Cottage industries are small scale industries run by a handful of men in or near their homes with small capital. Such cottage industries are very useful to a poor & populous country like India. They don’t have enough wealth to inaugurate & establish a large no. of big industries. A handful of large industries prevalent in the country can’t employ a vast population of India.
Moreover one must utilize the immense manpower we possess. This is almost impossible in the existing mills, factories & large industries here, & leading to unemployment of a large number of people ultimately. This isn’t a healthy sign for society & the country. A planned approach to proper development & establishment of sufficient cottage industries can help solve the matter of fast-rising unemployment problems in India.
Before the arrival of the British Government in India, the cottage industry was very flourishing in our country. The products of cottage industries, particularly the famous ‘Muslin’ sarees of Bengal charmed the European ladies. The British Government destroyed the Muslin industry & many other cottage industries of India fir their selfish commercial & colonial interests.
Gandhiji realized the importance of cottage industries amidst the poverty of the country. So he advised people to use ‘Charkha’ in every house to weave cloth & thus to attain self-sufficiency in the production of cloth. This thing came out to be advantageous for people as it didn’t require large capital to introduce the cottage industry. Fact, the members of a family can run it too. Semi-literate or illiterate people & craftsmen can run it easily. It doesn’t need much technical knowhow.
In our country, the people on the rural side suffer the most & many urban people also face periodic unemployment a lot. The laborers of a mill or factory are often at risk of becoming unemployed at any moment for the lock-out or sudden closure of the mill. So the cottage industry can supply them a golden opportunity to have self-employment throughout the year. So they will not have to rush to a town for an uncertain living. Moreover, these big industries of the cities are connected with antisocial activities.
India is noted for some small scale industry products. India has a worldwide reputation for some products of small scale & cottage industries. These are the silk of Murshidabad & Mysore, the shawls of Kashmir & the silverwares of South India.