Livelihood Opportunities in Rural Areas
Acta Scientific Agriculture
Livelihoods opportunities are referred to the opportunities that the rural individuals get engaged in with the main purpose of sustaining their living conditions. The individuals, belonging to all categories and backgrounds and irrespective of factors, such as, class, caste race, ethnicity, religion, gender and socio-economic background are required to look for livelihoods opportunities. The educated and wealthy individuals are able to acquire reputed livelihoods opportunities. Whereas, the
... viduals, belonging to deprived and underprivileged sections of the society are able to acquire lesser paid livelihoods opportunities. In rural communities, agriculture is stated to be the major occupation of the individuals. Apart from agriculture, they are engaged in number of other activities as well. These include, handicrafts, artworks, silk weaving, pottery making, small scale and cottage industries, and so forth. The main areas that have been taken into account in this research paper include, need for improvements in livelihoods opportunities, National Rural Livelihood Mission, aspects signifying rural livelihoods, role of agriculture in improving livelihoods opportunities, and measures to enhance rural livelihoods. The concept of livelihood strategy is regarded as one of the central aspects of the development policies, practices and programs, not only in India, but in other countries of the world as well. Adequate and secure livelihoods are regarded as a concern to the well-being of rural individuals . Livelihood is a set of economic activities, involving self-employment and or wage employment by making use of one's endowments, which can be human and material. The use of human and material resources are primarily made use of to generate adequate resources, which can be either cash or non-cash. These resources are made use of by the rural individuals to sustain their livelihoods in an enhanced manner. Government of India has rendered a significant contribution in promoting livelihoods opportunities among rural individuals. There have been implementation of various rural development programs, including Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). In rural communities, individuals experience number of problems and challenges in meeting livelihoods opportunities in an appropriate manner . The basic inequalities in the livelihood security, in the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter lead to prevalence of destitute conditions among rural population. Furthermore, the environmental effects of poverty, i.e. deforestation, declining land productivity, erosion and other environmental hazards are regarded as factors that have a negative influence upon the livelihoods opportunities of rural individuals. For the sustenance of livelihoods opportunities, in most cases, rural households depend upon agriculture, farming practices, animal husbandry and management of livestock. Some of the livelihoods strategies are wage labour, social pension, remittances from the members of the households, who are employed in urban communities, unpaid domestic and farm labour and other activities, which include, production of handicrafts, pottery making, jewellery making and so forth . In these communities, individuals possess traditional viewpoints and follow customs, norms and practices. In other words, their livelihood opportunities are fundamentally based upon their jobs and cultures.