In some villages of Maharashtra still the day dawns with the
ringing of bells in the temples, lowing of cows and calves, and
women singing ovyas while grinding grains with grinding
wheels in their own houses. But gradually the scene is being
transformed with the introduction of modern machines. Only
in big villages, towns and cities, flour-mills arc found in
substantial numbers; while in rural areas two or three villages
have a flour-mill in common. In villages the establishments
work on oil-engines and in towns and cities flour-mills work on
power. Grinding grains and chillis are the main occupations
which provide employment throughout the year.
Electric motors, oil-engines, grinders, balances and other
minor tools constitute the main equipment. The cost off
equipment in these establishments varies from Rs. 1,500 to
Rs. 3,500. The amount of money spent on the repairs of equipment varies from Rs. 200 to Rs. 450 or more per year. The capital
required for initial investment in many cases was raised by the
proprietors from their own resources.
Most of the establishments are housed in rented premises, the
rent of which varies from Rs. 15 to Rs. 30 per month. The
other items on which expenditure is incurred are electric
energy, diesel oil, etc. It varies from about Rs. 30 to Rs. 80
depending upon the size and the turnover of the establishment.
Many of these establishments are managed by the proprietors
with the help of assistants. The employees, if any, are paid
monthly wages varying between Rs. 40 and Rs. 60.
The establishments have a continuous business throughout the
year. It is usually brisk during festivals like Divali, Holi, etc.,
and also at the time of marriage celebrations. The owner of the
establishment having one Chakki earns about Rs. 150 to Rs. 300