|Board||CBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board|
|Subject||Civic| Political Science | Social Science|
|Chapter Name||Urban Livelihoods|
|Topic||Urban Livelihoods CBSE Class 6 Civic Chapter 9 Notes|
|Especially Designed Notes for||CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA, All Govt. Exam|
Working on the Street
- This is a city where my cousin lives. I have been here only a few times. This city is very big. Once, when I came here, my cousin took me around. People of urban areas are engaged in different activities.
- Some are rickshaw-pullers, some are vendors, some are businesspersons and some shopkeepers etc. These people work on their own. They are not employed by anyone. Urban life is different from rural life.
- We left the house to visit the city in the morning. As we turned the corner onto the main street, we saw that it was already buzzing with activities.
- The vegetable vendor was busy arranging carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes in baskets at her stall so that people could see what she had to sell. Next to her stall was a flower shop where all kinds of flowers were sold.
- We bought a red rose and a yellow rose. On the opposite pavement, we saw a person selling newspapers with a small crowd of people around him. Everyone wanted to read the news.
- Buses passed by quickly and there were auto-rickshaws filled with school children. When I saw around, there was a cobbler under a tree who sat taking his tools and materials out of a small tin box.
- Next to the cobbler, the roadside barber had begun his work: he already had a customer who wanted an early-morning shave.
- A little ahead, a woman was pushing along a cart having all kinds of plastic bottles, boxes, hairpins, clips etc in it, while another person on a cycle trolley was carrying vegetables to sell them to people in their houses.
- We reached a place where rickshaws were standing in a row. They were waiting for customers. We took one to the market because the market was about 2 km down the road.
- Bachchu Manjhi is a cycle rickshaw puller from a village in Bihar. Like him, a large number of people in the city work on the streets.
- In a survey of Ahmedabad city, it was found that 12 per cent of all the workers in the city were people working on the street. These people sometimes sell things or repair them or provide a service.
- They work on their own. They are not employed by anyone and therefore have to organise their own work. They have their own plans as to how much to purchase, as well as where and how to set up their shops.
- Their shops are temporary structures: sometimes just some boards or papers are spread over discarded boxes or a canvas sheet is hung up on a few poles. They may also use their own carts or simply spread a plastic sheet on the pavement.
- The shops are sometimes dismantled by the police. So, they have no security. Sometimes, in some parts of the city, these hawkers are also prohibited to enter.
- Vendors sell things that are most of the time prepared at home by their families who purchase, clean, sort and make them ready to sell. For example, those who sell food or snacks on the street, prepare most of these at home.
- There are almost one crore street vendors’ in the country working in urban areas. Street vending was till recently looked upon only as an obstruction to traffic and to people walking.
- But, with the effort of many organisations, it is now recognised as a general benefit and as a right of people to earn their livelihood.
- The government is thinking about modifying the law that banned street vendors, so that they have a place to work and that there is also a free flow of traffic and people.
- Hawking zones have been suggested for towns and cities. It has also been suggested that mobile vendors should be allowed to move around freely. Hawkers need to be part of committees that are set up to take such decisions relating to them.
In the Market
- When we reached the market, the shops were just beginning to open.
- But the place was already crowded because of the festival season. In the urban market, one can find a variety of shops.
- There were many variety of shops where sweets, toys, clothes, footwear, utensils, electronic goods etc were being sold. A dentist’s clinic was also at an end.
- My cousin had an appointment with the dentist. We went there first so that we would not miss our turn.
- We had to wait for a while in a room before she was called inside.
- The dentist examined her and asked her to come back the following day to get a cavity in her tooth filled.
- My cousin was scared because she thought the process would be painful and was upset that she had allowed her teeth to go bad.
- After the dental check-up, she took me to a new garment showroom, because I wanted to buy some readymade clothes.
- The showroom had three floors. Each floor had different types of clothes. We went to the third floor, where clothes for girls were kept.
Harpreet and Vandana: Businesspersons
- Harpreet says, “My father and uncle worked in a small shop. During festival times and on Sundays, my mother and I helped them in the shop. I started working there only after completing my college”.
- Vandana says,” We opened this showroom some years ago. I am a dress-designer. Our business has changed. These days people prefer to buy readymade clothes, rather than have them stitched. The trend these days is for readymade clothes. You also need an attractive display for them”.
- “For our showroom, we buy things from different places. We buy most of the materials from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana and Tripura. Some materials are bought from Noida and Gurgaon, towns near Delhi. We get some dress items from foreign countries as well.”
- There are several things we need to do to run this showroom properly such as to advertise in various newspapers, cinema theatres, television and radio channels.
- Currently, this building is rented but soon, we plan to buy it. Ever since this market has become the main market for people living in the surrounding apartments, our business has grown.
- We have been able to buy a car and book a flat in an apartment complex nearby.
- Like Harpreet and Vandana, there are several business persons in the market who manage their own shops. These shops may be small or large and they sell different things. Most businesspersons manage their own shops or businesses. They are not employed by anyone.
- The businesspersons do employ a number of workers as supervisors and helpers. These are permanent shops that are given a licence to do business by the Municipal Corporation.
- The Municipal Corporation also decides on which day of the week the market has to remain closed. For example, the shops in the above market are closed on Wednesdays.
- This complex also has small offices and shops that provide services such as banks, courier services and others.
In the Factory-Workshop Area
- I wanted to have zari work done on one of my dresses which I needed for a special occasion.
- My cousin’s friend Nirmala works in a garment factory. Nirmala’s neighbours do zari work and embroidery. So, we caught a bus and headed towards the factory area.
- The bus was crowded. At every stop, more and more people caught the bus and hardly anyone seemed to get off. People were pushing others to make more space for themselves.
- My cousin guided me to a corner so that we would not get squashed. I was surprised how people travel like this every day.
- As the bus entered the factory area, people started getting off. We also got off soon at a crossing. What a relief that was!
- A lot of people were sitting on railings or in groups at the crossing. They seemed to be waiting for someone. Some groups had people on scooters standing by and talking with them.
- My cousin then said that this place was known as ‘labour chowk’. These were daily wage labourers who work as helpers to masons.
- They usually lift loads or unload trucks in the market, dig at construction sites, pipelines and telephone cables and also build roads. There are thousands of such casual workers in the city.
Workers in the Factory
- We entered the factory area to find it full of small workshops. There seemed to be endless rows of them.
- Several urban people are engaged in factories such as government factories.
- In one section, we saw people working in a small room on sewing machines where cloth was being stitched.
- One person operated one sewing machine. Clothes that had been stitched were stacked on one side of the room.
- Nirmala was at a stitching unit. She was happy to meet my cousin and promised to get zari work done on my dress.
- Nirmala works as a tailor in an export garment unit. The factory where she works manufactures summer clothes for people in foreign countries like UK, USA, Germany and the Netherlands.
- Nirmala has to work very long hours in the months from December to April. A normal working day begins at 9 am and finishes only by 10 pm, sometimes it extends even later.
- She works for six days a week. At times when the work needs to be done urgently, she works on Sundays, too.
- Nirmala is paid 80 per day for eight hours and 40 extra for working late. By June, the work is over and the factory reduces its staff. She will also be asked to leave. For about three or four months in the year, there is no work for her.
- Like Nirmala, most of the employers are employed on what is known as the casual basis i.e. they are required to come as and when the employer needs them.
- They all are employed when the employer gets large orders or during certain seasons. At other times of the year, they have to find some other work.
- Jobs are not permanent in this factory. If workers complain about their pay or working conditions, they are asked to leave.
- They have no job security or protection if there is ill-treatment. They are also expected to work very long hours. For example, in the cloth mill units, the workers work on day and night shifts, with each shift lasting 12 hours. One worker works on one machine for 12 hours and then is replaced by another on the same machine for the next 12 hours.
In the Office Area
- My aunt, Sudha, works as a Marketing Manager. She had asked us to reach her office before 5:30 pm. We took an auto-rickshaw because we were getting late. That auto-rickshaw managed to get us there just in time.
- My aunt’s office was in an area surrounded by tall buildings. There were hundreds of people coming out. Some headed for the car parking while others went towards the row of buses.
- She is a Marketing Manager in a company which manufactures biscuits. The factory where the biscuits are made is outside the city.
- My aunt supervises the work of 50 salesmen who travel to different parts of the city. They get orders from shopkeepers and collect payments from them.
- For managing, she has divided the city into six regions and once a week, she meets the salespersons of each region.
- She checks their progress report and discusses problems they face. She often has to work late and also travel to different places.
- She is a permanent worker of the company and gets a regular salary every month. Now, she can expect her job to continue for a long period of time.
- Being a permanent worker, she also gets other benefits such as the following:
- Savings for old age A part of her salary is kept in a fund with the government. She will earn interest on these savings. After her retirement, she will get this money and she can then live her life well.
- Holidays She gets off on Sundays and national holidays. She also gets annual leaves.
- Medical facilities She gets medical facilities for her family and herself. The medical expenses are paid by her company up to a certain amount.
- Most of the people in the city work in offices, factories and government departments where they are employed as regular and permanent workers.
- They get a regular salary, their work is clearly identified. They attend their office or factory regularly. Unlike casual workers, they will not be asked to leave if the factory does not have much work.
- At the end of the day, we got into my aunt’s car, exhausted. But it had been so much fun!
- I felt, it is very interesting to know how the people of a city do so many different things. They probably have never met each other, but it is their work that ties them together and helps to make up city life.
One word meaning
- Labour chowk The crossing where labourers wait for jobs on the basis of daily wages, is known as labour chowk.
- Casual workers Labourers working on daily wage basis and doing different works are known as casual workers.
- Vendor One who sells things or materials of daily use going door to door.
- Hawker One who sells things by going from place to place asking people to buy them.
- Call centre An office in which large numbers of telephone calls are handled, especially one providing the customer services functions of a large organisation.
- Urban areas They refer to towns and cities.
- Businessperson A person who earns his/her livelihood by engaging himself/herself in some business is called a businessperson.
- Employer One who recruits or gives jobs to others to work for him/her or a company.