By Akansha Saklani:
The existence of cottage industries can be traced back to 15th century but it became prominent in the 17th and 18th centuries. Initially it served a way for entrepreneurs to bypass the guild system which was thought to be cumbersome and inflexible. Before the advent of East India Company, India only had cottage industry but after it for some time the only thing ruling Indian market was the product of East India Company. To get rid of East India Company, Gandhiji brought the concept of Khadi once again. The main idea of introducing Khadi once again was to promote the concept of ‘Swadeshi’ and ‘Swaraj’ once again which would eventually give a set back to the income of East India Company and there would be a source of income for the common man.
Cottage Industries also pay a major role in the economic development of any local geographic area and the nation as a whole. As someone sets up cottage industry in any rural area then the young generation has no need to go to cities for work and with industrialization facilities do arrive. Small scale industries are labour intensive so there is no need to for the labour to be too skilled which provides opportunity for everyone, employment according to the skills. Due to this opportunity everyone gets the source of income which in turn increases the Gross per Capita of the family. As the income of families living in country increases the Gross per Capita of the country increases.
Entrepreneurs who are not able to receive loan for the bigger firms are also turning towards the cottage industries because cottage industries don’t need too much funding. But don’t think it’s a cake walk; these entrepreneurs do face a lot of challenges too. The most important and crucial one is them is to find and sustain qualified workers. Everyone in this Wal-Mart age wants a big tag with their name, which cottage industries are not able to provide. Workers normally switch over their work to established brands and factories so that they can have economic stability because the economic condition of cottage industries depends upon the market value and product quality.
NGOs and individuals can however promote the cottage industries; if a very famous personality starts endorsing a product from any cottage industry then the sales may go up. NGOs can promote these industries so that they can have advertisement without spending money on it. By making people aware that using cottage industry product is beneficial to them and the country’s economy only. Barefoot College in Tilonia (Rajasthan) is doing a great job at this.
A little effort can be the reason of change. I hope all these cottage industries will be flourishing and will bring a very good change in the lives of individuals and the step towards cottage or low scale firms is the boon for the Country’s economy.
Image courtesy:Â http://www.brainee.co.cc/2010/04/cottage-industries-in-india.html