Traditional Leisure Activity V/S Occupation : Rural Women in India

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Pratima VERMA, higher education, India

This study will focus on how unemployed women in rural India spend their leisure time and contrasting it with those who take these traditional leisure activities as their occupation.

On one hand, women in rural India engage themselves into small scale domestic work which also contributes as a source of income to the family. After finishing their daily routine (household work) these uneducated women decorate their kachcha houses (mud house) by first putting a fresh layer of cow-dung on the walls/floor. Then they make intricate designs on these newly painted walls with a mixture of rice flour and water.

Other leisure time activities also include separating grains from husk and further storing them into large self-made mud vessels in order to prevent it from infestation by moths. All these activities require great efforts but these women do it all while they put up a smile on their faces.

On the other hand, there are those women who took up traditional leisure activity as their occupation. These activities include making baskets out of waste material (dalia-making), knitting mats, hand fans, modha making ( authentic chairs ), bindi, bangles, garlands, embroidery.

Urban women in India still go crazy about these works of art despite being a consumer of fashion brands like  ZARA and  MANGO.

Even though their work is admired and appreciated, these rural women with such artistic skills have been largely ignored by our society.

This study focuses on how to educate them and also discusses problems faced by these women. It will also focus on ways in which their working environment could be made more subtle and friendly instead of hostile and harsh. It will also include ways to put in efforts by the society and government schemes for the help of rural women.