Chapter 9 A Shirt in the Market
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. What are the following people doing at the Erode cloth market—merchants, weavers, exporters?
Answer: 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.
5. In what ways are weavers dependent on cloth merchants?
Answer: Weavers are dependent on cloth merchants for raw materials and markets.
6. 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.
7. 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?
Answer: They were set up for the benefit of those who were in want of capital.
8. 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 delays in delivery in dealt with strictly.
The garment exporters agree to these demands because they are able to gain maximum profits even after that.
9. How do the garment exporters meet the conditions set by the foreign buyers?
Answer: The garment exporters cut costs. They get maximum work out of the workers at the lowest possible wages.
10. 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.
11. 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 a 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.
12. 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 the high-income groups.
- He is able to sell a large number of shirts every day.
- He knows the ways how to get work done by the garment exporters at the lowest possible price.
VERY SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Who was Swapna?
Answer: Swapna was a small farmer, growing cotton on her small piece of land.
2. Why did Swapna take a loan from the local trader?
Answer: She took a loan from the local traders to buy seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides for the cultivation of cotton.
3. On what condition did the trader agree to give a loan to Swapna?
Answer: He agreed to give a loan to Swapna on a condition that she would sell all her cotton to him.
4. What is the putting-out arrangement? [V. Imp.]
Answer: Under the putting-out arrangement, the cloth merchants supply the raw material to the weavers and receive the finished product.
5. Who are mostly employed in the Impex garment factory?
Answer: They are women.
6. What do women workers do in the Impex garment factory?
Answer: They do thread cutting, buttoning, ironing, and packaging.
7. Whom does the garment exporting factory export the shirts to?
Answer: The garment exporting factory exports the shirts to foreign buyers.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. How are small farmers in the grip of the local trader? [V. Imp.]
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 a 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.
2. How do weaver’s cooperatives reduce the dependence of weavers on the cloth merchants? [V. Imp.]
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 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.
3. Write a short note on the Impex garment factory.
Answer: The Impex garment factory employs mostly women. The workers work on a temporary basis. They can be asked to leave at 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.
LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
1. Who is involved in the putting-out system? How is this system advantageous and disadvantageous for the weavers? [V. Imp.]
Answer: The persons involved in the 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.
2. How does market work move in favour of the rich and powerful? What are the ways to overcome them? (V. Imp.]
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 landholdings, etc. The poor have to depend on the rich and the powerful for various things. They have to depend on 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.