding with tentative assumptions

regarding the capacity building process in

general. Moreover, conceptualisation of

‘capacity building’ by reviewing existing

literature better convey the process of building

capacity. Some of the relevant studies on

capacity building are reviewed below.

Brown and others (2001) in their report

“Measuring Capacity Building” review the

current knowledge and experiences from

ongoing efforts to monitor and evaluate

capacity building interventions in the

population and health sector. The report

pursues a review of current approaches to

measuring capacity and the effects of capacity

building interventions, develops a working

definition of capacity building and a conceptual

framework for mapping capacity.

Mayer (1995) in his work “Building

Community Capacity: The Potential of

Community Foundations” describes that a

variety of community groups and institutions

contribute to community capacity. Each

community group or institution is a potential

partner in the work of strengthening the

viability and vitality of communities. The


Capacity Building Through Women Groups 237

author establishes that, in partnership, each can

gain in capacity.

Ofei-Aboagye (2000) in his seminar paper

titled “Promoting the Participation of Women

in Local Governance and Development: The

Case of Ghana” describes the initiatives in

Ghana to promote the participation of women

in local governance and the role of the

European support. Local governance is

interpreted as the active involvement of the

local population within the territorial

boundaries of a local government in ensuring

improved quality of service and leadership at

the local government level. It includes greater

participation by civil society in decisionmaking

processes and involves consensusbuilding

and civic awareness. In view of this,

the paper focuses on efforts to increase

women’s participation as councillors and as

well as initiatives to enhance the involvement

of women and women groups in decisionmaking,

requiring accountability and accessing

support from local governments. It also

presents interventions promoted through local

governments to reduce poverty and promote

socio-economic development targeted at

women and seeking to bridge gender gaps

and the European support in these efforts.

The ILO (2006) report, “Building

Entrepreneurial Capacity for Returnee and

Refugee Women in Angola and Mozambique”

describes the activities being implemented to

resettle and reintegrate the returnees from

neighbouring Zambia through capacity

building. Creation of the right conditions for

starting various income-generating activities

at the community level has been discussed in

the report. The report includes the findings

from the economic mapping exercise; a

description of the capacity-building process

that was facilitated by the ILO.

Kudumbashree and Capacity Building

Beginning from the mid-eighties of the

past century, provision of micro-credit has

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

become a key strategy for poverty alleviation

and women empowerment in Kerala, India.

Women have begun to organise themselves

into Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) or Self-

Help Groups (SHGs) to free themselves from

the clutches of usurious moneylenders and

perennial poverty. “Kudumbashree”, the State

Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM), was

launched by Government of Kerala in 1998

with the active support of Government of India

and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural

Development (NABARD) for wiping out

absolute poverty by 2008. Within a span of ten

plus years, Kudumbashree could bring about

considerable change in the lives of women in

Kerala by converging resources, ideas and

programmes. About forty lakh women in the

State have been organised into nearly 2 lakh

grassroot level NHGs. Apart from thrift

mobilisation and informal banking, the mission

has given birth to vibrant micro-enterprises

making women owners of these units.

Kudumbashree views micro-enterprise

development as an opportunity for providing

gainful employment to the people below

poverty line and thereby improving their

income and living standard.

Kudumbashree is a three-tiered

hierarchial system of organisation. At the

lowest level are the neighbourhood groups

(NHGs), same as self-help groups (SHGs). These

groups are then federated at the ward level

into Area Development Societies (ADS). The

highest level is the Community Development

Society (CDS). Although all women in the State

are eligible to participate with NHGs, only

those members who are considered to be

below the poverty line (BPL) are eligible to

receive financial incentives. This programme

has cut across the ideological divide and

women have truly been empowered using the

Kudumbashree model of poverty eradication.

Since the women who had not been involved

in any activities, home bound and shy to

interact with outsiders turned out into more


238 Santhosh Kumar S.

confident and articulate decision makers, the

programme has been found very effective.

Even though the primary objective of

Kudumbashree is to bring down the poverty

by improving the status of poor women,

empowerment of women through all possible

means were given no less importance.

Attainment of these objectives necessitates

building up of the required amount of skill,

knowledge and decision making power

among poor women. Kudumbashree conducts

various capacity building programmes for the

benefit of its members to develop the skill

and knowledge of group members. The

present study is a micro attempt to assess the

effectiveness of different capacity building

training programmes of Kudumbashree on a

Gram Panchayat level.

Methodology

The study is descriptive in nature

pursuing into the assessment of the

effectiveness of capacity building training

programmes covering financial literacy, law

literacy, accounts keeping and entrepreneur-

Table 1 : Sample Selection Process

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

ship of Kudumbashree based on the opinion

of members of NHGs of Aikkaranadu Gram

Panchayat in Ernakulam district, Kerala. The

population for the study comprises all the

members of NHGs of Kudumbashree in

Aikkaranadu Gram Panchayat in Ernakulum

district. The details of determination of sample

size, selection of sample, constructs and

variables for measurement, data collection and

data analysis follow.

a) Determination of Sample Size : The

population for the study is the 1120 members

of NHGs in Aikkaranad Gram Panchayat of

Eranakulam district. A sample size (n) of 60

respondents from the finite population is

determined by the formula;

Where; N = Size of population (i.e. 1120);

n = Size of sample; Z is confidence level at 5

per cent i.e. 1.96; σ 2 = estimate of standard

deviation of population i.e. 0.19893; e =

acceptance level of sampling error i.e. 5 per

cent.

Selection of Wards Selection of NHGs Selection of Respondents

4 Wards 12 NHGs 60 women members

(out of the 14 Wards) (3 each from each Ward) (N + S) n*

Ward Number Total No. No. of NHGs Total No. No. of

of NHGs Selected of Members Members

in Selected Selected

NHGs

Ward 2 7 3 42 16

Ward 5 6 3 36 14

Ward 7 4 3 38 14

Ward12 7 3 43 16

Total 24 12 159 60

Note : * denotes, N = Number of members in each of the selected NHG; S = Total number of

members in all the selected NHGs; n = Sample size determined.


Capacity Building Through Women Groups 239

b) Selection of Sample Units : The sample

size of 60 respondents was selected at random

from among the 1120 members of the 84 NHGs

spread among the 14 wards in the Panchayat.

The multi-stage selection process is given in

Table 1. Members having at least 2 years of

experience with NHGs were included in the

sample.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

c) Constructs and Variables for

Measurement : The constructs measuring the

effectiveness of training programmes are

shown in Table 2. Altogether, a set of 13

variables was used to measure the

effectiveness of training programmes given

to members of the NHGs. The responses of

the members are anchored on a three- point

scale (Likert Type Scale.)

Table 2 : Constructs and Variables for Measurement

Constructs No. of Description Response Scale

Variables of Variables Anchors

A. Financial literacy training 13 1. Contents of training

2. Daily timing

3. Communication &

Presentation of trainer

4. Interest & Involvement

5. Quality of study material

6. Physical facilities in place

7. Applicability in usual life

8. Accommodative number

of participants

9. Sufficiency of duration

of training.

10. Scope for involvement

of trainee

11. Scope for increasing

knowledge and skill

12. Scope for increasing

confidence level

13. Leisure facilities in

place of training

B. Law literacy training

C. Accounts keeping training

D. Entrepreneurship Development training

Low to High

(3 point Likert

type scale)


240 Santhosh Kumar S.

Profile of Sample Respondents

Table 3 : Profile of Respondents

S.No. Profile Frequency Per cent

1 Age of Respondents(Yrs) 40 – 45 5 8.3

46 – 50 25 47.7

51 – 55 26 43.3

55 -60 4 6.7

Total

Average age 50.6

60 100

2 Years of Association with NHG 1-5 4 6.7

6-10 56 93.3

Total 60 100

3 Education Below SSLC 35 58.3

SSLC 25 41.7

Total 60 100

4 Marital Status Married 39 65

Widowed 21 35

Total 60 100

5 Number of Members in the Family 4 27 45

5 33 55

Total 60 100

6 Prime Earning Member of Family Herself 6 10

Husband 48 80

Others 6 10

Total 60 100

7 Occupation Daily Labour 30 50

Agriculture 15 25

Small trade 5 8.3

No Occupation 10 16.7

Total 60 100

8 Officiating Capacity Volunteer 33 55

Non- volunteer 27 45

Total 60 100

Source : Author’s Data.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Capacity Building Through Women Groups 241

d) Data Collection and Analysis : The

primary data required for the study were

collected using a structured interview

schedule. Tools like percentage and weighted

average were used for analysis. Student’s ttest

(one sample t- test) was used to test the

hypotheses. Equal weight was given to each

of the variables assessing effectiveness.

e) Hypothesis : The Financial Literacy

Training programme, the Law Literacy Training

programme, the Accounts Keeping Training

programme and the Entrepreneurship

Development Training programme of

Kudumbashree possess “moderate

effectiveness”.

Moderate Effectiveness: is a condition that

the mean value of the summated score of the

opinion of the respondents on attributes

assessing the effectiveness of each training

programme being equal to the central value

of the expected score (i.e. 2).

Results and Discussion

The results of the analysis of the views

expressed by the respondents regarding the

different training programmes of

Kudumbashree are given in Table 4. The mean

score of each variable against each of the

training programme and the summated mean

score of the thirteen variables against each

training programme exceptionally report that

the training programmes are effective. The

summated mean scores on effectiveness are

2.68, 2.66, 2.66 and 2.67, respectively for the

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

financial literacy training, legal literacy

training, accounts keeping training and

entrepreneurship development training

programmes. The students’t test results

obtained by comparing the summated mean

score of each of the training programmes with

hypothetical mean value, i.e. 2 (central value

of the three-point scale) confirms that all the

training programmes have above moderate

effectiveness. All the thirteen variables have

been rated by the respondents without giving

any scope for hesitation regarding the

effectiveness of the programmes.

Conclusion

Kudumbashree in Kerala endeavours

many efforts, both direct and indirect, for the

alleviation of poverty and empowerment of

women in Kerala. As part of equipping

members of the women groups (i.e. NHGs) to

handle micro-credit with care, manage microenterprises,

and involve in social and political

activities with confidence, capacity building

programmes of varied nature are periodically

undertaken by Kudumbashree. The present

study, based on the opinions of the members

of the NHGs, clearly reveals that all the training

programmes have been assigned with “above

moderate ratings” regarding its effectiveness.

This is a strong indication that the training

programmes could achieve their objectives to

a great extent. Therefore, these types of

training programmes to the members of

women groups will serve as a support to the

noble goal of poverty alleviation.


242 Santhosh Kumar S.

Table 4 : Mean Scores of Training Programmes

S.No. Variables Mean Score

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

FLT* LLT* AKT* EDT*

1 Course Contents 2.83 2.72 2.68 2.83

2 Daily Timing 2.61 2.52 2.5 2.48

3 Communication & Presentation of Trainer(s) 2.83 2.82 2.72 2.71

4 Interest and Involvement of Trainer(s) 2.52 2.47 2.48 2.48

5 Quality of Study Material 2.47 2.5 2.46 2.56

6 Applicability in Usual Life 2.93 2.86 2.91 2.81

7 Accommodative Number of Participants 2.53 2.45 2.45 2.52

8 Sufficiency of Duration of Training 2.51 2.56 2.56 2.55

9 Scope for Involvement of Trainees 2.61 2.52 2.78 2.68

10 Scope for Increasing Knowledge and Skill 2.85 2.88 2.86 2.88

11 Scope for Increasing Confidence Level 2.87 2.86 2.86 2.85

12 Physical Facilities in the Training Place 2.68 2.72 2.27 2.6

13 Leisure Facilities in the Training Place 2.76 2.78 2.76 2.75

Summated Mean Score 2.68 2.66 2.66 2.67

* FL – Financial Literacy Training; LLT – Law Literacy Training; AKT – Accounts

Keeping Training; EDT – Entrepreneurship Development Training.

Source : Author’s Data.

Table 5 : One Sample Students t Test Results

Constructs N Mean Std. t df P value

Deviation

Financial Literacy Training 60 2.68 .13276 40.095 59 0.000

Law Literacy Training 60 2.6671 .13644 37.870 59 0.000

Accounts Keeping Training 60 2.6641 .13802 37.272 59 0.000

Entrepreneurship

Development Training

60 2.6718 .13500 38.545 59 0.000

Source : SPSS results computed from Author’s data.


Capacity Building Through Women Groups 243

References and Select Bibliography

1. Anand, J. S. (2002), Self-Help Groups in Empowering Women : Case Study of Selected SHGs and

NHGs - Discussion Paper No. 38, Thiruvananthapuram, Centre for Development Studies.

2. Beatriz Armendáriz de Aghion, J. M. (2000), Microfinance Beyond Group Lending, The Economic

Transition, 401-420.

3. Bhatnagar, A. (2008), Rural Microfinance and Microenterprises - Informal Revolution Overview,

In Bhatnagar, Rural Microfinance and Micrenterprises - Informal Evaluation, New Delhi :

Concept Publishing Company.

4. Brews, Alan (1994), The Capacity Building Debate, Mulbery Series, Olive (Organisation,

Development and Training), 23 Acacia Road, Glenwood, Durban, 4001.

5. Brown, L., LaFond, A., & Macintyre, K. (2001), Measuring Capacity Building, Chapel Hill, University

of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

6. Ghate, P. (2006), Micro Finance in India - A State Sector Report.

7. Ghate, P. (2006, May 18), State Assault on Micro-finance, New Delhi, Economic Times.

8. ILO. (2006), Building Entrepreneurial Capacity, ILO.

9. Kerala, G.o. (2004), Economic Review, Thiruvananthapuram, State Planning Board.

10. Kerala, G.o. (2007), Economic Review, Thiruvananthapuram, State Planning Board.

11. Mayer, S. E. (1995), Building Community Capacity, The Potential of Community Foundations.

Minneapolis, Rainbow Research.

12. Ofei-Aboagye, E. (2000, October March 8), Promoting the Participation of Women in Local

Governance.

13. Pathak, N. (2004), Operating Expenses in Micro Finance, Sa-Dhan.

14. Punnoose, A. (2008), Micro Finance Scenario in Kerala, Southern Economist.

15. Thurman, E. (2007, November 8), Microcredit is Effective for Women in Self-employment, The

Hindu Business Line.

16. Vasudevan, P. (2009, January 3), Microfinance Needs Regulated Growth, The Hindu Business Line.

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Book Journal Reviews of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. (2) pp. 245 - 256

245

NIRD, Hyderabad.

Social Relevance of Higher Learning

Institutions, by Prof. G. Palanithurai, Concept

Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Price ` 550.

The author, a self-proclaimed watcher of

the higher education scenario in the country,

has done well to compile his articles on higher

learning institutions in India which have

reflected on his varied experiences gained

from various assignments he took in India and

briefly in Germany and Canada.

Most would agree that not only the

higher education, but education itself is in great

mess today. The crass commercialisation of

education has been the major, but not the sole,

reason for taking it to such low depths.

The author dwells on the opportunities

provided by globalisation in economy which

calls for creating large competent manpower.

With the increase in the number of institutions

of higher learning, the number of passed out

students has been increasing, but in this race,

quality is the worst sufferer.

India has been, through ages, known for

its superior education system which was

emulated widely. However, in view of our

belief that whatever is done in West is superior

and must be copied here. So, instead of

bringing out superior manpower, our

universities are churning out graduates and

post-graduates whose quality, to say the least,

is questionable. They are definitely literate,

but are they educated ? While our graduates

should be worthy of market requirement,

many of them should also become thinkers,

poets, artists, scientists, technologists and

above all outstanding teachers. But, is it

happening ? The answer would be a big NO !

There could not be any argument against

the entry of private sector in education. But it

BOOK REVIEWS

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

should not be seen as a mere business

opportunity for making huge profits through

huge capitation fee (especially in medical

colleges) and high tuition fee right from

Nursery classes. The argument that the quality

comes at a cost is taken but should this socalled

quality manifest in terms of showing

buildings and infrastructure alone but also in

helping the student to grow up the knowledge

ladder smoothly. Further, it should also not

happen that their doors should be shut on the

resource poor children. It has also been

observed that many medical colleges who

charge unimaginable capitation and tuition

fees, often lack the required learning

infrastructure in terms of faculty and labs/

operation theatres etc. The author argues in

favour of education being either in Central or

State level but not in concurrent list. This needs

to be debated.

In Chapter 3, the author describes about

the system and stakeholders in higher

education. There is a plethora of stakeholders

which obviously gives birth to plethora of

problems. There is a need to put in place an

effective and responsive system which would

not only remove the anomalies but will also

take the higher education system forward.

Like any other sector, education sector is

becoming very important in rural socioeconomic

scenario. But for the sector to be

effective and responsive, the people have to

develop strong stake rather than simply being

bystanders. If the rural life has to be rescued

from present misery, education, especially

higher education, has to play an important

role. For this to succeed, the academics and

scholars have to pay more attention to the

knowledge generation, application and

transmission with specific aim of changing rural

society. Further, the role of Panchayati Raj


246 Book Reviews

institutions and NGOs also is highlighted to

join the force. In this effort, supreme care has

to be taken to maintain high standards, second

to none.

The government often loudly expresses

its intent to create World Class institutions of

higher learning. But more serious efforts will

be needed to realise the dream of every Indian

(rich or poor) to be educated and possibly

obtain graduation. The youth, especially rural

youth, who should become the nuclei of rural

development and empowerment process,

should be prepared for the important job of

rural transformation and governance. A lot of

important tasks like education, health,

infrastructure, food and nutritional security are

waiting for the competent youth to manage.

Our institutions of higher learning should be

prepared to create this critical mass.

The author is a prolific writer of books,

articles etc., and has genuine interest in curing

the ills of higher education. His critique on

the ongoing system is quite incisive. The book

is good reading and should be of interest to all

those whose heart is in this area and who

dream to clear the augean stables with the

fastest pace.

– Dr. S.M. Ilyas

Economic Liberalisation and Indian

Agriculture : A District Level Study, by

Bhalla, G.S. and Gurmail Singh, 2012, Published

by SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd., B1/I-1

Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura

Road, New Delhi - 110 044, (India), pp. 360, `

795 (Hardback).

The book under review is an outcome of

a research study conducted by the authors on

'Growth of Indian Agriculture : A District Level

Study' to update the district-wise data from

1990-93 to 2003-06 with a view to comparing

the performance of agriculture during the

post-liberalisation period from 1990-93 to

2003-06, with the pre-liberalisation period

from 1980-83 to 1990-93 and from 1962-65

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

to 1980-83. Adopting a comparative analysis,

the book brings out the spasmodic transition

of Indian agriculture from pre to post-green

revolution and the deceleration from pre - to

post-liberalisation period of over five decades

consolidated in six chapters. The study was

carried out in 17 states covering 281 districts

on 35 crops for a comprehensive discussion

of the cropping patterns and levels of

agricultural output at the state and all India

levels during the reference period.

After a brief introductory chapter, about

the methodology adopted in conducting the

massive study, second chapter is confined to

the growth and productivity performance of

agriculture which have been meticulously

analysed and compared with those of the

green revolution period. The author explains

that the long-term (1962-2008) growth rate

of crop production at 2.46 per cent per annum

was achieved mainly due to cropped area and

irrigation expansion in the pre-green

revolution period. The authors have indicated

that the pace of growth rate achieved in crop

production during the green revolution period

could not be sustained in the post-reform

period. The decline was on account of a

slowdown in the expansion of irrigation due

to the decline in public investment and the

failure to have fresh breakthrough in

technology.

Chapter 3 is devoted to analysis of yield

levels of all the crops taken together at the

disaggregated district level. During 1962-65,

the yield levels in most of the districts in India

were abysmally low. An analysis of data on

regional variations at the district level during

1962-2008 brings out the impact that the

introduction of new technology has made in

raising yield levels in various districts.

Breakthrough in oilseeds technology under

aegis of the Technology Mission on Oilseeds,

leading to notable rise in productivity levels

of oilseeds was noticed during 1980-93. The

success of the new technology in raising yields

is intimately related with the use of modern


Book Reviews 247

inputs like fertilisers, tractors and tubewells.

Authors have emphasised the need for

strengthening rural credit institutions for not

only spreading technological modernisation to

backward regions, but also enabling small and

marginal farmers to purchase costly inputs and

machinery.

In Chapter - 4, growth rates of output

and productivity have been analysed for the

overall reference period. An attempt is also

made to analyse the association, if any

between growth rates of output and intensity

of use of modern farm inputs. There is some

evidence to believe that agricultural trade

liberalisation has impacted the cropping

pattern more than the productivity. It is also

indicated that trade liberalisation provided

favourable opportunities for export crops like

fruits, spices and cotton, it has posed a serious

challenge in maintaining competitive edge in

the global market.

Chapter - 5 analysed the levels and

growth of agricultural workers’ productivity at

the state and district levels during the

reference periods. The regression estimates

suggest that the prevailing inter-district

differentials in per worker productivity in

Indian agriculture can be bridged by

expanding per worker cultivable land by

promoting more intensive use of land

resources, improving education and skill level

of the rural labour force and the development

of rural infrastructure such as rural roads and

agricultural markets in the hitherto lagging

regions (Bihar, MP, Maharashtra and eastern

UP).

The strength of this book lies in the fact

that it combines theory and practice, tabular

and econometric techniques, as well as

statistical measures to analyse significant

issues related to agriculture in India. This

volume is of immense benefit to students,

researchers and practitioners in the field of

Agriculture Economics.

– Dr. V. Suresh Babu

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

Horticulture for Tribal Development,

by R.N. Hegde and S.D. Suryawanshi, 2011,

Published by BAIF Development Research

Foundation, Dr. Manibhai Desai Nagar, Warje,

Pune – 411 058, Maharashtra (India), pp. 126,

` 120.

The book under review is an outcome of

the work done by BAIF and MITTRA through

the Adivasi Development Programme,

Maharashtra (ADPM); which was the basis for

the doctoral study by Dr. R. N. Hegde. This

doctoral research is the basis for bringing out

this document in the form of book with 10

chapters. The book describes the tribal

situation in India, policies and government

programmes for tribal development,

importance of horticulture with regard to food

security, economic prosperity and mitigating

global warming. The authors have attempted

to analyse the project concept, design and

process of development in converting

degraded lands into lush green orchards by

small farmers. Further, the results of various

impact assessment studies conducted by

various academicians and research scholars on

agri-horti-forestry (Wadi) approach have been

documented.

The authors have laid emphasis on

introducing the subject to the readers with

tribal profile, development issues, culture and

heritage, Nehru’s vision of tribal conservation,

historical perspectives and policies, tribal

education and hostel facilities, tribal

development programmes and their

implementation and Central and state plans.

They have also discussed about the major

organisations involved in tribal development

such as National SC and ST Financial and

Development Corporation (NSFDC), National

Scheduled Tribe Financial Development

Corporation (NSTFDC), Large Sized Multi-

Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS), Tribal

Research Institutions, Tribal Cooperative

Marketing Development Federation of India

(TRIFED).


248 Book Reviews

Authors have focused on horticulture

development to address the multiple

challenges of ending poverty, improving

nutrition and sustaining rural communities in

the tribal areas. They have discussed various

issues of Horticulture in India, production

features of horticulture and reasons for BAIF

model replicability.

In the third chapter, BAIF genesis is

discussed at length. Further, they presented

the history of orchard (Wadi) development

with emphasis on wasteland development,

food security during gestation, women

empowerment, timeline on evolution of the

orchard (Wadi) and status of orchards in six

States viz., Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan,

Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

In the fifth chapter, authors have

presented the Wadi project concept and

design with details on activities for orchard

programme and development intervention for

the entire tribal community including micro

watershed development, value addition and

market linkages and demystification of

technology for adoption (with checklist of

year-wise activities).

Authors have emphasised on planning

for gainful employment through cluster

approach, evolution of BAIFs approach such as

process of micro-level planning with technoeconomic

parameters of fruit crops, capacity

building and micro credit disbursal and

repayment facilities. In the seventh chapter,

six success stories have been discussed.

Considering the global experiences, BAIF

has initiated building grassroot institutions for

sustainability. Formation of people’s

organisations and Self-Help Groups, their stagewise

development are discussed with

reference to BAIF Model.

The approaches discussed above are

location specific and would offer deep insight

to extension development for effective

transfer of technology in wasteland

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

development programmes. This is

recommended for students, field

demonstrators, extension officials and

researchers.

– Dr. V. Suresh Babu

Women Empowerment through

Literacy Campaign : Role of Social Work

by Jaimon Varghese, Concept Publishing

Company Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, Pages 294, Price

` 750.

Participation in the literacy campaigns

is a challenge for the literacy workers. Despite

active participation and involvement in the

literacy campaigns, if the literacy workers

engaged in the advocacy of literacy

programmes are not empowered, all efforts

to affect a literacy programme would be a

futile exercise. In this publication the author

has made substantial efforts to provide an

understanding on the efforts made to

empower the women literacy workers who

were trained by providing ‘Special literacy

classes’ in the literacy campaign mission before

spearheading them for the literacy campaigns.

These classes were provided with a twin

strategy to improve the capabilities and

development of the personality of the women

literacy volunteers as they engage and involve

in literacy campaigns.

The author has systematically followed

the chapterisation of the study by footing in

eight chapters with an additional chapter on

conclusion. The first chapter presents the

status of the women in Rural India while the

subsequent chapters until chapter five

constitute the chapters on research

methodology. Chapter six has eloquently dealt

with the role of Literacy Work and the process

of empowerment of the women literacy

workers. Chapters seven and eight have

powerfully brought out the problems and

impact of literacy on the lives of the women

literacy workers and the participants of the

National Literacy Campaign. However, through


Book Reviews 249

these chapterisations the author has tried

vehemently to show that women literacy

volunteers have been empowered socially,

economically and politically, in the process of

being trained for the literacy campaigns. The

author has resorted to the quantitative

epistemological findings to study the extent

of empowerment of women literacy workers.

Through the various chapters, the author

has constructed the existing status of women

and is of the opinion that literacy has not

contributed to the achievement of

empowerment. From the discussions in

phased manner through various chapters it

emerges that women literacy workers though

educated and trained in addressing the

campaigns go through similar restrictions and

constraints that women in general in the rural

society undergo. The author also admits that

the established codes of conduct which are

potentially exploitative in nature are loud and

actively followed undisputedly in the rural

society. The author also opines that there is

no difference in the gendered discriminatory

practices while comparing the pre and posttraining

period. However, there is an enhanced

social empowerment in terms of decision

making in household affairs. But in specific

circumstances especially those that are

associated with the purchase and ownership

of property, women’s voices are throttled and

their representation does not cross the

boundaries of the house, nevertheless here

and there spurts of empowerment are seen

or experienced as voices of very few women

are heard and considered for owning property

and gaining registration in their name in the

study area.

Apart from socio-economic and political

empowerment of women literacy volunteers,

the author sees a remarkable change in the

personalities of the trained literacy workers as

they have gained courage to come out of their

houses and conduct the campaigns and

gradually in the process, they are accepted as

leaders. According to the author, the political

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

empowerment has been significantly faster as

there has been a cognitively improved

participation of women in gram sabha

meetings. Therefore, the author concludes

that literacy empowers women and

unhesitatingly considers this stage as a precondition

for volunteering for literacy work,

which built in an assured self-confidence to

participate in the post-literacy campaigns. The

other practical outcomes of the participation

in the campaigns were vivid in terms of the

enhanced abilities of the women to read, write

and to do little mathematic, withdrawal from

observing purdah system, improvement in

interactions, satisfaction in teaching the

mothers-in-law which are the visible

consequences of the participation in the

campaign and have helped them as they

campaigned.

Findings documented by the author on

the impact of the campaign on the women

literacy workers and his findings in terms of

the empowerment of women are more

generic in nature. These findings supporting

the decision making powers of women in the

modern times confining only to the kitchen

seems to be limited since women have gone

far ahead from the kitchen empowerment and

these days are into social and economic

empowerment.

By and large, the author of the study has

followed the usual requirements of the

research and has established his findings

systematically by concluding on some relevant

suggestions. The book has been well organised

and published by the Concept Publishing

Company.

– Dr. G. Valentina

Development of Special Economic

Zones in India, Volume 1, Edited by M.

Soundarapandian, 2012, published by Concept

Publishing Company, A/15-16, Commercial

Block, Mohan Garden, New Delhi-110059, pp.

344, Price ` 2000.

Few selected papers presented in the

seminar on ‘The Prospects and Implications of


250 Book Reviews

Special Economic Zones in India’ are edited

into a book of two volumes and titled as

Development of SEZs in India’. Volume I deals

with policies and issues of SEZ and Volume II

analyses impact and implications of SEZs. The

present volume I is the compilation of 30

articles which discusses the issues relating to

Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

A.Ranga Reddy in his article ‘SEZs – A

Step for Quality Industrialisation’ presented an

overview about the SEZ act, its objectives,

incentives and facilities and benefits offered

from SEZ and impact of SEZ. He also highlighted

the controversies against SEZ.

In the paper on ‘Theoretical

Understanding of SEZ Strategy in India; a Case

Study of GMR SEZ of Hyderabad’, the writers

Tamali Chakraborty and Barun Kumar Thakur

gave theoretical framework for SEZ and related

it to the case of GMR SEZ of Hyderabad and

drawn the similarities in theory and reality and

drawn a conclusion that SEZ policy negatively

affects the agriculture and Government has to

relook its policy.

Through the article ‘Economic Trends of

SEZs in India’, K.B. Nidheesh and P. Palanichami

analysed the secondary data available from

Ministry of Commerce, India, website to study

zone-wise the employment trends, export

contribution and percentage share of FDIs in

total SEZ investment. It was concluded that

SEZ policy contributed to the economic

development of the nation in terms of exports,

employment and investment from time to

time.

A. Chandraprabha in her paper on ‘SEZs

in India; Problems and Prospects’ presents and

discusses about the progress and performance

of the SEZ, rehabilitation and resettlement,

labour laws, implications and problems and

challenges in SEZ development etc.

In the paper on Impact of SEZs on

Employment in India, S. Natchathira Jothi

focuses on employment generated through

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

SEZs. Author analyses the employment

generated both in Government as well as

private SEZs and state-wise distribution of

employment. He also tried to make an

assessment about the employment that can

be generated through upcoming SEZs in India.

K.Vanitha and D. Kumar in their paper on

“Special Economic Zones in India- Policy and

Growth” gave an introduction about the

objectives, rules, incentives and facilities

provided to units in SEZ. They discussed in

detail about the institutional evolution of SEZ.

In their paper on “Land Resource Conflict

Resolution - A Study of Indian SEZs, authors

N.M.P.Verma and Vinit Kumar focus on land

acquisition for SEZs.

Through their paper “SEZs - A Theoretical

Analysis”, M. Balaji Naik and S. Saipogu

Ramanjaneyulu gave introduction to SEZs with

special focus on Andhra Pradesh. In the same

way T. Rajendra Prasad and H. Sudhakara in

their paper on “Performance of SEZs in India”,

analysed the performance of SEZs in Andhra

Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and as

such overall southern zone in the areas of

status, land allocation, exports and

employment provided through SEZs.

From the paper titled “A Comparative

Study of SEZ and EPZ’s in India”, authors, P.

Senthil and S. Asaithambi gave phase-wise

description of history of EPZs/SEZs in India with

listing out of relative advantages and

disadvantages of both types. In the article

“What are SEZs? Provisions Governing Such

Zones”, authors, G. Sathis Kumar, S. Ramaswamy

and G. Kavitha talk of different types of zones

and some features of SEZs and the gap

between the ideal and reality. M. Subramanian

and Karthick Raja in their paper “RAPID Model-

SEZ : Issues and Strategies” again focus on the

history of SEZ and some facts and figures about

SEZs in India.After analysing the issues they

have come out with strategies for betterment.

“Tourism as a Potential Sector for Growth

under SEZ” is a paper by S. Gopalakrishnan,


Book Reviews 251

where the writer gave detailed description of

the only one SEZ presently in principal

approved in tourism sector at Himachal

Pradesh.

By reading the articles in the book, an

individual develops knowledge on the issues

related to the SEZs. But there is lot of repetition

in the content of the papers as most of the

authors analysed the secondary data available

in the website of the Ministry of Commerce

and Industries. There are very few articles

based on empirical studies. In many articles

authors focused on problems of land

acquisition, challenges that the SEZs face and

the benefits that the SEZs get from the

Government etc. The editor of the book should

have ensured that there is no repetition in the

content. Overall it is informative and

readability and presentation is good. However,

in the overall assessment, this is a good

resource book on various aspects pertaining

to SEZ and their impact on people. The present

volume has great relevance of time to the rural

development too.

– Dr. C. Dheeraja

Bureaucracy and Rural Development

in Mizoram, by Harendra Sinha, Concept

Publishing Company Pvt Ltd, New Delhi-

110059, Published 2012, ` 700.

The book on Bureaucracy and Rural

Development in Mizoram has been a fine

addition to the process of governance and

related problems in implementation of rural

development programmes and schemes.

Though the methodology adopted and

the findings recorded do not speak anything

new, not revealed till date by other authors,

empirical research findings of this kind are

very rare these days. Any empirical research

per se, based on primary questionnaires and

the analysis of data give credence to the

subject researched upon.

The book is divided into eight chapters

with appendices as addendum. The first six

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

chapters’ viz. (1) Introduction (2) Bureaucracy

and Rural Development (3) Democratic

Decentralisation in Mizoram (4) Bureaucracy

and Rural Development in Mizoram (5)

Problems and Prospects of Rural Development

in Mizoram (6) Block Level Bureaucracy: Their

Role and Responsibilities — are at best a good

compilation and collation of existing literature

- a typical characteristic of many publications

on Indian Research Studies. Herein the reader

has the benefits of glancing at a large number

of references of books, general articles, web

based information on the theme of

bureaucracy and rural development. The

dichotomous views of writers have hardly been

analysed to give credence to the writer’s own

understanding of the relevance of quoting

them.

The cream of the book is placed at

chapter eight i.e. “Findings and Suggestions”

constituting a meagre thirteen pages, followed

by a preparatory ground work in chapter seven

i.e. “Assessment of Block Level Bureaucracy”.

Necessarily these two readings constitute the

real interests of any kind to the discernible

subject specialist on grassroots governance

and related problems in India.

Though the chapter seven is named as

“Assessment of Block Level Bureaucracy”, there

are very few earmarked sentences which

make any judgement about the bureaucracy

of four blocks (constituting the study area)

mentioned above. In a span of nearly four

pages (P 182-186), there is hardly a sentence

which makes a critical judgement of Lunglei

bureaucracy. The author has failed to

understand the difference between

compilation of facts and figures and making

judgement out of the same data. While

assessing on bureaucracy of Hanhthial block,

statements like development of transport and

communication as the most important means

in achieving development of this mountainous

block-serve no specific purpose when the

cause of absence of this is not analysed.

Stereotype facts like absence of Extension


252 Book Reviews

Officer at the block level in the districts which

are most backward in India serve no purpose

without analysing why political will and public

pressure at large could not be raised to

mitigate the same issue. Specific spatial

analysis could have brought out some

meaning to the research findings. While

assessing about Bunghmun block the

stereotype sentences like “Rural artisans

should be encouraged with marketing

facilities” (P. 190-191) do not elicit any interest

to a genuine researcher. Absence of any

banking facility—highlighted by the writer as

the only block (i.e. Bunghmun) of this type in

the country definitely raises the eyebrow of

the reader, but cause of the same could have

been elicited from the lead district manager

Mr. S.K. Bhattacharjee, State Bank of India,

Lunglei and could have been recorded in the

research findings.

‘Neither the snake be killed nor the stick

be broken’ — the crux of a non-committal

bureaucracy has been highlighted again in the

data analysis elaborated in Page 196 to 205.

Without being answerable or accountable to

the omission and commission of one’s work

as a government servant, it hardly matters

whether the villages benefited from the rural

development programmes or not, the method

of selection of beneficiaries, information

dissemination about rural development

programmes to the villages, whether or not

the grassroots bureaucracy visit the villages.

Non-availability of block functionaries in the

service of people in motivating and assisting

the rural folk is nothing new, though the

respondents’ percentage may vary from block

to block. Role of village level worker (VLW) is

equally disheartening in Mizoram which is not

a significant departure from the national

scenario.

One of the most important findings is

about the role of village councils as described

in P. 207. In the absence of PR institutions of

the all India types, the village councils are held

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

supreme against the all India guidelines’

dictum of putting Gram Sabha as supreme in

programmes like IAY. With the personal

interviews by the writer of Mr. K. Lalthlamuna,

village council president, Thualthu, Lunglei

block, it is revealed that in the absence of PRI,

people from the urban area frequently made

attempts to produce rural residential

certificates bribing the Presidents of Village

Councils.

The last chapter (i.e. chapter eight—

”Findings and Suggestions”) speaks about

continuous assessment and evaluations of rural

development programmes by the

independent bodies. The writer also suggests

about five per cent out of the rural

development funds for research and

documentation to provide feedback to

decision makers for better implementation,

identification of reasons for success and

failures and possible modifications. The scant

electronic and print media coverage for the

issues, problems and prospects for rural

development programmes in India by the

writer is not true, though this might be of some

relevance to Mizoram. After the

implementation of MGNREGS, hardly a single

day has been missed out when an inquisitive

reader didn’t find the coverage of a story in

any vernacular print media.

The study by the writer reveals that the

village councils do not enjoy decision making

power as in the case of PR institutions. The

absence of an intermediary body at the block

level (between the two extremes of district

council and village council), makes the block

level bureaucracy overriding the council

thereby creating a huge gap between district

councils and village council.

Lastly with all the limitations as pointed

out above, the book by Harendra Sinha is a

valuable addition to the understanding of

grassroots development functionaries. In

infrastructurally backward states like Mizoram,

doing a research work of this kind demands


Book Reviews 253

extraordinary labour and patience which

makes the reader enthusiastic to read the

whole book. The language is very lucid and

can be grasped by any common reader. The

book will definitely guide the future

development functionaries in carrying out

assigned tasks more effectively provided they

care to take a leaf out of this book.

– Pradip Kumar Nath

Rural Development Administration

in India, by N.Sreeramulu, Serials Publications,

New Delhi, 2011, pp. 411, ` 1495.

The book under review is based on

outcome of the doctoral study aimed to

investigate rural development administration

in India, particularly of the dynamics of

development administration in Andhra

Pradesh.The author, at large, concentrates on

existing development administration system

in Andhra Pradesh, PRIs’ role in planning and

implementation of various rural development

programmes, organisation and working pattern

of administrative system under the PR at the

District, Mandal Parishad and Gram Panchayat

levels before and after the introduction of 73rd Constitutional (Amendment) Act in Andhra

Pradesh; role of the development

functionaries and the procedures for most

effective administration etc.The author has

chosen three districts viz. East Godavari,

Chittoor and Nalgonda of which one

development Mandal each was taken as

sample for his study that covers all three

regions of Andhra Pradesh. The collected data

were analysed in the light of the objectives

using suitable classifications and the available

data were arranged under different heads and

sub-heads meaningfully.

The researcher has organised this book

into Six Chapters. In the first chapter, he

provided the background, need and

importance of rural development, presented

the brief evolution of the present institutional

arrangements for rural development

administration. Also, in general, he provided a

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

review of literature on rural development

administration in the country as a whole and

Andhra Pradesh in particular. In the second

chapter, the author discussed the evolution of

rural development administration in Andhra

Pradesh, starting with the administrative

arrangements under Firka Development

Scheme and Community Development

Programmes. This chapter also highlighted the

democratic decentralisation phase – the

Panchayati Raj, discussed the changes in the

administrative set-up at three levels – Zilla

Parishads, Panchayati Samitis and Gram

Panchayats and the steps taken to strengthen

the PR system after introduction of the Andhra

Pradesh Mandal Praja Parishads, Zilla Praja

Parishads, and Zilla Pranalika Abhivruddi

Mandals Act 1987.

By discussing the provisions of the 73rd Constitutional (Amendments) Act and Andhra

Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, the third

chapter examined the Gram Sabha at GP level,

Mandal Maha Sabha at MP level, Zilla Maha

Sabha at the district level, the composition and

reservation of seats for the members as well

as office bearers of GP, MP and ZP etc. This

chapter also analysed various approaches to

rural development and indicated the

programmes undertaken in each of the

approaches and analysed the performance of

various rural development programmes.

The author devoted the fourth chapter

solely to study the organisational aspects of

existing arrangements for rural development

administration at various levels and also

explained the powers and functions of PRIs,

elected representatives and other official

functionaries relating to PRIs at different levels

specifically to Chittoor district of Andhra

Pradesh.

In the fifth chapter, the author analysed

the responses of officials and non-officials on

various aspects relating to the organisation and

working of the rural development

administration, the relations between officials


254 Book Reviews

and non-officials in the implementation of rural

development programmes at the district,

mandal and gram panchayat levels. This

chapter also provided the views of officials and

non-officials about the need for coordination,

the need for finances and their resource

mobilisation, role of PRIs in the development

of agriculture, education, role in providing rural

water supply, role in laying new roads and

maintaining old roads etc. In the sixth chapter,

the author presented a summary of findings

and conclusions, thus drawn, to suggest

remedial measures for strengthening rural

development administration in the State of

Andhra Pradesh. The author also analysed the

view of the respondents about the importance

of people’s participation and the need for

training to all the stakeholders of rural

development.

Obviously, this book covers various

aspects of rural development and

administration particularly in the State of

Andhra Pradesh. This volume is very useful for

research scholars, especially those engaged

in political science and development

administration arena, social workers, nongovernmental

organisations, and other social

scientists who look forward to impact of rural

development administration not merely

confined up to reducing the poverty but also

reducing the regional imbalances of the

country.

– Dr. R. Murugesan

Land Policies for Inclusive Growth,

Edited by T. Haque, Published by Concept

Publishing Company Pvt ltd Pages : 495, Price:

` 1200.

Among the four factors of production,

land is the only factor which is finite and

limited. Therefore, it is always subjected to

special treatment in the history of agrarian

economy in India. Land policies adopted by

the government have been playing a role in

providing equitable justice as well as

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

enhancing the income of the rural poor.

However, there have been many controversies

surrounding the land in the context of its

distribution as well as acquisition. Tenancy is

another aspect of land , the case for legalisation

of which is gaining momentum in the context

of its potentiality to enhance the production

base of landless , marginal and small farmers.

The book under review is a compilation of

various papers presented in a National Seminar

jointly organised by Council for Social

Development and Rural Development

Institute, New Delhi. There are about nineteen

papers in the book which made an in depth

analysis on i) Redistributive Land Reforms : Old

and New Approaches ii) Tenancy Reforms iii)

Land Rights for Women and Tribals V) Land

Acquisition and Inclusive Development.

There are seven papers which made an

indepth discussion in the section on

‘Redistributive Land Reforms’. The paper on

“Land Reform in the 21st Century:New

Challenges and New Responses” by Roy L.

Porsterman and Tim Hanstad discussed about

the potential benefits of land reforms on

increased crop production and economic

growth. The paper by T.Haque on “Land Policies

for Social Inclusion in India” discussed at length

on the three different phases in the evolution

of land policy in India and championed the

need to have an appropriate land use policy

for the country. The paper by Robert Mitchell

and Tim Hanstad on “ Small Home Garden Plots

and Sustainable Livelihoods for the Poor”

examined the ways in which the poor can use

small extent of land to establish home gardens

to advance their livelihood objectives. In his

paper on “Access to Land : Some Issues“, Srijit

Mishra presented a matrix of issues

confronted by the tillers of the soil and

suggested some measures such as provision

of some land for kitchen garden while

providing homestead plots which may need

some serious thinking under Indira Aawas

Yojana. Shri. K.N.Nair and Shri Arindam


Book Reviews 255

Banerjee in their paper on “Structural Changes

in Land Distribution and its Implications for

Improving Access to Land “ provided some

insights into the changes in the pattern of

land distribution and the factors shaping it .

Perceiving Land Bank as a logical Extension to

the SHG movement in the country, B.K.Sinha

in his paper on “ Land Bank : An Institutional

Mechanism for Improving Access to Land by

the Rural Poor” presented the concept ,

objectives and the instrumentalities of the

Land Bank .

There are eight papers in the section on

‘Tenancy Reforms’ all of which have strongly

vouched for institutionalisation of tenancy.

The Paper by T.Haque on “Agricultural Tenancy

Reform in India : Policy, Practice and Impact”

analysed the positive and negative aspects of

post-Independence tenancy reform policy in

India and presented a case for legalisation

and liberalisation of land leasing. Sankar Kumar

Bhaumik in his paper on “ Legalising

Agricultural Land Leasing in India : An

Assessment of Possible Consequences and

Some Suggestions“ conducted an extensive

state-wise study on land tenancy based on

secondary data. In the paper “Equity and

Efficiency Impacts of Land Leasing Restrictions

: Evidence in India “Klaus Deininger etal

assessed the ability of different groups of

producers to gain access to land through

market mechanism and explored the impact

of rural rental restrictions as a factor that

increases the costs of market participation on

land market functioning and outcomes. In the

paper on “Changing Tenancy Relations in Rural

India : A Case for Legalizing Tenancy “ the

author H.R. Sharma strongly advocated for

separating the ownership rights of the land

with user rights, the policy of which has taken

its roots in Andhra Pradesh now. In the paper

on “Land Leasing, Poverty and Inequality”,

Naresh Sharma addressed the problem of

influence of the institution of tenancy on the

rural poor and concluded that prohibiting or

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

severely restricting the land lease market is

counter-productive both by equity and

productivity criteria. The paper on “Legalising

Agricultural Tenancy : A Study in Odisha“

examined the tenancy practices and its impact

on agriculture and observed the implications

for sustainable productivity and equity. The

paper on “ Land Leasing by Women in Andhra

Pradesh “ by Vakati et al examined the actual

leasing practices of poor women- cultivating

leased land in groups or as households and

recommended that improving credit access

for women tenant farmers by organising them

into RMGs or SHGs can make this livelihood

option to many more women.

The only paper on land rights of women

by Hina Haque in the third section highlighted

the constraints to women’s land rights such as

legal, institutional, socio-economic and

suggested an action plan for achieving gender

equality in land rights. Fernandez’s paper on

“Tribal customary and formal law interface in

North – Eastern India” revealed the role that

the formal individual based law plays in causing

shortages, impoverishing the communities and

thus causing ethnic conflicts in the north east.

The LA act being the chief instrument of

land acquisition has come in for a sharp attack

on grounds of the large scale displacement it

has unleashed in the name of public purpose

in the recent past and on the grounds of its

inconsistency with democratic governance

and principles of equity and social justice. K.B.

Saxena in his paper on “Land Acquisition and

Peasant Resistance : Critique of Policy

Interventions“ presented the salient features

of the land acquisition acts in the country in a

comparative setting. P.V. Indiresan in his paper

on “ Land Acquisition : Compensation and

Inclusive Development “ concluded that the

aim of compensation for Land Acquisition

should not be mere financial compensation

for the displaced but the development of

entire population.


256 Book Reviews

Land issues are coming to the fore again.

In the context of stronger dissent against

exploitative methods with which fertile

agriculture land is being acquired in the

country and the building up of the case for a

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012

land use policy, the book has come up at a

right time which will be useful for the policy

makers, academicians , civil society and the

students who are working in this area.

– Dr. Ch. Radhika Rani


Book Reviews 257

Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 31, No. 2, April - June : 2012


Procedure

Journal of Rural Development

(Quarterly Journal of NIRD)

INSTR INSTRUC

INSTR UC UCTIONS

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