A Shirt in the Market: NCERT 7th CBSE Social Studies Civics Chapter 09
A Shirt in the Market – Question: Where does the story of a shirt begin and where does it end?
- The story of the shirt begins with the production of cotton.
- It ends with the sale of a shirt.
Question: How does the chain of markets play an important role in the story of the shirt?
- A chain of markets links the producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the supermarket.
- Buying and selling takes place at every step in the chain.
- Everyone in the chain does not benefit equally from this.
- The retailer benefits the most from this chain.
A Cotton Farmer in Kurnool
A Shirt in the Market – Question: Briefly write about Swapna as a farmer in Kuraool?
Answer: Swapna is a small farmer in Kumool. She grows cotton on a small piece of land.
- Once cotton bolls ripen she picks them
- It takes several days as cotton bolls burst open at different times
- She takes’her harvest to local trader and not to Kurlnool market.
- She had taken Rs 2,500 loan at high interest rate from that trader to grow cotton.
- She had made a promise to sell her produce to him
Question: Why do farmers borrow money from moneylenders?
- Cultivation of cotton requires higher level of inputs like fertilizers and pesticides.
- Farmers have to incur heavy expenses on account of these inputs.
- Most often, the farmers need to borrow money to meet these expenses.
Question: Does she get the right price from the trader?
Answer: No, she does not get the right price.
- Her cotton is weighed and she is paid Rs. 1500 / quintal.
- She gets Rs. 6000/. Out of this Rs. 3000/ were deducted as loan and interest.
- She is told that cotton is selling cheap as there is lot of cotton in the market
- Her efforts of four months and clean and fine cotton also did not change the mind of trader,
- She does not argue. Though her earning is just a little more than a wage labourer.
Question: Why does Swapna not argue with the trader further?
A Shirt in the Market – Answer:
- Swapna knows that cotton will sell for at least Rs. 1800 per quintal.
- But she doesn’t argue further with the trader as he is a powerful man in the village.
- The farmers have to depend on him for loans not only for cultivation, but also to meet other exigencies (urgent work) like illness, children’s school fees.
- During no work period of the year, the farmers have to borrow money for their survival.
The Cloth Market of Erode
Question: Give an account of the cloth market of Erode.
Answer: The Cloth Market of Erode
- Erode has a bi-weekly cloth market.
- This market is one of the largest cloth markets in the world.
- A large variety of cloth is sold in this market.
- Cloth that is made by weavers in the nearby villages is also brought here for sale.
- Offices of cloth merchants who buy this cloth are around the market.
- Other traders from many south Indian towns also come and purchase cloth here.
- On market days weavers bring cloth that has been made on order from the merchant.
- These merchants supply cloth on order to garment manufacturers and exporters around the country.
- They purchase the yam and give instructions to the weavers about the kind of cloth to be made.
Putting-Out System – Weavers Producing Cloth At Home
Question: What is putting out system?
Answer: Putting out is a system in which the weavers weave clothes at home with the help of family members and charge wages from the merchant. The merchants in turn supply the raw material and pay the wages and take the finished product.
Question: Write the advantages and disadvantages of the ‘putting out system’.
Answer: For the weaver it has two advantages:
- They do not have to spend money for purchasing yam and know what and how much cloth they have to make
- They do not face the problem of selling the finished cloth.
Disadvantages for the weaver:
- They are dependent on the merchant for raw material as well as market
- They get low wages. They do not know from whom they are making the cloth
- They do not the market price of the cloth.
Question: How is the merchant benefited in this system?
Answer: The merchant gives the orders and raw material. They get the cloth at low price and sell to garment factories at high price.
A Shirt in the Market – Question: Describe the earning of the weavers in a month.
- Weavers invest all their savings or borrow money at a high interest rate to buy looms.
- Each loom costs Rs. 20,000.
- Hence, a small weaver with two looms has to invest Rs. 40,000.
- The work on these looms cannot be done by one weaver.
- The weaver and another adult member of his family work up to 12 hours a day to produce cloth.
- For all this work, the weaver’s family earns about Rs. 3500 per month.
Question: What is Weavers cooperative? How does it work?
Answer: Weavers are paid very little under the ‘putting-out system. Weaver’s cooperative is a way of reducing their dependence.
- In a cooperative people with common interests come together and work for mutual benefit.
- They take activities collectively like procuring yam, distribution among weavers.
- They do the marketing also.
- The role of merchant is reduced and weavers earn higher income.
- Government also helps the cooperative by buying cloth from them at reasonable rates
- Tamil Nadu government runs a Free School Uniform programme in the state. The cloth is procured from power loom weaver’s cooperatives.
- Government buys cloth from handloom weaver’s cooperatives and sell it through ‘Co-optex stores’
The Garment Exporting Factory Near Delhi: A Shirt in the Market
Question: What happens with the cloth sold at Erode?
Answer: The Erode merchant supplies the cotton cloth to the garment exporting factory near Delhi.
- The cloth is used to make shirts by the garment exporting factories.
- The shirts are exported to foreign buyers like businesspersons from US and Europe who own chain of stores
- These stores do business on their terms. They demand the lowest price. They set high standards for quality of production and timely delivery
- They deal strictly with any defects or delays in delivery.
Question: How does the exporter meet pressures from foreign buyers?
Answer: Exporters tries their best to meet the conditions set by the buyers.
- They try to cut costs
- Get maximum work out of the workers at lowest possible wages.
- Thus maximize their profits and sell to foreign buyers at cheap price.
Question: Give an account of the Impex garment factory.
A Shirt in the Market – Answer:
- The Impex garment factory has 70 workers.
- Most of them are women and are employed on a temporary basis.
- This means that whenever the employer feels that a worker is not needed, the worker is asked to leave.
- Workers’ wages are fixed according to their skills.
- The highest paid among the workers are the tailors who get about ₹ 3,000 per month.
- Women are employed as helpers for thread cutting, buttoning, ironing and packaging.
- These jobs have the lowest wages, as mentioned below:
Payment to workers (per month) –
Tailoring – Rs. 3,000
Ironing – Rs. 1.50
Checking – Rs. 2,000
Thread Cutting and Buttoning – Rs. 1,500
The shirt in the United States
Question: Who earns maximum profit in the sale of shirts?
Answer: A shirt in US is sold at $26 or around Rs. 1200.
- A businessperson purchase shirts from an exporter for Rs. 200. He spends Rs. 300 on advertising and another Rs. 100 for storage.
- Thus the shirt cost him Rs. 600. He sells it for Rs. 1200 with a profit of Rs. 600.
- On the other hand garment exporter paid Rs. 15 to the worker per shirt. The cloth and other raw material cost him Rs. 70 cost of running office is Rs. 15. The shirt cost him Rs 100 which he sells at Rs. 200.
- Both of them earn 100% profit. The worker gets the minimum wage.
Who are the Gainers in the Market?
Question: Who are the gainers in the market?
- A chain of markets links the producer of cotton to the buyer at the supermarket.
- Buying and selling takes place at every step in the chain.
- There are people who make profits in the market and there are some who do not gain as much from this buying and selling.
- Despite their having toiled very hard workers earn little.
Question: Who are involved in the process of buying and selling?
- Factories wholesalers, brokers, retailers and consumers are involved in this process of buying and selling.
- They all gain from the business.
Market and Equality: A Shirt in the Market
Question: Establish relationship between market and equality.
Answer: Market and Equality
- The foreign businessperson made huge profits in the market.
- The garment exporter made only moderate profits.
- On the other hand, the workers at the garment export factory earn barely enough to cover their day-to-day needs.
- In the same way, we saw the small cotton farmer and the weaver at Erode put in long hours of hard work. But they did not get a fair price in the market for their produce.
- The merchants or traders are somewhere in between.
- In comparison to the weavers they have earned more but it is still much less than the exporters.
- Thus, not everyone gains equally in the market.
- Democracy is also about getting a fair wage in the market. Whether it is Kanta or Swapna, if families don’t earn enough then they can’t live with dignity.
- They cannot think of themselves as equal to others.
Question: What are the problems of the farmers and other producers? How can these be overcome?
- On one hand, the market offers people opportunities for work and for sale of their products.
- On the other hand, the rich and the powerful get the maximum earnings from the market.
- These are the people who have money and own the factories, the large shops, large land holdings etc.
- The poor have to depend on the rich and the powerful for various things.
- They have to depend for loans, raw materials and marketing of their goods and most often for employment.
- Because of this dependence, the poor are exploited in the market.
- There are ways to overcome these problems.
- They include forming cooperatives of producers and ensuring that laws are followed strictly.
Question: Fill in the blanks with appropriate words.
- Chain of markets link the producer to the ………….. .
- The arrangement between a merchant and weavers is an example of ……………… system.
- Women are employed in garment factories as helpers on ………………. wages.
- Cultivation of cotton requires high level of inputs such as …………………… and …………….. .
- putting out
- fertilizers, pesticides
Question: State whether the given statements are true or false.
- Markets offer equal opportunities to all.
- The weavers depend on the farmers for raw material.
- Buying and selling takes place at every step in the chain of markets.
- The foreign business persons do not make profit in the Indian market.
Question: Did Swapna get a fair price on the cotton?
Answer: No. Swapna did not get a fair price on the cotton. The local trader paid her low price.
Question: Why did the trader pay Swapna a low price?
Answer: The trader had lent Swapna money at the beginning of the cropping season on a condition that she would sell all her cotton to him. Thus, Swapna was in his grip. The trader took advantage of this situation and paid her a low price.
Question: Where do you think large farmers would sell their cotton? How is their situation different from Swapna?
Answer: Large farmers would sell their cotton in the market. Their situation is different from Swapna. Unlike Swapna, they grew cotton on their own and therefore they are free to sell them anywhere they wish.
Question: What are the following people doing at the Erode cloth market – merchants, weavers, exporters?
- Merchants: They supply cloth on order to garment manufactures and exporters around the country. They purchase the yam and give instructions to the weavers about the kind of cloth that is to be made.
- Weavers: They make cloth and bring this to the Erode cloth market for sale. They also make cloth on order from the merchant.
- Exporters: They use the cloth to make shirts to export them to foreign buyers.
Question: In what ways are weavers dependent on cloth merchants?
Answer: Weavers are dependent on cloth merchants for raw materials and markets.
Question: If the weavers were to buy yam on their own and sell cloth, they would probably earn three times more. Do you think this is possible? How? Discuss.
Answer: In such a situation the weavers would definitely earn more. They would buy yam at the lowest possible price and would sell cloth at the highest possible price. They would select the market of their choice for better price.
Question: You might have heard of cooperatives in your area. It could be in milk, provisions, paddy, etc. Find out for whose benefit they were set up?
A Shirt in the Market – Answer: They were set up for the benefit of those who were in want of capital.
Question: What are the demands foreign buyers make on the garment exporters? Why do the garment exporters agree to these demands?
Answer: They demand the lowest prices from the garment exporters.
They set high standards for quality of production and timely delivery. Any defects or delay in delivery in dealt with strictly.
The garment exporters agree to these demands because they are able to gain maximum profits even after that.
Question: How do the garment exporters meet the conditions set by the foreign buyers?
A Shirt in the Market – Answer: The garment exporters cut costs. They get maximum work out of the workers at the lowest possible wages.
Question: Why do you think more women are employed in the Impex garment factory? Discuss.
Answer: More women are employed in the Impex garment factory because they agree to work even at the lowest possible wages.
Question: Compare the earnings per shirt of the worker in the garment factory, the garment exporter and the business person in the market abroad What do you find?
Answer: The business person abroad makes profit of Rs. 600 on one shirt and the garment exporter gains Rs. 100 on one shirt. So far the worker’s earning is concerned, he gets only Rs. 15 per shirt.
Question: What are the reasons that the business person is able to make a huge profit in the market?
Answer: There are various reasons why the business person is able to make a huge profit in the market:
Some of them are given below:
- He sells his shirts to people belonging to high income group.
- He is able to sell a large number of shirts everyday.
- He knows the ways how to get work done by the garment exporters at the lowest possible price.
Question: Who was Swapna?
Answer: Swapna was a small farmer, growing cotton on her small piece of land.
Question: Why did Swapna take loan from the local trader?
Answer: She took loan from the local traders to buy seeds, fertilizers and pesticides for the cultivation of cotton.
Question: On what condition did the trader agree to give loan to Swapna?
Answer: He agreed to give loan to Swapna on a condition that she would sell all her cotton to him.
Question: What is putting-out arrangement?
Answer: Under putting-out arrangement the cloth merchants supply the raw material to the weavers and receive the finished product.
Question: Who are mostly employed in the Impex garment factory?
Answer: They are women.
Question: What do women workers do in the Impex garment factory?
Answer: They do thread cutting, buttoning, ironing and packaging.
Question: Whom does the garment exporting factory export the shirts to?
Answer: The garment exporting factory exports the shirts to foreign buyers.
Question: How are small farmers in the grip of the local trader?
A Shirt in the Market – Answer:
Small farmers can not do without the help of the local traders. They depend on them for various reasons:
- During cropping season they take loan from the local traders.
- Whenever, there is an illness in the family they go to the local trader for help.
- Farmers also face seasonal unemployment. There are times in the year when they have no work and hence no income. During this time their survival depends on borrowing money from him.
Due to these reasons small farmers easily come in the grip of the powerful local traders.
Question: How do weaver’s cooperatives reduce the dependence of weavers on the cloth merchants?
Answer: In a cooperative people with common interests come together and work for their mutual benefit. In a weaver’s cooperative, the weavers form a group and take up certain activities collectively. They get yam from the yam dealer and distribute it among the weavers. The cooperative also does the marketing. In this way, the role of the merchants is reduced and weavers get a fair price on the cloth that they produce by dint of their hard labour.
Question: Write a short note on the Impex garment factory.
Answer: The Impex garment factory employs mostly women. The workers work on temporary basis. They can be asked to leave any time. Their wages are fixed according to their skills. The highest paid among the workers are the tailors who get about Rs. 3,000 per month. Women are employed as helpers. They are engaged in thread cutting, buttoning, ironing and packaging. They get the lowest wages.
Question: Who are involved in putting-out system? How is this system advantageous and disadvantageous for the weavers?
Answer: The persons involved in putting-out system are weavers and merchants.
This system is advantageous for the weavers in two ways:
- They do not have to spend their money on the purchase of yam.
- They are also free from the tension of selling the finished cloth.
This system is disadvantageous for the weavers in these ways:
- They have to depend on the merchants for raw materials as well as markets.
- Under this system the merchants become very powerful. They give orders for what is to be made and they pay a very low price for making the cloth.
- The weavers have no way of knowing who they are making the cloth for or at what price it will be sold.
Question: How does market work move in favour of the rich and powerful? What are the ways to overcome them?
Answer: It is usually the rich and the powerful who earn the maximum profits in the market. These people have money and they own the factories, the large shops, large land holdings, etc. The poor have to depend on the rich and the powerful for various things. They have to depend for loans, for raw materials and marketing of their goods and most often for employment. This dependence makes the poor miserable. They are easily exploited in the market. They get low wages in spite of their hard labour and the rich earn huge profits at the cost of the workers. There are ways to overcome these such as forming cooperatives of producers and ensuring that laws are following strictly.