OTHER MISCELLANEOUS OCCUPATIONS
The occupations described above, however, do not cover the
entire field. There are still other occupations which provide
employment to a considerable number of persons but are too
small to deal with separately. Fruit-vendors, sellers of vegetables, flowers, milk and meat, sweetmeat makers, astrologers, news-
paper sellers, blacksmiths, carpenters, shoe-makers, grain parchers
etc., are some of them. A few observations about some of them
are given below.
Fruit and Vegetable Vendors.
Most of the vendors do their business in the market place
locally known as mandai where they have their own galas. They bring fresh fruits and vegetables from the villages in the
vicinity and sell them in the market. They make their
purchases on contract basis from fruit and vegetable growers and
sell them on retail basis. In Amravati and in a few big towns
separate fruit-shops are round and at other places they are
either sold by vegetable sellers or ferivalas. A few fruit and
vegetable vendors move from house to house in the morning.
The earnings of these persons vary from Rs. 30 to Rs. 75 per
month. They depend mostly on the total turnover and variety
of the vegetables sold. Some persons engaged in this occupation
also do some other work either on farm or in the household to
supplement their earnings.
Flower-sellers also carry on their business more or less in the same manner as dealers in vegetables. In big towns separate shops are seen. But in small towns, they move from house to house. Their business gets brisk at the time of marriages, festivals and local fairs. In towns and cities they prepare braids, garlands, etc. They bring flowers either from neighbouring villages or from local gardens. A flower-merchant in a big town earns from Rs. 60 to Rs. 150 per month.
Milk-sellers or gavalis are either local or come from nearby villages. Persons belonging to gavali caste take to this occupation as a full-time profession. They keep a good number of she-buffaloes and supply milk to individual "households, hotels and restaurants, dairies and to sweetmeat makers. Some others directly come from villages and distribute milk from house to house. The retail rate of better quality milk varies from 75 paise to one rupee per litre. The rate is generally high during summer when the supply of milk is insufficient and low during winter when there is a sufficient quantity of milk. Persons engaged in this occupation earn from Rs. 50 to Rs. 200 depending upon the number of buffaloes that a gavali keeps and also the existence of regular customers.
Blacksmiths Carpenters and Shoe-makers
These are the balutedars of the traditional village economy
who still survive though in a less recognised form. In villages,
these artisans are connected with the agriculturists at various
stages of their operations. They are paid annually in kind for the services they render to the landholders. The system of baluta-payments is gradually disappearing and there is a marked tendency to make payment in cash rather than in kind. The payment of baluta is generally made at the time of the harvest.
In urban areas big shops of shoe-makers are found. They make a variety of footwear for men, women and children and do a very flourishing business. However, shoe-makers have to be adept in new fashions and designs which change very fast. Shoe-makers in urban areas earn between Rs. 75 and Rs. 150 per month. In rural areas these establishments are small. They deal in a few varieties of shoes which are generally not fashionable but strong and durable. Shoe-makers in villages earn less than their counterparts in urban areas. Their earnings vary between Rs. 45 and Rs. 75 a month. Most of the shoemakers have agriculture as either a main or a subsidiary
occupation. A cobbler in a town requires anvil, rapi, hammer,
nails, leather-sewing machine, blades, thread, etc., the cost of
which vanes between Rs. 250 and Rs. 450.
'The carpenter requires one or two saws, wakas, patasi, etc., the
cost of which varies between Rs. 125 and Rs. 175. The daily |
wage of a carpenter, if employed, varies between Rs. 5 and
Rs. 10. In rural areas the carpenter prepares all the agricultural
implements and constructs houses for which he gets remuneration
in kind from the agriculturists at the time of the harvest.
Bellows, anvil, hammers, files, wrenches, spanner, pliers, etc., constitute the equipment of a blacksmith. Throughout the year, in rural areas, the blacksmith serves the agriculturists and gets remuneration in kind at the time of agricultural operations, In urban areas, however, they make articles such as bucket, hammer, ghamela, phavada, mot, etc., and earn about Rs. 150 to Rs. 250 per month.