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Scrutiny
  
Who’s the No.1 self-employed?
The definition of self-employment takes a new meaning in India!
05/02/2009

The traditional definition of self-employment goes: To be self-employed, an individual is normally highly skilled in a trade or has a niche product or service for their local community. Sidesplittingly, in India, the meaning of it is completely different. Most of the self-employed Indians are not self-employed in order to make a better living but primarily as they are unemployable and are left with no other employment option.

In India, more than 50% [280 million] of India’s labour force is supposedly ‘self-employed’ according to the recent data of the National Sample Survey Organisation [NSSO]. Of these about 60% of workforce are in rural India, while 40% are in urban areas presently working for themselves. It is remarkable to note that self-employed rural Indians are not only dependent on agriculture but also rely on many other sectors. Around one-third self-employed Indians trade in the field of agriculture and around two-thirds of self-employed rural workers in non-agriculture. But in the urban areas, non-agriculture self-employment is more. Apart from these, data suggests that in rural India, around 10% of male workers and more than 25% of female workers would be satisfied with monthly incomes of less than Rs.1,000, much below the poverty line.

NSSO claims most self-employed workers are occupied in continuous, rigorous, but low productivity work that provides little compensation. Might we suggest perhaps they’re referring to the most ‘entrepreneurial’ Indian begging community? This data is clearly a pathetic reflection of the Indian State’s failure to create jobs, discover employability and institutionalise skill development. It is too saddening to know that the massive number of illiterate people in India [arguably between 300 to 400 million] finally are ridiculously considered ‘self-employed’ and a mere part of a national statistic. Dumb is what dumb gets...

By:- B&E
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