Rural Livelihoods CBSE Class 6 Civics Chapter 8 Notes

Textbook NCERT
Board CBSE Board, UP board, JAC board, HBSE Board, Bihar Board, PSEB board, RBSE Board, UBSE Board
Class 6th Class
Subject Civic| Political Science | Social Science
Chapter Chapter 8
Chapter Name Rural Livelihoods
Topic Rural Livelihoods CBSE Class 6 Civic Chapter 8 Notes
Medium English
Especially Designed Notes for CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA, UPSC, SSC, NDA, All Govt. Exam

Rural Livelihoods

Kalpattu Village

  • The Kalpattu village is located in Tamil Nadu. It is close to the sea coast.
  • In this village, people are engaged in many works not much related to the usual farm activities, such as making baskets, utensils, pots, bricks, bullock-carts etc.
  • People of the village also provide services like those of blacksmiths, nurses, teachers, washermen, weavers, barbers, cycle repair mechanics and so on.
  • There are also some shopkeepers and traders. In the main street, which looks like a bazaar, one can find a variety of small shops such as tea shops, grocery shops, barber shops, a cloth shop, a tailor shop and two fertiliser and seed shops.
  • On the village’s main street, there are four tea shops, which sell tiffin items such as idli, dosa and upama in the morning and snacks like vadai, bonda and mysorepak in the evening.
  • Near the tea shops, a blacksmith family resides, whose home serves as their workshop. Next to their home, a cycle repairing and hiring shop is situated. Two families earn a living by washing clothes. There are some people who go to the nearby town to work as construction workers and lorry drivers.
  • The Kalpattu village is surrounded by low hills. Paddy is the main crop that is grown in irrigated lands. Most of the families are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.
  • There are some plants, which are grown in the village, such as coconut groves, cotton, sugarcane, plantain, mango orchards etc.
  • Now, we are going to meet some people who work in the fields in Kalpattu village and see what we can learn about farming from them.


  • “We all are working in the fields of Ramalingam. He has 20 acres of paddy fields in the village”.
  • “Apart from this, I do all the household tasks at home. I cook food for my family, clean the house and wash the clothes. I go to the forest with village’s women to collect firewood. I fetch water from borewell which is one kilometre away from the village. Raman helps in getting materials such as groceries for our home”.
  • In a country like India, about two-fifth of the rural families are dependent on agricultural activities. There are some who have small plots of land, while others like Thulasi are landless.
  • Not being able to earn money throughout the year forces people in many rural areas to travel to other places in search of work. It takes place during some particular seasons.


  • “We have to carry the paddy to our house. My family has just finished harvesting our field. We don’t own a lot of fields, we have only two acres of land. We do all the work in our own land. At the time of harvest, I take the help of other small farmers and in turn, help them harvest their fields.”
  • “I loaned seeds and fertilisers from the trader and I have to pay him back, therefore I have to sell my paddy to him at a somewhat lower price than what I would get in the market”.
  • Trader has sent his agent to remind farmers who have taken loans. I will probably get 60 bags of Paddy, I will sell some of this to settle the loan. The rest will be used in my home. But it will last only of eight months. So I need to earn money.
  • “I have a hybrid cow, whose milk I sell in the local milk cooperative. Through this way, I and my family get a little sum of money for our everyday needs”.

On Being in Debt

As we have read the story of Sekar, very often farmers like him need to borrow money to purchase items for their basic needs such as – seeds, fertilisers and pesticides. Often they borrow money from moneylenders, because if they do not borrow money, they not purchase seeds of good quality and pests can attack their crop, thus they face heavy losses.

  • The crops can also be ruined if the monsoon does not bring enough rain. When this situation takes place, farmers sometimes are unable to pay back their loans.
  • For surviving their families, farmers may have to borrow more money and finally the amount of loans becomes very large. During those time, no matter how much they earn, they are unable to repay.
  • This is when we can say they are caught in debt. In recent years, many farmers have committed suicide because of distress due to non-payment of loans among them.

Ramalingam and Karuthamma

  • Ramalingam and Karuthamma have a rice mill and a shop selling seeds, pesticides etc. For the rice mill, they used some of their own money and also took loans from the government bank.
  • The farmers sell their paddy to them and sometimes neighbouring villagers also sell their paddy to them.
  • The rice, that is produced in the mill, is sold to traders in nearby towns. This gives them a substantial income.

Agricultural Labourers and Farmers in India

In Kalpattu village, the kinds of people who reside include:

(i) Agricultural labourers like Thulasi

(ii) Many small farmers like Sekar

(iii) A few big farmers like Ramalingam

  • In India, about two out of five rural families are agricultural labourer families. All of them depend on the work they do on other people’s fields to earn a living. A number of them are landless and others may have very small plots of land.
  • In India, 80 per cent of the farmers belong to the category of small farmers like Sekar, who has land, which is barely enough to meet their needs.
  • Only 20 per cent of the farmers of India are like Ramalingam. These large farmers cultivate most of the land in the villages. A large part of their produce is sold in the market. Many of them have began other businesses such as shops, moneylending, trading, small factories etc.
  • Apart from farming in Kalpattu village, many people are dependent upon collection from the forest, animal husbandry, dairy produce, fishing etc.
  • In some villages in Central India, farming and collection from the forest, both are important sources of livelihood. Collecting Mahua, tendu leaves, honey, to be sold to traders, is an important source of additional income.
  • Likewise selling milk to the village cooperative society or taking milk to the nearby town may be an important source of livelihood for some families.
  • In the coastal areas of India, we see the fishing villages.

Rural Livelihoods

  • The rural people earn their living in various ways. Some work on farms, while others earn their living on non-farm activities.
  • The farm activities include preparing the land, sowing, weeding and harvesting of crops. We depend on nature for the growth of these crops. Thus, life revolves around certain seasons.
  • The villagers are busy during sowing and harvesting and less so at other times. Rural people in different regions of the country grow different crops. But however, we do find similarities in their life situations and in the problems that they face.
  • People are dependent upon the fields that they cultivate. Many depend on these fields for work as labourers. Most of the farmers grow crops both for their own requirements and also to sell in the market.
  • Some of the people have to sell the crops to traders from whom they have borrowed money. For their survival, many families need to borrow money for their work and when no work is available.
  • Some families in rural areas have large acres of lands, businesses etc. But most of the small farmers are either agricultural labourers or fishing families or crafts persons in the villages. They do not find enough work to keep them employed throughout the year.

  1. Blacksmith A person engaged in making iron goods, tools, instruments etc.
  2. Villagers People who reside in villages and occupy with agriculture.
  3. Catamaran It is a small boat used for catching fishes.
  4. Migration Movement of people from one place to another, in search of jobs and better livelihood.
  5. Firewood Wood used in cooking food in the house in stove (chullah) is known as firewood.
  6. Fisherman A person engaged in the work of catching fishes.
  7. Rural livelihoods Works in which persons earn their bread in rural or village area.
  8. Pesticide It is any substance used to kill, repel, or control certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests.
  9. Harvest It is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest typically using a scythe, sickle or reaper.
  10. Terrace farming It is a type of farming that was developed in various places round the world. It has done of farming uses ‘steps’ that are built into the side of a mountain or hill.

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