Cottage industry or home industry means the manufacturing of goods at home by hands, with small capital and on a small scale by the members of a family. Cottage industries are part time or supplementary occupations.
In the past, cottage industries played an important role in the economy of our country. They provided employment to a large number of people. The destruction of the cottage industries is one of the main causes of poverty in our country.
Ours is an age of machine and large scale industries. Yet even in the highly industrialized country like Japan and Germany, a good proportion of their industries are run in a ‘domestic’ system.
In India cottage industries have a more important part to play than in any other country. They can help a lot in solving the problem of unemployment and poverty. For more than four months in a year, our cultivators have no work to do. Cottage industries can give the cultivator useful employment during spare time. That was why Mahatma Gandhi laid emphasis on reviving the dying cottage industries. Since Independence of the country, the government too has been making all possible efforts in this direction.
Cottage industries have some real and practical advantages. They make the best use of woman labour. They make the work joyful and pleasant. There is no corruption and no exploitation of the poor by the rich. In cottage Industries there is no fear of a quarrel between the labour and factory owner.
In far time Cottage Industries become the vital importance. Large scale Industries provide an easy target to the enemy planes for bombing from the air. Their destruction may throw the whole economic structure of the country out of the gear. But if Cottage Industries are well organized, the supply of the country’s needs can be maintained to large extent.
Cottage Industries can successfully compete with machine made goods, if they are run on modem lines. Periodic exhibitions of the goods manufactured by Cottage Industries and development of Co-operative system are of great advantage for their progress. Co-operative system can help in solving the problems of capital, raw material and marketing. Then they would easily withstand the competition Large Scale factory production.