Agrarian Crisis, Farmers’ Suicides, and Livelihood Security of Rural Labour in India [1]

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Agrarian Crisis, Farmers’ Suicides, '7" and Livelihood Secmity of Rural

Labour in India Volume I Issues in Agrarian Crisis and Farmers’ Suicides

Edited by 14. K. BAGC-HI


C-L1 :;_,j_-‘IL’

(>3 90 HQ PUBLICATIONS 2:92 AB!-IIIEET 2146 Tukhmeerpur Extension

.PrLl'i-l it -:x>'Z



Delhi 110094 Phones: U11-22960492, 65693474 e-mail: [email protected]


First Published 2003 © Reserved ISBN 9T8-81-B9386-EU-8 (Vol. I) ISBN 9T8-BI-B9886-61-5 (Vol. II] ISBN 9'.i'B-B1-B9836-62-2 (Set)

[All rights reserved. No pa rt of this publication may be reproduced. copied, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or used in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission from the author or publisher, except for a brief quotations in critical articles or reviews. The onus of establishing authenticity and originality is entirely with the contributors. The publisher and Editor are in no way responsible for the facts and views expressed by the contrilnutors-.|

PRINTED IN INDIA Published by _i.K. Singh for Abhijeet Publications, Delhi IIUUQ4. Lasertype-set by Gaurav Graphics, Delhi and Printed at Himanshu Printers, Delhi.

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Preface Er Acknowledgements

The present volume is a collection of papers contributed by dedicated researchers in the field of agrarian studies and rural labour. The book deals with three very important issues of

contemporary concern in India. These are the issues of agrarian crisis, farmers’ suicides and livelihood security of rural lalour. The issues have been incorporated into two volumes. In Volume I, studies related to agrarian crisis and farmers’ suicides have been included, while Volume II incorporates the studies related to livelihood seutrity and other

issues related with agricultural and rural labourers. It is hoped that the book will be useful to researchers, academicians and policy makers and administrators alike who have an interest in the topics and who are somehow related and concerned with the issues.

While acknowledging my indebtedness to individuals and institutions, first and foremost I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the esteemed contributors for their unhesitating response to make their valuable contributions for the book. While editing the book I have received a lot of encouragement from the contributors, well-wishers as well as from the publisher. I am grateful to all of them. I am especially thankful to Mr. Iitendra Kumar Singh, the efficient steward of Abhijeet Publications and his staff at the press for bringing out this volume within a short span of time. Last but not the least, I

express my gratitude to my parents, children and wife for providing me with their ungrudging moral support to undertake and complete the work. KANAK KANTI BAGCHI

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D'i"""'i'" “"1” GOUSIE

Original from

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Preface 8' Acknowledgements Contributors Introduction

1'tr) {xi} fxriiil



Farmers’ Suicides in Indian States S.N. Trfpathy 2. Agrarian Crisis and Livelihood Security of Rural Labour in India A. Sangarrtithra


3. Gathering Agrarian Crisis-Farmers’ Suicides


K. Vanilla: and I1 Kronor 4. Agrarian Distress and Farmers’ Suicides


Refresh A. Ioshi 5. The Ailing Agriculture A. Cliandrasekartm 6. Agrarian Crisis in India: Reasons and Remedies P. Mercy Kumari, MN. Swarm: and B.S. Rao

58 71

5’. Agrarian Crisis and Rural Labour inlndia SK. Dtuige Er B.G. Lobe


B. Agrarian Crisis in Indian Agriculture K. Vroritha and D. Kumar


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(viii) Growth of Indian Agriculture: A Great Dilemma 103 of New Economic Policy Radftakrusltita Panda Displacement and Replacement of Workers in 130 Agriculture: An Enquiry of Push and Pull Elements KR. Pillai Climate Change: An Emerging Major Challenge I39 for Indian Farmers 5. Patltak and H. Pathalr

Agrarian Distress and Indebtedness in Drissa: Nature, Dimension and People's Resilience


Basaiita K. Snhu Causes and Implications of -Indebtedness Among 196 Marginal Farmer-Cum-Agricultural Labourers of Assam—A Case Study of Barpeta District Tiken Clrtmdra Dos An Economic Analysis of Agricultural Labourer 223 in Hyderabad Karnataka Region K.A. Rasttre, Channalrasauanagouda P. Er Boltkal Nagendrappa The Recent Agrarian Crisis in India and 234 Livelihood Security for Farmers and Agricultural Labourers: A Study in Koraput District of Drissa _ B. Eswar Rao Patnaik Agrarian Crisis and Agricultural Labour in 246 Punjab Sukhpal Singh, H.5. Kingra and T.K. Dhnliroal Agrarian Crisis in Thanjavur and Rural Labour: 253 An Emerging Trend S. Ramacharidran Er R. Elango Class Differentiation, Liberalization Policy and 286 Labour Absorption: Some Paradoxes of Efficiency with and without Agrarian Capitalism in Two

Agro-Ecological Regions in West Bengal Sttdipta Bfmttacltaryya

Women in the World of Work: A Brief Review


Maiiiklal Adfiikary 6' Mtidhuri Adttiknry Status of Rural Female Work Force Participation 34? Rates in India D. Pulls Rao

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Llvatlnooo SECURITY ISSUES AND RESOLUTIONS Agricultural Labour in India: Some Emerging


Livelihood Issues and Resolutions Sihraitjart Mfsra and Iaydeo Misra Agricultural Labour Force: An Overview of 1.7 Livelihood Security Maitiklal Adhiltary 5' Srttoanti Matty Risk-bearing Capacity and Livelihood Security 29 of Rural Households in India S.K. Tapasoi Rural Non-Farm Sector Employment and Village 81 Size: Establishment of Some Linkages S.K. Yadau, Vtmdanrr Shukla Er Radhey Slryam Rural Livelihood and Livestock Rearing 99 D. Kumnr, T. Srtdalcar S‘ B. Mohamed Rafeeq Role of Information and Communication . 121

Technology in Expanding Livelihood Opportunities A. Thomas fir MA. Surihir

Rural Development Programmes and Policies:


Some Ground Realities Arlyn‘ Prasad Ptmdey ' _ Agrarian Crisis and Livelihood Security of Rural 154 Labour Through Rural Development Programmes in India Brigade, Datttrtrtry S. Emergence of Biovillage, Eco—Farming System 123 and Food Security in India R. Balasubramaniyan Condition of Labour in the Milieu of Special 18'?’ Economic Zones Maiiiklal Adhilcary S’ Samr.-.-it Choudhttri Agrarian Crisis Reduces Through Micro 209 Irrigation: A Study of Mahaboobnagar District of Andhra Pradesh B.V. Raglmoendsr, K. Malteiidra Kronor Er I-l.5. Rno

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fr) Livelihood Security of Labourers in Tea


Plantation: Trail of Facts in Regions of North Bengal Manilclaf Adhikary S‘ Aniinesh Delmatlt

Exploration of Alternate Avenues of Employrnent2-47 for Dustee Farmers and Rural Agricultural Labourers: A Case Study of Gurgaon Town of Haryana

S.K. Yadao Agrarian Distress in Kerala: Implications for Rural Livelihood Rajeeu C. Blraratlttrn


Livelihood Security of Rural Labour in


Maharashtra—A Focus on Alternative Avenues A.B. Deogirikar 5-r l".S. Topare Unemployment, Food Insecurity and Agrarian Crisis in KBK Districts of Orissa


S.N. Tripathy Emerging Agrarian Crisis and Options for


Creation of Employment and Income Opportunities in Uttarakhand ' CR5. Mehta Inter-Regional Variation of Rural Non337 Agricultural Employment in a District of West Bengal Rathindra Natl: Prarnanilt Land-Use Transformation Through Small Tea 361 Plantation as a Rural Livelihood Security Strategy: A Case Study of North Bengal

Tamas Ranjan Majtondar Employment Guarantee Act: An Unfinished Agenda and the Task Ahead Iagannath Lenka -.5’ Minati Malliclt Pattern of Employment and Unemployment in

Drissa: A Time Series Analysis CR. Das S’ R.K. Panda

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VOLUME I Dr. S.N. Tripathy is Professor in Economics, Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Dr. A. Sangamithra is Lecturer at the Department of Economics, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore-641 046. K. Vanitha is Lecturer in Economics, ].I. College of Education, Pudukkottai. Dr. D. Kumar is Senior Scale Lecturer in Economics, Iamal Mohamed C.ollege,Trichy

Dr. Rakesh A. Joshi is Reader, Department of Economics, Saurashtra University, Rajkot. Gujarat. Dr. A. Chandrasekaran is Reader in Economics, C.N. College, Erode — 638 D04. P. Mercy Kumari is Ph.D. Scholar in Economics, Acharya Nags rjuna University, Guntur - 522 510, And hra Pradesh. MN. Swarna is Ph.D. Scholar in Economics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur - 522 510, Andhra Pradesh. Dr. B. S. Rao, Professor, Dept. of Economics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur-— 522 510, Andhra Pradesh.

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(xii) Dr. S. K. Dhage is Reader and H.O.D. of Economics, Baburaoji Gholap College, Sangvi, Pune—2'.?. Dr. B. G. Lobo is Lecturer of Economics, Sinhgad Institute, N. B. Navale College of Commerce, Lonavala, Pune-ll]. _ K. Vanitha is Lecturer in Economics., I.]. College of Education, Pudukkottai.

Dr. D. Kumar is Senior Scale Lecturer in Economics,

Jamal Mohamed College, Trichy. Dr. Radhakr-ushna Panda is Faculty in Economics! Quantitative Methods, ICFAI National College, Budharaja, Sambalpur-?6S[lU1, Drissa. Dr. I(.R. Pillai is Sr. Post Graduate Teacher, The Indian School, Kingdom of Bahrain. Sri S. Pathak is National Sample Survey Drganization, Bankura, West Bengal 7'22 101. Sri H. Pathak is International Rice Research Institute, India Office, Pusa, New Delhi 110 U12. Dr. Basanta K. Sahu is Asst. Professor, Economics Area, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade(Deemed University). New Delhi - 110016, India, Email: [email protected] or [email protected] Dr. Tiken Chandra Das is Reader in Economics, B. B. Kisan College, Ialah, Dist. Barpeta, Assam. Dr. I(.A. Rasure is Reader in Economics, Nrupatunga

Arts, Commerce Management s Science College, SEDAM ~ 535222 Dist. Gulbarga, Karnataka.

Channabasavanagoucla P. is Research Scholars, Department of Economics, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga- 585106, Rarnataka. Bokkal Nagend rappa is Research Scholars, Department of Economics, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga- 555106, Karnataka. Dr. B. Eswar Rao Patnaik is Reader in Economics S.B.R.G Women’s College Berhampur- ?6EI DUI, Dist. Ganjam, Orissa.

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Dr. Sukhpal Singh, is with Department of Economics, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141 002. Dr. H.S. Kingra, is with Department of Economics, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141 U02. Dr. T. K. Dhaliwal, is with Department of Economics, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141 U02 Dr. S. Ramachandran is Research Officer, Dr. Ambed kar Centre for Economic Studies, University of Madras. Dr. R. Elango is Former Professor ti: Head, Department of Economics, Dean Faculty of Arts, Annamalai University. Dr. Sudipta Bhattacharyya is Reader in Economics, Department of Economics and Politics, Visva-Bharati, West Bengal, India. Dr. Maniklal Adhikary is a Professor in Economics, Burdwan University. Mrs. Madhuri Adhikary is an assistant teacherin Economics, St. Xavier's School, Burdwan. Dr. D. Pulla Rao is Associate Professor, Dept. of Cooperation 15: Applied Economics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, A.P. VOLUME II

Dr. Sibranjan lvlisra is Professor of Economics, Department of Economics and Politics, Visva-Bharati. Sri Jaydev Misra is Research Scholar, Department of Economics and Politics, Visva-Bharati. Ms. Shrabanti lvlaity is {Research Scholar in Economics, B.U.), Assistant Teacher in Economics, Belkulai C.I€.A.C.

Vidyapith, West Bengal. Dr. lvlaniklal Adhikary, is Professor at the Department of Economics, Burdwan University, Golapbag, Burdwan - ?13ltl=t. Dr. S. K. Tapasvi is Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Governance, lvlanagement Development

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trio) Institute, Gurgaon—122 001 (I-Iaryana} INDIA, E-mail:

[email protected] Dr. S.I(. Yadav is faculty member, Institute of Applied

Manpower Research, New Delhi.

Dr. Vandana Shukla is faculty member, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi. Dr. Radhey Shyam is faculty member, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi. Dr. D. Kumar is Senior lecturer Gr Research Advisor,

PG. tl: Research Dept. of Economics, Jamal Mohamed College, Tiruchirappalli — 20, Tamil Nadu.

Dr. T. Sudakar is Lecturer in Economics, National College, Tiruchirappalli - l, Tamil Nadu. Dr. B. Mohamed Rafeeq is Research Scholar, PG. it: Research Dept. of Economics, Jamal Mohamed College, Tiruchirappalli— 20, Tamil Nadu. A. Thomas is Lecturer, Dept. of Rural Development Science, Arul Anandar (Autonomous) College, Karumathur, Madurai Dt — 625 S14 Tamil Nadu [email protected] _ Dr. M.A. Sudhir is Professor 8: Head, Dept. of Applied Research, Gandhigram Rural Institute, Gandhigram, Dindigul Dt - 624 302 Tamil Nadu. Dr. Adya Prasad Pandey is Reader, Department of

Economics, B.H.U., Varanasi. Dr. Bagade Dattatray Sitaram is Lecture in Economics, Shankarrao Mohite Mahavidyalaya, Akluj, TalMalshiras, District - Solapur (Maharashtra) Pin — 413101. Dr. R. Balasubramaniyan is Reader, Department of Economics, D. G. Vaishnav College, Arumbakkam, Chennai - 600 106. Dr. Maniklal Adhikary, is Professor at the Department of Economics, Burdwan University, Golapbag, Burdwan?1 31 04 .

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(xv) Sri Samrat Chowdhuri is Research Scholar in Economics, Department of Economics, Bu rd wan University. B.‘V. Raghavendar is Ph.D. Scholar in Economics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur - 522 S10, Andhra Pradesh.

K. Mahendra I-(umar is Ph.D. Scholar in Economics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur + 522 510, Andhra Pradesh.

Dr. H.S. Rao is Professor at Dept. of Economics, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur - 522 510, Andhra

Pradesh. Dr. Maniklal Adhikary, is Professor at the Department of Economics, Burdwan University, Golapbag, Burdwan — .'?1310=t. Shri Animesh Debnath is Lecturer in Economics, Vivekananda Mahavidyalaya, Burdwan. Dr. SK. Yadav is faculty member, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi. Rajeev C. Bharathan, Email: rajeevcbfigmaihcom Dr. A. B. Deogirikar is Professor, Dept. of Economics, Dr. B.A.M.University, Aurangabad .

Dr. {Mrs.) Y. S. Topare is Lecturer, Dept. of Economics, Government College of Arts Science, Aurangabad. Dr. S. N. Tripathy is Professor in Economics, Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Dr. G. S. Mehta is Senior Fellow, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow Sri Rathindra Nath Pramanik is Senior Lecturer in Economics, Department of Rural Development, Palli Charcha Kendra, Sriniketan, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan Dist, Birbhum, and West Bengal. Sri Ta mas Ranjan Majumdar is Lecturer in Economics. Department of Economics, North Bengal University, Raja Rammohunpur, Darjeeling.

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Dr. Iagannath Lenka is Reader in Economics, North Orissa University. Dr. Minati lvlallick is lecturer in Economics, North Drissa University. Dr. C. R Das is Research Supervisor, Nabakrishna

Choudhury Centre for Development Studies, Bhubaneswar, Drissa. Dr. R.K- Panda is Faculty in Economics and Quantitative Methods, ICFAI National College, B-erhampur-761001, Drissa.

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Women in the World of Work: A Brief Review MANIKLAL ADHIKARY £1: MADHURI ADHIKARY

The Concept of ‘Work: The Trail of Evolution The word “Work” to acquire the present meaning had to traverse through three broad stages of transition. First, in the eighteenth century ‘work’ appears both as a means of increasing wealth and as a mechanism for the emancipation of the individual (Dominique, 2001). The work was neither positively valued nor glorified then. Second, in order to civilize and humanize the world along with the purpose of enabling individuals to develop their potential a distinctive dimension was added to in "Work" the nineteenth century. This was,

clue to the then contemporary German culture connoted in a term 'Bildung' which eventually came to be known simply

work. The proliferation of inhuman working conditions juxtaposition with pauperism revolutionized the term "Work" attributing a synonym for creation, self-expression and activity proper to humankind (Karl Marx, "E:-ccerpts: notes of 1844"). Thirdfdue to Marx's theorization of social democracy “Work” through wage evolved into a vehicle of a new social order for equal distribution of wealth based on labour and on capacities. Ensuring continuous economic growth and full employment was then thought to be the task of the State. Dominique (Dominique, 2001} summarizes work as a construct that has definitely not always been associated with the creation of value, with transformation of natural world, or with self-

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Agrarian Crisis, Furriers’ Suicides, and Livelihood...

fulfillment; that it is multi-faceted because of its multiple meanings (as a factor of production, as creative freedom, as

a mechanism for the distribution of income, status and security), but also because it is a mixture of elements, some objective and some made up of largely Utopia, fantasy and dream. Concept and Definition of Work Participation

Census and NSSO are the two main data ‘sources for employment and unemployment in India. A journey through different Censuses starting from I872 reveals various concepts

and definition of work participation. In the 1951 Census every person was classified as ‘a self supporting person’ or ‘an earning dependent’ or ‘a noreearning dependent’ . It was found

that the concept of dependency adopted in 1951 Census had a tendency to suppress the important sector like agriculture

and traditional cottage industries and services where women were mainly employed. Based on the concept of regular

employment, the reference period for which was of 15 days preceding the date of enumeration, the 1961 Census sub-

divided the workers according to four broad industrial categories—(I) Cultivators, (2) Agricultural Labourers, (3) Household Industry Workers, and (4) Other workers. At the 19?1 Census, the main activity of a person was ascertained according to time spent as a worker producing goods and services or as a non-worker. For regular work, the reference period was the week prior to the enumeration and for seasonal work the last one year work involved not only the actual work but also effective supervision and direction work. In the I931 Census, instead of a dichotomy of workers and nonworkers, a trichotomy of main workers, marginal workers

and non-workers was adopted. In the 1981 census, for the rnain workers, a time criterion of engagement in work for major part of preceding year, i.e., at least 6 rnonths or 1B3 days, was adopted. For all the economic questions canvassed at the 1951 Census, the reference period was the year preceding the date of enumeration.

In 1991 Census, in instructions to enumerators it has been clearly laid down to take sufficient care in recording responses of women as “Women are often classified as non-workers because of non-reporting of their work. It also happens that women who work for the major part of the year are reported

Clo 311.?



Women in the ‘World of Work: A Brief Review


as working for less than six months" (Dutta and Ghosh, 2001]. A uniform reference period of one-year preceding the

enumeration was adopted for recording activity status in the 1931 Census irrespective of whether the activity was seasonal or regular. It "includes unpaid work on farm or in family enterprise. In the questionnaire of 2001 Population Census economic questions to be asked were same as asked in I991. Definition of work as adopted during the I991 Census has been retained as such in 2001 Census. In Census a person

is categorized as "worker" when he! she participated in any economically productive activity anytime during the reference period. Unlike the 1991 Census, workers were classified into

one of the four broad categories of economic activity, vi.a., cultivators, agricultural labourers, workers engaged in household industry and other workers. The Provisional

Population Census 2001 Report in its introductory note has a column on Approach to Gender Issues. Milk production

for home consumption only also has been treated as work with a view that in previous Censuses, those who were engaged in milk production for self consumption only were left out and treated as workers. This definitional change has resulted in increase in work participation rate of women in general and rural females in particular. Definitions of the four categories of workers are given as under:



It Agricultural Labourers _ 1' Workers in Household Industry 1' Other Workers The main characteristics of the household industry a_re the following‘:

I Cine or more members of the household must


participate and the component of the hired labour should be minimum. The activity should relate to production, processing, servicing, repairing or making and selling of goods.

1- See Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2001, Paper 3 of 2001, Distribution of Workers and Non-workers, p. ti for further details.

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All workers, i.e., those who have been engaged in some gainful economic activity during the last one year, but are not cultivators or agricultural labourers or in Household industry; are "other workers". The type of workers that come under this category include all government servants, municipal employees, teachers, factory workers, those engaged in trade, commerce, business.

transport, banking, mining, construction, political or social work, priests, entertainment artists etc. _ National Sample Survey Organization following the

recommendations of the Expert Committee (Dantwala Committee] on Unemployment Estimates (1970) set up by the Planning Commission of India has defined 'work'_ or ‘gainful activity’ as the activity pursued for pay, profit or family gain or in other words, the activity which adds value

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Women in the World of Work: A Brief Review


to the national product. The survey has adopted three different

approaches to measure employment and unemployment. The three approaches are: It Usual Principal Status (UPS): I Usual Principal and Subsidiary Status (UPS5) 1* Current Weekly Status (CWS): The difference between the unemployment rates on the Current Weekly and that on the Usual Status would provide

one measure of seasonal unemployment. I Current Daily Status (CD5): As in the Census, attending the household chores does not constitute work or gainful activity in the NSSO. Further, both in the Census and in the NSSCI, beggars, prostitutes,

etc. are not considered as workers even though they may

have some earning. The measurement of employment and unemployment based on the usual status approach in NSSO is the one, which can be broadly compared with the Census. Trends of Female of Work Participation Rate If ‘all workers’ via. ‘workers’ considering both principal and subsidiary statuses are considered, usual status LFPRs for females show a decrease during the period- by about 3 percentage points in rural areas and 2 percentage points in urban areas. Compared to LFPRs of the current statuses, the usual status (‘all’) l..Ff-‘Rs were higher in both the sectors and

more so for rural females. This reflects that some employed usually withdraw from labour force due to irregular availability of work, rather than reporting themselves as unemployed in the current status. The difference is more for females in the rural areas where the seasonality in work is believed to be substantial. Yet as is reflected the gender gap in labour market participation exists. This is more marked for urban areas as

compared to the rural areas. The question still remains about the quality of employment opportunities women are confronted with. "

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Agrarian Crisis, Farmers’ Suicides, and livelihood... Table-I. Plumber of I’:-not in tleLalnr Fllrr |Ill' III prnols (LFPIII retarding tr usual. Current it’;-eltly and Current Daily some bl India} |

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Perhaps, the most interesting aspect of the latest N550 round results lies in the fact that the supply of labour has shrunk in relative terms. Out of every 1000 persons. only 406 make themselves available for work now, as against 420 (per 1000 persons) in 1993-94 to 406 (per 1000 persons) in 1999-2000! The ratio has fallen drastically for rural females. The table shows the sex ratio of the labour force in favour of males. When one considers the sex ratio of the ‘usual all’ workers category the sex ratio seems to be more favourable. This reflects the, fact hat women are engaged more in subsidiary economic activities. {This is more pronounced in the rural areas as compared to the urban areas) Labour Force Participation Rates: Distribution of Main and Marginal Workers Out of the total population of the country; as per the 2001 Census, 313 million or 30.5 percent are main workers and

B9 million or 8.? percent are marginal workers. Among males.

45.3 percent are main workers and only 6.6 percent are marginal workers. The corresponding percentages of main and marginal workers among females are 14.7 and 11.0

respectively. The main workers in the country decreased from

34.1 per cent in 1991 to 30.5 per cent in 2001 giving a decline of 3.6 percentage points.

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Wmlten in the World of Wurlr: A Brief Review

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