You are on page 1of 18

A REPORT ON

MAPPING THE ASPIRATIONS AND THE PRESENT EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS OF RURAL YOUTH
Submitted to:

Mr. Jitendra Nayak


Executive Director, HARSHA Trust

By:

Anshuman K. Gupta Nilamadhab Mohanty


(Institute of Rural Management, Anand)

As part of our

RURAL ACTION COMPONENT

Anta Subdivision Jeypore, District Koraput, Orissa

2009

I.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The fieldwork segment of IRMA was a great learning experience for us and we would like to take this opportunity to thank some of those people without whose help and support our study would not have been possible. First of all, we would like to thank our host organization HARSHA TRUST, Jeypore whose courteous staff always provided us with necessary inputs and facilities. We are grateful to our key facilitator, Mr. Jitendra Nayak for his valuable support and guidance during our field work. We would also like to thank Mr. Sushant Padhi for arranging our stay here and providing us with information about the village. The Harsha Trust staff, especially Mr. Praveen Tripathy and Mr. C.S. Tripathy, deserves thanks for making our stay here quite a pleasurable one. Also, the information provided by them was extremely useful for our study. Last but not the least, thanks also goes out to the people of our host village, especially our neighbors and village elders, who extended full cooperation whenever required. This study could not have been completed without their help in arranging the logistics required for conducting the study. Anshuman K. Gupta Nilamadhab Mohanty

TABLEOFCONTENTS
Acknowledgement....................................................................................................
i

1. Introduction........................................................................................................ 1

i. ii.

Background............................................................................................... Objective...................................................................................................

1 1 2

2. Methodology.......................................................................................................

i. ii. iii. iv. i. ii. iii. iv.

Data Requirements.................................................................................... 2 Definition of Youth...................................................................................


2

Methods Used............................................................................................ 2 Limitations of our Study........................................................................... 3


4

3. Observations & Analysis...................................................................................


Profile of Youth.......................................................................................... 4 Current Employment Status at Anta.......................................................... Changing Employment Preferences of the Youth..................................... What the Rural Youth are into!..................................................................
5 6 10 13 iii

4. Conclusion.......................................................................................................... Annexure I: Questionnaire......................................................................................

ii

1.INTRODUCTION
Youth is the most productive phase of human life. In India, rural youth constitute over two-andhalf times of the size of urban youth. They form a vital human resource. Rural youth, therefore, should be brought into the mainstream of the rural development process in general and agriculture in particular. It is very essential to develop livelihood systems keeping the youth of the place in mind. This study was undertaken to find out the current employment status of rural youth in village Anta, Orissa. An attempt was also made to find out what sectors the youth find interesting and would like to get into in the future. 1.1 Background The picturesque village Anta is situated 5 Kms away from the town of Jeypore in Koraput district. It is well connected by road to Jeypore. It was settled around six generations ago and is also the Panchayat Headquarters. The main castes found in the village are Bhumiyas (ST), Harijans (SC), and Barbers (OBC). The present study aims to understand the aspirations of the youth in the village. It was undertaken to find out how satisfied the rural youth are with their present occupation and what sectors interest them. We also strived to find out whether the youth were still interested in the agriculture and allied activities sector or would like to move into other diverse sectors such as salaried jobs, business, etc. The problems faced by them in this regard were also studied. The findings have been presented in the following sections and will hopefully be helpful to the organization looking to take up livelihood generation initiatives for the youth of Anta village. 1.2 Objectives of Study The following objectives were set for our study: 1. To know about the job opportunities which the youth at village Anta are availing. 2. To know about their skills, interests and the livelihood planning for the future. 3. To generate idea about the youths interest towards agriculture and allied activities.
4. To identify the possible reasons behind the increasing/ decreasing participation of rural

youth in agriculture and allied activities.


[1]

2.METHODOLOGY
The study required us to collect information on various aspects related to village youth such as their current livelihood activities, their interest, problems related to their livelihood activities etc. The methodology adopted by us consisted of collecting data mostly from primary sources, analyzing the data and drawing conclusions from the analysis. 2.1 Data Requirements The youth being interviewed were asked questions on the following: 1. Their profile: age, sex, caste, education. 2. Their current primary occupation. 3. Jobs that they think are interesting. 4. Problems that they face in their current jobs. 5. Factors which prevent them from taking up other jobs. 6. Their view on agriculture as a source of livelihood. 2.2 Definition of Youth The definition of youth as considered by us all throughout this report is males and females in the age group of 18-35 years. The study considers all individuals in this age group irrespective of them being employed/unemployed, married/unmarried or landless/small/marginal/rich farmers. The opinion of members in the age group of 35-40 years was also taken into consideration as restricting people on the basis of age was not possible at some places during group discussions. 2.3 Methods Used The following primary sources were used for collecting data for the variables mentioned above: 1. Sample Survey 2. Informal Interviews 3. Group Discussions Spatial Random Sampling was used to sample the youth interviewed. This ensured that all caste sections in the village got adequate representation as communities in the village have settled according to caste.

[2]

2.4 Limitations of our Study The period of fifty days is too short to completely understand the nuances of village life and our observations may be slightly skewed. Though care has been taken to present our findings in the truest possible way, there were limitations that made our work a little tough. Some of these constraints are enumerated below: 1. The field of study was limited to the village Anta and therefore, the findings hold true only for the village and should not be generalized to other villages. 2. The report contains some opinions which were made during the stay, but cannot be statistically supported owing to the nature of information used in forming that opinion. 3. 70% of the period of our village stay fell in festival and peak harvest season limiting accessibility of the people for conversation. 4. The village had certain communities whose proportion with respect to total population was insignificant (less than 10 households of all such communities). These communities could not be covered for surveys. 5. A part of the data obtained is incomplete due to some minor incidences during the village stay which hampered our attempts to conduct group discussions amongst the people.

[3]

3.OBSERVATIONS&ANALYSIS
Our observations on the aspirations of the rural youth have been documented in the following sections. 3.1 Profile of Youth For the convenience of our study we had classified the youth at the village Anta according to their caste and the colonies, in which they are settled. However, for the purpose of analysis and proper understanding of the reality the following parameters related to the profile of the youth were taken into consideration

Caste: The people have divided themselves into sahis (colonies) based on their caste and meetings were conducted in each of these colonies (Kudum Sahi, Christian Sahi, Gouda Guda, Harijan Sahi, Bhandari Sahi and Bhumiya Sahi) in order to represent each of them adequately. Out of the 84 respondents, 31 belonged to SC category (36.9 %), 41 belonged to the ST category (48.82%) and 12 belonged to the OBC category (14.29%).

Education: The education levels of youth in the village were found to be really low with very few of them (25%) completing the metric level education and most of them (64%) studying up to primary level or below.

Histogram
60 50 40 30 EducationStatus 20 20 10 0 5 7 10 More 9 1 54

[4]

Sex: Among all the youth respondents 46 were found to be males, i.e. (54.76%) and 38 of them were females which is (35.24%) of the total sample. Age: The age-wise profile of the youth sampled is tabulated below:
Age(years) Frequency 020 37 2025 20 2530 15 3035 7 35+ 5 Percentage 44.05% 23.81% 17.86% 8.33% 5.95%

3.2 Current Employment Status at Anta Livelihood Resources available at Anta: The livelihood resources available at Anta can be divided into two major categories, i.e. agriculture based and non agriculture based. The important options adopted by the youths can be enlisted as agriculture, wage labor, salaried job, business and allied agriculture activities. Though wage labor includes both agriculture and non agriculture activities, majority of the labor is engaged in agriculture activities and rest of the labor forces work in the brick kiln, in the paper mill nursery or in the nearby town as daily wage laborers. However, during the off season most of the work force from the agriculture sector gets diverted into the wage labor activity. The overall primary occupation distribution is shown below:

Histogram
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 45

PrimaryOccup. 16 6 1 2 3 6 4 0 5 0 6 9 7 2 8

1Agriculture 2WageLabor 3SalariedJob 4Business 5Arts&Crafts 6AlliedAgr.Activities 7HouseholdWork 8Others

[5]

3.3 Changing Employment Preferences of the Youth Our surveys brought to fore a lot of variation in the job preferences of the youth depending on their caste. Hence, group discussions were held separately for youth in each of the communities and data related to their aspirations was obtained. These differences have been presented below. 1. Kudum Sahi:

Histogram
10 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 3 2 0 0 0 0 7 8 PrimaryOccup.

1Agriculture 2WageLabor 3SalariedJob 4Business 5Arts&Crafts 6AlliedAgr.Activities 7HouseholdWork 8Others

The following observations were made a. Though majority of youths (40%) in this colony are wage laborers, 35% still continue to subsist on agriculture. b. Salaried job and business combined contribute only 25% of the employment.

Histogram
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 11 6 2 1 2 3 Interest

1Agriculture 2AnimalHusbandry 3Others

Though the youths from this tribal colony are presently into the agriculture and allied sector, they would like to move into the non agriculture sector if given a chance to.

[6]

The causes for this could be: a. Limited or zero land holding b. High risk associated with agriculture c. Inadequate earning from agriculture d. Burden of debt e. Opportunities of getting better remuneration from non-agricultural activities

2. Christian Sahi:

Histogram
15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 14 PrimaryOccup.

1Agriculture 2WageLabor 3SalariedJob 4Business 5Arts&Crafts 6AlliedAgr.Activities 7HouseholdWork 8Others

The following observations were made: a. Most of the women (74%) from this colony are into the wage labor activity b. Salaried jobs, Business and household work contribute the remaining 25%.

Histogram
12 10 8 6 4 2 0 11 Interest 4 1 4 2 3

1Agriculture 2AnimalHusbandry 3Others

42% of the youth would like to take up agriculture and allied activities while 58% of them prefer other resources of revenue generation. Thus from the above observations it could be concluded that though none of the females belonging to this colony are currently working in the field of agriculture and animal

[7]

husbandry, 42% of the respondents were interested in agriculture and allied activities. The reason for this shift being the risky and the tedious nature of their current job. Gouda Guda:

Histogram
10 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 PrimaryOccup. 9

1Agriculture 2WageLabor 3SalariedJob 4Business 5Arts&Crafts 6AlliedAgr.Activities 7HouseholdWork 8Others

The following observations were made: a. Currently, 56% of the respondents are engaged in agriculture b. 44% of them are into wage labor and salaried jobs.

Histogram
8 6 4 Interest 2 2 0 1 2 3 7 7

1Agriculture 2AnimalHusbandry 3Others

More than 87% of the youth sampled in this colony were interested in agriculture and allied activities. The reasons stated were: a. They are tribal and are naturally inclined towards agriculture b. Limited scope in other sectors due to lack of proper education But still, they are skeptical about the profitability aspect of agriculture due to the following reasons: a. Limited land holding b. Inadequate financial support
[8]

c. Irregularities in the supply of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs.

3. Harijan Sahi:

Histogram
8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 PrimaryOccup. 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 7

1Agriculture 2WageLabor 3SalariedJob 4Business 5Arts&Crafts 6AlliedAgr.Activities 7HouseholdWork 8Others

The following observations were made: a. 70% of the youth are wage laborers b. 20% are into business, while the rest 10% are into other activities

Histogram
8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 2 2 6 Series1

1Agriculture 2AnimalHusbandry 3Others

The above graphs indicate that only 40% of the youth are interested in taking up agriculture and animal husbandry as a source of livelihood. The reasons stated were: a. Limited land holding b. Large family size excess labor diverted to other sectors to gain financial support for agriculture and animal husbandry. c. Financial problems

4. Bhumiya Sahi: On interacting with the females of Bhumiya Sahi, it was found out that all of them work as wage laborers in agriculture fields or in brick kilns. Their education level is very low
[9]

and the level of awareness is also poor. All of them are satisfied with their present job and content with their present condition. They have no idea about any other livelihood options nor are they interested in any skill development to enhance their income.

3.4 What the Rural Youth are into! As evident from the data presented above, most of the youth (54%) in Anta village are primarily engaged in wage labor and only a marginal proportion of them (19%) are into agriculture. However, the data describing their interest depicts a different story with 52% of the youth showing interest in taking up agriculture or animal husbandry as a primary/secondary source of income, if necessary assistance is provided to them.

Histogram
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 20 15 Interest 32

1Agriculture 2Animal Husbandry 3Others

The various factors responsible for this marked difference between the current primary occupation of the youth and their preference for a desirable livelihood can be enlisted as follows: 1. Limited or zero land holding: 42% of the respondents had zero land holing while 43% of them had land holdings up to 2.5 acres. Such limited land holding forces them to opt for livelihood sources other than agriculture and animal husbandry 2. Financial problems: Almost all the respondents stated that finance was the major hurdle which prevented them from taking up agriculture or animal husbandry as the primary source of income. Moreover, some of the youth opted for other sources of income to support agriculture/ animal husbandry.
[10]

3. Risk factors associated with agriculture: Crop failure is the major risk associated with agriculture which deters youth from taking up agriculture as a profitable means of livelihood. 4. Burden of Debt: A lot of farmers are under heavy debt. This forces them to take up wage labor to supplement their income in order to relieve themselves of the debt. 5. More remuneration from other sources: Wage labor and other sources of income can generate better profits in a shorter span of time as compared to agriculture. 6. Lack of awareness: Rice is the only crop cultivated throughout the year in Anta. Though vegetable cultivation could yield better profits for the farmers, but the fear of theft prevents them from taking up vegetable farming. Apart from rice and vegetable cultivation, the farmers are unaware of other aspects of agriculture which could yield higher profits. 7. Irregularities in the supply of agricultural inputs: Some of the youth complained against the irregular and insufficient supply of fertilizers, seeds and other necessary agricultural inputs as one of the major causes behind crop failure and their dislike for agriculture. These are few of the noticeable factors which are distracting the youth at anta from agriculture to ameliorate their involvement in other activities of income generation. However, a close look at their interest patterns puts light on some other aspect of the story. As large as 52% of the respondent population considers agriculture and animal husbandry as a viable option to generate livelihood and would like to carry out these activities as the primary or secondary sources of income. However, to continue in this sector they feel the need of financial and technical assistance. The youths from the tribal colonies of the village feel that agriculture is the work to which they are naturally inclined and have developed some natural skills in this sector owing to their heredity and inheritance. Hence they are most comfortable with agriculture and animal husbandry practices. Similarly the women from the Christian Sahi feel that the work at nursery is grueling during the summer. Moreover, it provides only fifteen days of work in a month. Thus, vegetable

[11]

cultivation, mushroom cultivation, dairy farming or poultry farming would not only keep them engaged for the rest of the month but can yield good amount of capital for them. In addition to all these factors there are reasons like lack of proper education (which prevents them from getting engaged in some salaried activities) and the lack of exposure coupled with inadequate awareness about other alternative resources of livelihood, makes them to continue in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry.

[12]

4.CONCLUSION
Development of any community is primarily dependent on its human resources. And in rural areas it is the human capital, in the form of youth, which forms the backbone of development. However, in a place like Anta where the whole population is deprived of quality life owing to their lack of education, burden of poverty and ignorance, development of the village has reached a phase of stagnation. Under the curse of illiteracy and poverty, the rural youth from Anta is drifting away from the traditional system of livelihood, i.e. agriculture and the allied activities. Moreover, wage labor is emerging as the primary source of income for the rural youth which is not only decreasing the contribution of the youth towards agriculture, but also increasing the vulnerability of rural life and livelihood system. However, development of the village is inextricably dependent on the sustainable growth in the field of agriculture. So, it is high time we focused on the development of agriculture by ensuring greater participation of the rural youth by alleviating their level of awareness and endowing them with optimal skill and financial assistance.

[13]

ANNEXUREI:Questionnaire
The following questions were asked to the youth to obtain information on their skills, job preferences, interests etc. a. Opinion about his/her job Is he/she satisfied with his/her current job? (Y/N) If no, what would he/she like to do in the future?

b. His/her skill sets Does he/she have any skill sets? (Y/N) If yes, what? Would he/she like to take up skill development/improvement training? (Y/N) If no, why? If yes, what type of skill training would he/she like to take up? Why would he/she like to take up this specific skill, reasons if any? How would he/she use his acquired skills? What he/she feels about the scopes and opportunities in his preferred sector? How does he/she plan to utilize these opportunities and scopes? What are the other obstacles (besides lack of skills) in the process of implementation?

c. His/her preference for jobs in Agriculture and Allied Sectors Would he/she like to take up jobs in Agriculture and Allied Sectors in the near future?(Y/N) If no

Why?/ what are the constraints which prevent him from agricultural practices? If no, would he/she do so if some financial/technical help is provided? If yes, what kind of financial/ technical help would he/she like to have?

If yes How has he/she planned to take up agriculture/allied services as the method of livelihood generation? Would he/she like to take it as his/her primary or accessory source of income?
iii

Why would he/she take it as his/her accessory source of livelihood generation, specific reasons if any?

Group Discussions: Discussions were initiated amongst groups of 10-20 youth in each colony on the following topics:

What is the most suitable source of livelihood generation for you in Anta? What would you like to take up as your primary source of livelihood generation? And why? What are the issues in the field of agriculture and allied sector which deter you from adopting agriculture as the source of livelihood? How do you feel these problems can be overcome?

iv