Cottage industries are very famous in ancient India. Cottage Industries mean the manufacture of goods at home by manual labour and with a small capital on a small scale by a small number of workmen often the numbers of the family. People used to feel proud in having their own cottage industries. They used to meet their needs by local production. Deccan Muslims is the greatest example of cottage industry up to this day. In Muslim period it was at the peak of glory. Even foreigners praised them too. At that time there was no unemployment due to the cottage industries.
When British rulers came to India they could not bear the prosperity and well to do India. They tried to make India a weak and poor country by applying their own policies. They started to manufacture things by machines and sold them at low prices. It changed the attitude of the people as they could buy things at cheaper rates. On the other hand the things made by hand were less fine and they were costlier too. Then the cottage industry suffered heavily.
Gradually big industries took place of cottage industries. Men were thrown out of their jobs due to machines. As a machine could produce more by using less labour and less time. It caused the problem of unemployment in the country. Machines were the main cause of the downfall of the cottage industries.
Soon some of our great leaders like Gandhiji and others realized the importance of cottage industries. They tried to adopt the Swadeshi policy. Every Indian strictly followed the policy and they boycott all the foreign goods. They felt that it was the only way to raise India once more by bringing back the lost dignity of cottage industries.
After the independence our government realized the importance of cottage industries. They encouraged them and gave aid to them who need it. They are being protected and patronized by the govt. They are being provided facilities for the purchase of raw materials and sale of products. India there is a great need of lifting up the cottage industries or home industries.
Cottage industries have so many advantages. Cottage industries can be run with very little capital. They make the best use of women labour and of one’s leisure time and provided training in hereditary trades at no cost of the trainee. The work is done in the congenial atmosphere of the home. There is no master to supervise and find faults and frown. There is no proprietor to exploit ones work. The worker is free. He can give full play to his skill and originality.
From the military point of view cottage industries have importance? The enemy aims are weapons at factories. But he cannot demonstrate a cottage industry. When war demands factories to produce defence material cottage industries can help to make up production of consumer goods. In the matter of unemployment and under employment cottage industries can help. They give extra income to the farmers and the field during off season.
Now a day it is very necessary for the youth to set their own small scale industries. They are helpful improving their economic conditions too. Govt, is sanctioning the loan to those who want to set up their own industries like carpentry, Poultry, fruit preserving, making of bricks, weaving, shoe making, printing, manufacture of toys, ready made cloths etc.