CBSE Class 6 Social Science Political Science Revision Notes Chapter 8

CBSE Class 6 Social and Political Life (Civics) Chapter 8 Notes – Rural Livelihoods

Class 6 Social and Political Life Chapter 8 Notes throw light on the different means of how rural people earn  their livelihood in different ways. Students must read the chapter to know how poor people often face problems and whether they have equal opportunities to earn a living. . The chapter includes stories of poor people to give students a glimpse of the lives of poor people. The notes, prepared as per the CBSE guidelines, effectively summarise the entire chapter so that students can revise all the important points by referring to it before the exam.

Rural Livelihoods Class 6 Notes Social and Political Life (Civics) Chapter 8

Revision Notes Class-6 Social and Political Life (Civics) Chapter 08 – Rural Livelihoods

Class 6 revision notes discuss in detail how people in rural areas take different professions to earn a livelihood and what kinds of difficulties they face compared to the people living in cities.

Kalpattu village

  • Kalpattu is a small village located near the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.
  • This village is surrounded by low hills.
  • Agriculture is the main profession of the villagers.
  • They mostly grow paddy as rice is the major crop in this region.
  • Apart from paddy fields, there are coconut groves and mango orchards. Cotton, sugarcane, and plantain are also grown here.
  • People in this village are engaged in a variety of professions.
  • Some of them make utensils, pots, bricks, baskets, etc.
  • Some people serve as blacksmiths, washermen, weavers, barbers, cycle repair mechanics, and so on.
  • Traders are also there. They own small shops for clothes, groceries, tea, seeds, fertilisers, etc.
  • Small stalls selling snacks can also be found there. They mainly sell local foods like idli, dosa, upama, bonda, mysore pak, and vadai.
  • These people carry out economic activities within the village but there are some who go to the nearby town to earn a living and work there at construction sites, drive lorries, repair vehicles, etc.

Example 1: Thulasi

  • Thulasi is a poor woman who works on Ramalingam’s land from 8:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the evening.
  • She gets work in particular seasons only. From June to November she finds regular work. She and other workers are called in to help with crops transplanting, weeding, and harvesting.
  • Though she does all the laborious work of agriculture throughout the day, she gets only forty paisa per day as her daily wage. This is much less than what other labourers get in their home villages.
  • Her husband, Raman, is a labourer. He spreads pesticides in the fields during this season.
  • Thulasi also does all the domestic chores at home. She looks after the family, washes clothes, and cleans the house. She collects firewood from the nearby forest and fetches water from the village borewell that is about one kilometre away from her home. Her husband helps her carry groceries to the house.
  • Amidst all the struggles of life, their daughters are the source of joy in their lives. They go to school.
  • The little money they earn is not enough to run a family. When the daughters fall ill, Thulasi borrows money from Ramalingam for their treatment.
  • Thulasi’s story shows how poor families in rural areas spend most of their time collecting firewood and water.
  • Around two-fifths of the rural population are agricultural labourers. Some of them own small plots of land while some work on other people’s land.
  • To earn money people often travel long distances. Such migrations of labourers are common in particular seasons.

Example 2 : Sekar

  • Sekar is a small farmer whose family owns the land of two acres area
  • They do all the agricultural work on their own. During the harvesting season, Sekar takes help from other farmers. In turn, he offers to work in their fields. After harvesting, Sekar’s family carry the paddy from the field to their home.
  • Sekar buys seeds and fertilisers by selling his grains to the traders at a cheaper rateHe stores the remaining paddy for his family.
  • To earn extra money, Sekar works in Ramalingam’s rice mill. There, his responsibility is to collect paddy from neighbouring villages.
  • His family also owns hybrid cows whose milk they sell to the cooperatives to meet the basic requirements of everyday life.

Being in Debt

  • In the rural areas, farmers like Sekar are often compelled to take loans to buy seeds, fertilisers, or other agricultural equipment. In case the seeds they buy turn out to be of bad quality, or pests attack the paddy fields, or in the worst case, there is a crop failure because of scanty rainfall, the poor farmers cannot pay back the money they borrowed from the moneylenders or traders.
  • The debt thus keeps increasing which causes financial distress to the farmers that ultimately forces them to commit suicide. These kinds of incidents take place in many parts of the country.

Example 3 : Ramalingam and Karuthamma

  • Ramalingam’s financial condition is more stable than that of the agricultural labourers.
  • He has multiple sources of income.
  • He owns agricultural land, a rice mill, and a shop selling pesticides and seeds for farmers.
  • To run the mill, he invests his own money as well as takes loans from government banks.
  • He collects paddy from his own village and the surrounding villages.
  • He sells the rice to the traders in nearby towns. This acts as the major source of his income.

Agricultural Laborers and Farmers in India

  • Most of the people in rural areas do not have their own land. They cultivate on others’ fields.
  • Some farmers own small tracts of lands but the produce from these fields is not adequate for the entire family. 80 per cent of farmers in India face the same situation.
  • The rest 20 per cent are big farmers like Ramalinga who have their own lands. They hire people to work there at low wages. Many of these people also own factories and sell their products directly in the market. They lend money to small farmers which is another source of their income.
  • Poor people cannot rely on agriculture throughout the year as it is a seasonal job. So, to increase their income they engage in non-agrarian activities. Some of them are given below.
    • In Central India, forest resources are the chief source of income for the poor people. They collect leaves of mahua, tendua, and honey to sell them to traders.
    • Animal husbandry, dairy production, and fishing are important occupations.
    • Some families raise cows and goats to produce and sell milk to the village cooperatives or in the nearby towns.
    • People living in the coastal areas take fishing as their major profession like the villagers of Pudupet, a fishing village near Kalpattu. People buy and sell fish on the sea beach.

Example 4 : Aruna and Perarivalan

  • Aruna lives in Pudupet, a village close to Kalpattu.
  • Her family earns a livelihood by fishing.
  • Her husband Perarivelan, her brother, and brother-in-law go to the sea to catch fish.
  • Aruna’s responsibility is to sell the fish.
  • The money they get from selling the fish is divided into four parts. One for each of them who go fishing and the fourth share is kept for buying fishing equipment. Aruna and her husband are the owners of the equipment. So, they get the fourth share as well.
  • Fishermen are not allowed to catch fish during the breeding season. Therefore, they do not get income for about four months in a year.
  • So, they borrow money from traders; in turn they have to sell the catch to them to repay the loan.

Rural Livelihoods

  • People in rural areas take up different types of activities to earn their livelihood. Some people work in the fields while some are involved in non-farming activities.
  • In a year, people mostly spend time and money on sowing, weeding, and harvesting during particular months. Their lives, thus, revolve around certain seasons as the production of crops depends on nature.
  • People grow different crops in different seasons..
  • Though rural people do many kinds of activities to earn their living, the problems and difficulties they face are almost the same.
  • Those who have small lands depend on it for cultivation. Those who do not own land depend on others’ land to work there as labourers.
  • Small farmers sell their crops to the traders and store some for themselves.
  • The main problem they face is the repayment of their loans. If they have taken loans, they have to sell their crops to the moneylenders at a rate much cheaper than market price.
  • So, people also take alternatives to increase their income.
  • Agricultural labourers, fishing families, and craftspeople do not find employment throughout the year. They struggle hard to make ends meet. 
  • Big farmers live better lifestyles with the money they earn from lands, factories, and other business activities.

Important Questions and Answers

  1. Other than agriculture, what are the other economic activities rural people are involved with?
  2. People in rural areas do not find employment in the fields throughout the year as agriculture is a seasonal job. Therefore, people engage in different economic activities such as:- 
  • Making pots, utensils, baskets, bricks, etc.
  • Animal rearing
  • Fishing
  • Selling forest produce
  • Selling milk to village cooperatives
  • Running small shops
  • Tailoring
  • Teaching.
  1. What idea do you get about the different types of people living in Kalpattu? Who do you think is the poorest among them?
  2. The story of Kalpattu mentions three people who depend on farming – Thulasi, Sekar, and Ramalinga. However, their income levels are different as their ways of working are different from each other. Based on their nature of work, it can be said that there are three types of people in the village-
  • The landless labourers who depend on others’ land for a living, like, Thulasi.
  • The small farmers who themselves cultivate their small lands, like Sekar.
  • Lastly, the big farmers like Ramalingam who own several acres of land and employ people to work there.

Among the three, Thilasi is the poorest. She works long hours in Ramalingam’s field but still gets low wages. Additionally, she manages all the household work and travels a long distance to fetch drinking water.

  1. If you were a poor farmer and had to buy seed and fertiliser, who would you prefer to borrow money from?
  2. Moneylenders give loans to poor people at a high rate of interest. In addition to that they force farmers to sell the produce only to them at a cheaper rate. Thus, farmers are always exploited. Therefore, taking loans from government banks would be a preferable choice for buying agricultural equipment as they provide loans at a cheaper rate and farmers are also free to sell their grains where they can get a fair price.
  1. How can the government help poor farmers prevent and avoid accumulated debt?
  2. The poor farmers get trapped by the moneylenders because of lack of resources. Therefore, the government can help them by establishing banks in rural areas, from where they can avail loans at a lower rate of interest. Additionally, the government can give farmers seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, etc. that are necessary for agriculture.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why do farmers in India fall into debt?

Majority of the farmers in India are extremely poor and depend on loans to carry out agricultural activities. One of the reasons for their poverty is that they do not get fair prices in the market. Moneylenders charge them a high rate of interest for the loans they take. If there is a crop failure, farmers cannot repay the loans. They would then further borrow money to buy seeds and fertilisers. Thus, they fall into debt.

2. What is the adverse effect of drought on the lives of farmers?

The livelihood of farmers in India depends on agriculture which itself depends on nature. Lack of adequate rainfall leads to drought, which ultimately results in crop failure. Most farmers are unable to run their families with the little money they earn, added with the pressure of accumulated debts. These factors push them to commit suicide. Thus, drought affects not only the livelihoods, but the lives of rural people as well.