Cottage Industries for Women: Peninah Moses

[From the Proceedings of the Shree Mulam Popular Assembly, 4 March 1931, pp. 72-73]


Miss Peninah Moses (Nominated) spoke about the urgent necessity of organizing cottage industries for the benefit of women.Men and women numbered equally and the population was increasing by leaps and bounds and the problem of attaining a living wage for men and women was also becoming more acute. The number of qualified women was also on the increase and many of them were unemployed. Hence the question of providing women was of utmost importance and the Government should take it up urgently, to give relief to the unemployed among women. The member suggested the following measures in this behalf:–

  1. Encouragement of the cultivation of cotton and the introduction of spinning as a cottage industry.
  2. Encouragement of knitting, lace-making, and embroidery and needle-work.
  3. Encouragement of the making of toys, dolls, and envelopes.
  4. Introduction of the industry of fibre extraction such as the fibre from plantain for weaving purposes , from coconut tree for coir, and from palmyara tree for brushes and areca tree for carpets.
  5. Encouragement of the manufacture of mats and baskets.

The Government should take practical interest and also render financial help in carrying out the above industries. A qualified woman should be appointed for organising and directing the cottage industries carried on by women. The Directress of Cottage Industries to be appointed should train a number of women of the country to organise classes in important towns to begin with, where the women and girls should meet and learn the nature of the work to be done by them. These pupils should be supplied with the materials for the work. When the finished products were returned by the women, they must be paid liberally for the work. The Industries Department should arrange for the sale of these articles by widely advertising them and arranging local or foreign merchants.

The Member also mentioned in this connection the great impetus given by the YMCA Rural Demonstration Farm at Marthandam, in the matter of poultry farming.

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