The mammoth Dr. Arjun Sengupta 'Report on the Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the Unorganised Sector' published in August 2007 under the agesis of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector is deconstructed by Economist Anuradha Bhasin. In her two part summary she has culled out information that relates to the craft sector.
Part I details conditions of work and livelihood while Part II will list the recommendations of the Commission.
UNORGANISED WORKERS: WORKING CONDITIONS TODAY AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
In sharp contrast to the growth performance of the Indian economy overall, is the state of the ‘unorganized’ sector in the economy. Even though 340 million workers are part of this sector, they appear to have been left behind in the country’s march to progress. While the rest of the economy is advancing at a brisk 7-8 per cent a year, working and living conditions among many artisans and crafts people continue to be abysmally stagnant, almost medieval in their scope. Today, they are poor, landless and land poor, and their lack of meaningful educational makes it almost impossible for them to raise themselves by improving their quality of employment and their economic lot in life. In the handloom weaving industry, production and productivity have actually declined, as has been well documented on this website.
The working conditions and livelihoods of those in the unorganized sector (and informal workers in the organized sector) have...