The size of employment in any country depends to a great extent on the level of development. Therefore, when a country makes progress and its production expands the employment opportunities grow.
Agricultural unemployment, which may be classified into a) seasonal unemployment, b) disguised unemployment and c) chronic and usual status unemployment, plays a major role in India. In rural sector, most of the employment is in agriculture and allied activities.
Most of the unemployment in urban areas is open and undisguised. Unemployment of this kind is not only painful at a personal level, but is also a source of social tensions, which often threatens the whole fabric of society. Two relatively important forms of urban unemployment are industrial unemployment and educated unemployment.
India was once an agricultural country. But no longer. The share of services in our national income is 54 per cent and is increasing, while that of agriculture is 22 per cent and is declining. The main reason is the decline in prices of agricultural produce.
The use of less capital leads to lower productivity of labour and low wages for agricultural workers in India. The incomes of those dependent on agriculture cannot rise for these reasons. Agricultural labourers in India rarely have work throughout the year.
There are multiple problems including the agricultural crisis mainly due to debt trap, wanton clearing of forests leading to growing soil erosion, lack of employment opportunities, etc.
There is production but not profit. There has been produce but no price. Hunger but no food. Rights but no information. Leaders but no leadership. Society but no organisation. The list goes on.
The spurt in debt-ridden farmers? suicides has been continuing for last many years. The reason is a severe financial crisis, as they cannot have any yield of crops due to nature'scruel approach.
The solution for many such types of unemployment problems was a verdict by the Supreme Court. In one of the historical decisions given by the Supreme Court on October 20, 2005, it agreed on the restriction of killing of cows. In the significant verdict, the Supreme Court upheld the 1994 ban imposed on cow slaughter by the then Congress government in Gujarat.
The 1998 order had held as unconstitutional the total ban on cow slaughter ordered by the Gujarat government in 1994. The High Court said the government order ?imposed an unreasonable restriction? on the fundamental rights of the petitioner (Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab) and to that extent it was ultra vires de constitution. There would not be a total ban on slaughter of bulls or bullocks above the age of 16 years, the High Court added. It was the contention of the state before the apex court that the ban was imposed in public interest keeping in mind the provisions in Article 31 ? mandating it to give effect to fundamental duties for the citizens enumerated under the Directive Principles of the Constitution which included article 51 A (g) providing that ?all should have compassion for living creatures.?
By an estimate, 70 crore farmers in India uses chemical fertilizer and insecticide of Rs. 48,000 crore in a year. If the urine and dung of cow are used as fertilizer, then this 48,000 crore can be saved. In addition to it, price of the other products manufactured because of cow, such as milk, curd, butter, etc, are in plenty.
In India's6.30 lakh villages, five crore employment opportunities can be generated by cow. The matter was discussed in the Supreme Court.
While giving hearing on this case, the court was notified by the various uses of cow such as from urine and dung of cow, 48 types of medicines can be made. Similarly, methane gas from cow dung is being used to manufacture the substitute of diesel, petrol and LPG, i.e. cooking gas. The price of such gas being manufactured by the cow dung can be Rs. 2 lakh a year. It means that if one cow survives for 20 years, then at least gas of Rs. 40 lakh can be yielded and it can save the petrol and diesel of at least Rs. one lakh 32 thousand. It is also being proved that electricity can also be generated with the help of cow dung.
We have many examples in this regard. One such unique example is ?one 55-year-old widow named Santosh from Badshapur village near Gurgaon, who produces vermicompost. First, she started the project with one pit for making organic manure, which she sold immediately. As she got more sales, she purchased two more buffaloes by availing a loan of Rs 10,000 from SHG and pooling some of her own savings. She then expanded the vermicompost work by constructing three more pits.
She now has four pits in which she is making vermicompost. Within four to five months she has sold manure for Rs. 10,300 and worms for Rs 8,200, in addition to about five quintals of manure, which she also uses on her own land. Apart from this, she is selling about 10 liters of milk at the rate of Rs 16 per liter every day. Santosh'sconfidence grew as her earnings began to come in and so the process goes on.
If the government and people seriously pay attention in this direction, then it can be a miraculous option for natural farming and can cause good results for employment.
(The writers are Lecturers in Commerce, Smt. K.L. College, Morshi Road, Amravati-444 602.)