Financial Inclusion of Women- The Inextricable Link To Their Status, With Reference To Home Based Women Workers In Hyderabad

(Sujatha Suresh, Faculty Member, Adam Smith Institute of Management, Hyderabad) Abstract Home based women workers is a category in unorganized sector employment which covers women who work from home, self employed and own-account workers who work in their homes. Many of the activities taken up by these women require a nominal capital which is mostly sourced from family members. Formal credit institutions are not accessed for either term or working capital. Financial inclusion is identified as a prerequisite for inclusive growth. Most of the efforts towards financial inclusion focus the rural areas where the concentration of poor is high. It is noted that more women compared to men could be financially excluded. This paper based on a sample survey attempts to understand the characteristics of self employed and own account women workers, their status and scope for access to financial services in an urban area taking Hyderabad city as case. The paper finds that better earnings by these women do not really imply access to formal banking system. Therefore it is recommended that, an approach which is segment based rather than sector based needs to be adopted and it is suggested that an exhaustive data base needs to be created as the first step to move towards universal financial inclusion.

FINANCIAL INCLUSION OF WOMEN-THE INEXTRICABLE LINK TO THEIR STATUS, WITH REFERENCE TO HOME BASED WOMEN WORKERS IN HYDERABAD CITY Sujatha Suresh * 1. Introduction A key objective of development economics is to provide opportunities for people to earn enough income for their living. Engaging in production of goods or provision of services or any form of employment activity is considered critical for the survival and sustenance of people. Developing economies like India have focused attention on policy and programme intervention in favor of disadvantaged groups as a measure of multi pronged attack on poverty and unemployment.1 Government of India has, for several decades sponsored rural development programmes aimed at promoting wage employment, facilitating self employment and skill development. As part of an holistic approach welfare programmes like rural housing and provision of rural infrastructure were also taken up These programmes tried to address the inherent weaknesses of rural poor from the demand side. Researchers and scholars have identified education and access to formal banking services as areas concern that hamper the efforts for faster development In recent years Planning Commission has emphasized inclusive growth specifying “financial inclusion” which is, enabling vulnerable groups of the society to have access to credit and financial services. In broader sense it is not only financial inclusion of rural poor but universal financial inclusion which should be the objective of an economy. Women in urban areas who take up income generating micro enterprise or home based activities need to be financially included. This paper is an effort at understanding the status of financial inclusion of home based women workers in Hyderabad city. Section II discusses the definition and India’s performance on financial inclusion . It outlines the measures taken up by government and other agencies for bringing the rural poor into the purview of formal financial system and reviews the impact of economic and social benefits derived, on their status. Section III identifies the gaps in achieving universal financial inclusion bringing into focus the economic importance of informal sector as also the inherent weaknesses of this sector that poses a challenge to policy makers. A prelude on Home based women

Research Paper submitted for Athenaeum’09, 3rd International Conference on Management Research, Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli. * The author is permanent faculty member, Adam Smith Institute of Management, Hyderabad and a research scholar. The copyright rests with the author. 1 Majority of Indian population live in rural areas, rural poverty is estimated to be 1702.99 lakhs compared to 682.00 lakhs in urban areas. Planning commission estimate in 2004-05 using expert group methodology based on mixed recall period consumption


workers a sub category of informal sector characterized by its invisibility and obscurity in any official record is provided to understand the importance of a data base of this segment for policy decision Section IV presents the analysis of the pilot survey and conclusion. Suggestions and recommendation that can be considered for policy and programmes are also provided. 2.1 Financial inclusion definition and India’s performance Availability of and comfortable access to various financial services comprising of savings, credits, payments and remittance facilities, insurance etc are considered as essential aspects of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion thus covers the overall gamut of all financial services needs of a household for several purposes. It is assumed that conducive environment, encouragement and an appropriate system put in place should attract all the people in an economy to be a part of formal banking system. Most of the deliberations on financial exclusion look at it as the manifestation of social problems of the poor and the disadvantaged, indicating that groups most likely to be financially excluded in India can be landless agricultural labourers, marginal farmers, micro entrepreneurs, unskilled/ semi skilled wage laborers, urban slum dwellers, migrants , under privileged social groups , migrants and women. (see graph below) Graph :2.1 Percentage-wise Bank account holders across occupations

Source : A HUNDRED SMALL STEPS, Report of the Committee on Financial Sector Reforms,2008.


Even though financial inclusion is a necessary condition for sustainable economic growth, excluded segments of population are spread across all countries but it is found that while in developed countries the financially excluded constitute a small segment of population, developing countries have a large proportion of population who are excluded. If one were to use as a measure financial inclusion, the proportion of adult population possessing a bank account, available data show that on an all India basis, 41 per cent of the population did not have a bank account. The rural urban comparison of coverage indicate 39 per cent against 60 per cent and the coverage was lower than the average in North Eastern and Eastern regions. From the credit market side loan account constituted 9.5 % in rural and 14 % in urban areas, southern region had 25% of credit coverage and as low as 7 , 8 and 9 % in North Eastern, Eastern and Central region. (Smt. Usha Thorat, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, 2007) India is ranked fiftieth in financial inclusion performance among select 100 countries based on multidimensional index constructed including dimensions of availability of banking services and usage. (see Mandira Sarma,2008)2 2.2 Initiatives of Government and Central Bank towards financial inclusion The government of India and RBI through their policy initiatives and direction have tried to address some of the issues throttling financial inclusion of the under privileged people. The government initiated way back in 1969, nationalization of banks as the first step. Studies established a positive impact of Bank nationalization in low income countries that formal lending institutions brought about a structural change and poverty reduction. Secondly during 1970-90 a programme of massive bank branch expansion was implemented to unbanked rural areas which not only facilitated access to credit and other banking services to rural areas but also provided support for smooth financial transaction between identified beneficiaries of development schemes and the sponsoring agencies like the government and NGOs. The third policy initiative of the state was priority sector lending whose target groups were agriculturist, small businessman and entrepreneurs. A significant impact in terms of improvement in credit volume and access on the targeted group was noticed not withstanding certain criticisms on the negative impact of subsidies. The structural impact of direct growth of non farm sector and positive indirect effect on agricultural wages also led to acceptance of the theory that lack of access to credit has been an impediment to structural change and poverty reduction in India (Robin Burgess and Rohini Pande 2005) Post Liberalization, the rural sector banks, on a review of their own lending, found that they were burdened with defaults in payment and high transaction costs and were reluctant to take forward the earlier initiatives. On the other side, the indebtedness from informal sources were still found to be high. In light of this National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development (NABARD) developed a SHG-bank linkage approach which aimed at a solution for the banking needs of the poor covering 1) saving of the small surplus 2) access to immediate consumption loans 3) financial products and services that are easy to handle and loan for micro enterprises (Harper,2002) After a pilot project was

The hundred countries consisted of 9 OECD countries with high index of financial inclusion (IFI) ,22 countries of medium range IFI, and all other countries of low IFI.


launched in 1991-92 the movement expanded and as on 31 March 2006 the number of SHGs stood at 22,38,565 .and cumulative loan disbursement stood at Rs.1,13,975 million . The SHG approach has been found be successful with 90% on time repayment of loans. A notable feature of this setup is that 90% of the SHGs linked were exclusive women SHGs. SHG-Bank link programme has now become a near universal women programme. Different models of group approach bank linkage programmes, broadly described as “micro finance”, have emerged since then, designed and implemented not only by official agencies but also by NGOs with or without support of the official agencies. The approach is set to provide credit for investment for the customers, which in turn generate income and savings, empower them and lead them through a personal transformation of a feeling from “I cannot” to one of “I can”. SHG-bank linked programme has emerged as the largest microfinance programme in India. Many NGOs have entered into the field of micro finance with different roles like facilitator, intermediary or both. An orthodox micro finance institution is expected to approach the agenda with focus on social concern where economically active poor women take control of their modest income and savings through self-employment to improve the conditions of life for themselves and their children rather than seeing it as a business objective aiming at economic efficiency. The market had failed to address the concern of the poor when banks performance were measured in economic sense. (Dunford 1998) The largeness of financially excluded rural poor necessitated, priority attention and deeper action. Next to rural sector, a major segment of informal sector is not exposed to financial inclusion. This sector is researched by many but is yet to be structured for any consorted policy intervention, mainly due to its mini scale of operation, diversity and scattered nature. Informal sector is characterized by factors like labour intensiveness, slow in technology adoption and absence of accounting system. It does not form part of any government statutory process of registration of operating units. Though not regulated it is accepted as the largest provider of jobs to people 2.3 The power of financial inclusion- Self Help Groups in AP – Two cases In India, village population is somewhat homogeneous in occupation, culture and environment; the economy is still a closed one. The small village community members are familiar with each other; they have greater dependency among themselves on account of the social and economic structure. Village women have better interaction and exchange information transparently. Most of them share common skills, aspirations and have a will to learn, practice and improve their family status. The desired environment in villages especially among women has made it easy for the government and NGOs for the establishment of self help groups even in a number of villages covering backward districts across the country. The SHG programme could thus evolve as a robust banking proposition. It must however be said that not all states or not all villages were able make the best use the programme and achieve the objectives . There has been a wide spread appreciation that Andhra Pradesh(AP) with a high number of poor (88.71 lakhs, Planning commission estimate based on MRP consumption) has


made a rapid progress in implementation of microfinance and self help groups as an effective method of poverty reduction and women empowerment. As of 2007 AP accounted for more than 7 lakhs SHGs of among 29.25 lakhs SHGs all India. The speed of growth and geographical spread the programme is phenomenal to be termed as a mass movement. Government of India grants, involvement of NABARD, proactive state government, and the associated departments and machinery of these higher level institutions along with the lead commercial, public and private sector banks, District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA), District collectors, Panchayat Raj representatives, NGO and volunteers have contributed to the horizontal and vertical spread of the movement. The extent of credit and savings could be said to have promoted the growth of a second tier financial institutions (community based development finance institutions) comprising of SHGs and aided by NGOs or DRDA. To further consolidate this movement the SHGs at village and mandal level are encouraged to form as a cooperative society governed by Mutually Aided Cooperative Societies act 1995. The institutionalization of the movement through these measures was intended to inculcate accountability, competitiveness and self reliance through the strength derived out of savings and mutual aid.3 The rudimentary element of SHGs is thrift which weaves the women into groups. An evaluation study based on 56 SHGs from three districts of Chitoor , Nizamabad and Warangal in Andhra Pradesh has brought out some interesting and encouraging findings on the impact of group dynamics within SHGs, SHG enterprise pattern and changes undergone and the maturation of SHG members in both social and economic spheres. The economic impact were:- SHGs savings rate increased over time from the lowest of Rs.30 per member per month in 48 % of the case; the average savings per SHG worked out to Rs.36350; average loan size for the groups (based on cumulative credit availed by the group) worked out to be Rs.1,91,980; 70% of which was utilized for income generation and the rest for consumption purposes; 68.5 percent of the sample SHG member households reported increase in asset base. The net income from per rupee of investment for the sample was lowest Rs.0.12 to highest Rs. 0.42; there was a 70.5% increase in household income of the micro enterprise households compared to those who did not pursue income generating micro enterprises; The repayment performance of SHG members to SHG worked out to 96.9 per cent and SHGs to banks at 94.2%. A mix of micro enterprises were identified with increased linkage by member households of non agricultural occupation. Member households with agricultural occupation used the credit to purchase inputs and taken up allied activities like dairying The highlights of intangible impact on family dynamics, gender roles and life style were – the power to access resources by women saw a sea change in the family members’ attitude towards. women mobility and education of children ; they were given due consideration while making economic decisions; the SHG members had a freedom of choice on in the nature of work they wish to perform and the household chores and other low valued jobs thrust on them earlier were shared among all family members. The members realized a positive improvement in their status and commanded greater respect within home. This has generated an interest in the members to involve themselves in

For an over view of SHGs and SHG federations see Ajai Nair, (2005)


social and political activities for community development. They also exhibited change in their dress and food habits. They were better informed about nutrition, hygiene . They utilized their income effectively in improving the place of their living, on their children’s education expenses. While initially male member of the family provided economic support for contributing to savings, latter the members became self reliant in managing the group functions . (K C Badatya, B B Wadavi & Ananthi S, 2006) In another micro study based on 214 SHGs covering108 villages in nine districts in four states of Karnataka , Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan to understand the SHG’s effectiveness in financial transaction, sustainability, social impact and continuity and benefits reaching the target group concluded that much could not be said about a significant improvement in their economic status but there was evidence to show that the lowest of the poor members did show an improvement . Of the members with SHGs for seven or more years, still 50 percent remained poor and 13 % of them were very poor. From the social angle, the sustained interaction experience among different castes and sub castes members of the group have improved the confidence of marginalized members of the group and greater harmony prevailed. SHGs transformed into support systems to tackle social injustice to women on issues of sexual violence, bigamy, child marriage and few cases of dowry deaths. Members also involved themselves in social actions addressing community welfare issues like water supply, sanitation, hygiene, village roads, veterinary care etc and protection of natural resources and contributing labour and finance to new infrastructure. SHGs have tried to put an end to alcohol sale in their villages and consumption by village male. While record keeping is not impressive, payment to banks from SHGs has been taken care off , this could not said in case of payment of members to SHGs ; there are violations of rule book.4 3.1 Gaps in achieving Universal financial inclusion The penetration and reach of most of the initiatives and policies are towards rural farm and non farm sector only. The report of the Committee on Financial Inclusion chaired by Dr.C.Rangarajan while taking stock of the current situation suggested various measures to improve the success rate of access of financial services by all rural and urban poor. The Committee has no doubt raised pertinent issues that prevent urban banks and micro finance institutions into targeting urban poor undertaking micro enterprises and small business activities. The issues are both from the demand side and the supply side. Urban bank branches have no time to cater to micro finance market segment in spite of man power and technology availability with them. The presence of micro finance institutions is not considerable in nature in urban areas .There are no clear estimates on financially excluded urban poor. The Committee did not come up with a workable solution to this issue except suggesting amending NABARD Act 1981 with enabling provision to provide micro finance services to the urban poor.5

The study measures risk by the number of days the repayment was overdue and volume . Of all the states Andhra Pradesh had the highest default and also has a record of members resorting to one time payment of interest and principal.


These strategic approaches targeting one major sector of the population with an objective of increasing financial inclusion have sidelined the goal of universal financial inclusion. The Report of the Committee on Financial Reforms had made specific reference to the emphasis on agricultural sector and suggested that efforts at financial inclusion has to be segment oriented rather than sector oriented. This augurs well for the economy as more people are moving away from farming and other segments. (Report of the Committee on Financial Sector Reforms, 2008) It was earlier seen that women have more reasons to be financially excluded. Urban women are by and large very different from the rural counterpart in respect of both formal and informal activities undertaken. Their profiles are different. Urban women take up micro enterprises much different from traditional activities. There is more demand for labour in services sectors as a result of technology improvement and changing urban life style. These changes have opened up a plethora of activities which can be handled by women classified under the category of Home based women workers. 3.2 Informal sector and employment Post economic reform period, the country has seen high growth performance with real GDP growth rate exceeding 9 % during 2004-2006. Other macro economic parameters like real national income, per capita income, agricultural, and industrial production exports and imports also indicated that the country was in a high growth trajectory. But the moot question is whether the spread of growth is uniform across all sections of the society. It is estimated that 836 million or about 77 percent of the population had less than Rs. 20 per day for consumption as of 2004-05. About 79 % of workers from informal or unorganized sector belonged to this group. It can therefore be argued that workforce in informal sector and/or in informal employment in semi urban, urban and metro areas would be the next large chunk to be targeted for financial inclusion. Data on formal/informal and organized/unorganized sector and informal employment have not been uniform, creating problems relating to identification of members of these segments, overlapping universes, data collection and comparability across nations.(See 1. V. Saha, A. Kar & T. Baskaran, 2004 2. Jeemol Unni, 2006. 3. Rajiv Sharma and Sunita Chitkara,2006). The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sectorin its Report “Conditions of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the Unorganized Sector”, 2007, has defined unorganized/informal sector and informal employment in a manner consistent with the international definition recommended by ILO as below : "The unorganised sector consists of all unincorporated private enterprises owned by individuals or households engaged in the sale and production of goods and services operated on a proprietary or partnership basis and with less than ten total workers". "Unorganised workers consist of those working in the unorganised enterprises or households, excluding regular workers with social security benefits, and the workers in the formal sector without any employment/ social security benefits provided by the employers".6

NABARD Act 1981 currently permits NABARD to support micro finance activities in rural and semi urban areas only. 6 It may be appropriate to focus on informal employment rather than the informal enterprises.


Presenting the data from 55th round of NSS (1999-2000) and 61st round 2004-05 , NCUES has pointed out that total employment increased from 397 million to 457 million. While there is no change in formal employment, all the 17% increase in total employment has come from informal employment only. See Table below.
Table :3.1- Relationship between Sector and Type of Employment (UPSS), All Workers 1999-2000 & 2004-05 Total Employment (Million) Informal/unorganised Formal /organised Sector/worker worker worker Total 1999-2000 Informal/Unorganised Sector 341.3(99.6) 1.4(0.4) 342.6(100.0) Formal /Organised sector 20.5(37.8) 33.7(62.2) 54.1(100.0) Total 361.7(91.2) 35.0(8.8) 396.8(100.0) 2004-2005 Informal/Unorganised Sector 393.5(99.6) 1.4(0.4) 394.9(100.0) Formal /Organised sector 29.1(46.6) 33.4(53.4) 62.6(100.0) Total 422.6(92.4) 34.9(7.6) 457.5(100.0) Figures in brackets are percentages. UPSS –Usual Principal and subsidiary status Report on conditions of work and promotion of livelihoods in the unorganized sector, 2007 (Page 22)

This partially explains why this segment needs attention. The other reason is more than half of the share to NDP is from informal sector.
Table 3.2 - Sector wise distribution of different industries (2002-03) Industry Organized sector Unorganized sector Total (% of NDP) (% of NDP) Agriculture, forestry, 4.1 95.9 100.0 fishing Mining, manufacturing, 60.5 39.5 100.0 electricity and construction Services 53.1 46.9 100.0 Total 43.3 56.7 100.0 Source : Informal Sector in the Indian System of National Accounts, Rajiv Sharma and Sunita Chitkara, CSO, India 2006.

Workers who fall under the category of informal employees can be the wage workers in the unorganized sector, self employed in the unorganized sector, unprotected wage workers in the unorganized sector and regular unorganized workers. The table below indicates that casual workers followed by self employed have a high percentage poor and vulnerable people compared to regular wage workers.


Table 3.3- Percentage Distribution of Unorganized Workers across Expenditure Classes Status Total Self employed Regular wage Casual workers workers Poor and 78.7 74.7 66.7 90.0 vulnerable Higher income 21.3 25.3 33.3 10.0 group Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Source: NSS 61st Round 2004 - 2005, Employment-Unemployment Survey. Computed. Report on conditions of work and promotion of livelihoods in the unorganized sector, 2007 pages 3.3 Home Based women workers Statistics related to informal employment are derived at macro level as the residual of formal employment of the total employment. Most of the policies for informal employment workers even like minimum prescribed wages by government cannot be implemented due to vulnerability of majority members of this category. The category of self employed in unorganized sector has a significant share of women.. Detailed evidence on women workers in this category in rural sector has been collected by government, independent agencies and researchers. Such a provision is missing for urban women. The study envisages to bridge this gap with some evidence on Home based women workers in Hyderabad city specifically with respect to financial inclusion. Home based workers in literature have been classified as 1) Those who are employers or own account workers that is purely self-employed, and (ii) dependent sub-contract workers. The second category is termed as home worker. (See Endnote for further explanation on Home based workers) Home based women workers are considered invisible on two counts- one is not being recognized in any recorded statistics leading to a perception that they are housewives working in their leisure hours and the other is they are confined to their homes and are not in public gaze. South Asia is the home for more than 50% of the home based workers across the world and 80% of them are women. Women are engaged in home based work for both positive and negative reasons. On the positive side they have the convenience of combining the domestics chores with work, flexible timings and some times better conditions of work and on the negative side home based work is not by choice but by chance because of the absence of other alternatives, lack of required qualification, responsibility to take care of children and aged in the family and social and cultural constraints, necessity to earn whatever is possible for their survival. The vulnerability of home based women workers often goes hand in hand with lack of economic and social security along with right to minimum income and decent work. They would be empowered if they have the collective organized strength to participate in their development initiatives. (Shalini Sinha, 2006)


3.4 Home based women workers in Hyderabad city Hyderabad city called as twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderbad acquired the status of mega city or A1 city in 2007 by clubbing 12 other municipalities with Hyderabad Municipal Corporation(HMC) to form Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) with a population of 54 lakhs. The city has been gaining popularity in the recent past in terms of industrialization, infrastructure and catching up with other states in IT sector performance to name a few. Hyderabad had a rich cultural heritage in the past and even today it is preserved to some extent.. The demographic patterns of the past and the present of the city have a major role to play in the type of work women do from home. For instance the old city which has been rated as underdeveloped in terms of social indicators like literacy, empowerment and health and economic indicators like average monthly income consists of predominantly Muslim population pursuing certain occupations which are by an large taken up by women from their home. The illiterate poor women in this part of Hyderabad who have no choice to go out and work due to cultural constraints and lack of support to take care of the children or aged take up skilled, semi skilled or unskilled jobs like bangle making , tailoring, agarbathi rolling etc on subcontract basis. A case study on bangle making and agarbathi rolling by women in old city indicates that the women took to this occupation as they felt they had no other skill and they saw themselves as house wife doing extra paid work. While the contribution of these women was a major share of family income and they were spending their income on household expenditure and children, they did not relate themselves to a worker and did not claim any rights of a worker.(Rekha Pande, 2008) The city’s development into the capital of IT hub in Andhra Pradesh and other sectors like pharma contributing to higher income and development of information technology and improved infrastructure had enabled faster services sector growth. Assuming that home based women workers in city have wider options of work and better income in this encouraging scenario, we shall examine the newer types of work women do, the perception towards their work, and the level of financial involvement and financial education 4.1 Analysis of the Survey in Hyderabad A pilot survey was conducted to assess the Hyderabad market for home based women workers. Piece rate workers are normally found in clusters. Recognizing the vulnerability and exploitation faced by this segment, research studies have been taken up and policy initiatives suggested not only from labor aspect but also from aspects of training, capacity building and working conditions etc. The literature also deals domestic workers and street vendors separately. My study therefore does not cover these segments of home based women workers. (See Appendix-A: for study objectives and methodology). The segment targeted for the pilot survey was women who own enterprises both self employed and employer operating under select residential and residential cum commercial localities in new Hyderabad city. 4.2 Findings


Every survey unit had a different story to tell. It was therefore very difficult to bring all the details into a standardized canvass for analysis. The findings are therefore presented for five major factors of our interest 1) nature of work 2) place of work 3) time spent on the occupation 4) financial aspects consisting of level of investments, earnings , formal financial services aware of and availed and 5) strengths and weakness of the occupation pursued. 4.2.1 Nature of work The sample units displayed a very diverse list of occupations contrary to the expectation that only a few occupations like tailoring and embroidery. Graph 4..2.1 : Percentage-wise nature of work undertaken by own account workers

Nature of Work
25% 34% Tailoring & Embroidery Botique Tutions Hostel 9% 15% Beauty Parlour Other 4% 13%

Others included 1)Fashion Designing 2) Canteen or Mess 3) Milk Product Business 4) Medical Transcription 5) Music and dance teachers 6) Fancy Store 7) Making Sweets & savories (Seasonal, festival) 8) Jewelry Designing 9) Chocolate making. Some of them also offered a mix of services instead of focusing on a single service. It was also found that, these women selected the occupation to pursue based on an intelligent judgment regarding their skills, resources , capacity, local needs and age and leveraged them to earn the maximum with a low level of investment. (Annexure -1 some examples) If the activity was on a larger scale these women also were employers. Women who sold sarees or dress material from home, sourcing it at the cheaper rate from other parts of the country and selling to customers did not have any paid helper. On the other hand larger boutiques run from a specified place meant for it, had assistants and tailors. Some women run tailoring units had workers like master cutters and women and men tailors. 4.2.2 Place of work


The details were collected mainly as a check to ensure that the person fell under the category of home based women worker. Beauty parlours and boutiques were run both from the home and also from specific rented or own accommodation. Some of them preferred to run it from rented accommodation since running it from home was not the professional way and may be a source of inconvenience for both customers and other family members. Also when partners are involved accounting was clear. 4.2.3 Time spent on occupation Contrary to popular belief that the home based work were leisure work, survey units exhibited a different picture. Though women felt that their timings were flexible when asked to be specific about the time of work most of them realized that they had to be available for work at least for 5 hours and in some cases more than 8 hrs balancing between home and work. Boutique, tailoring, canteen all demanded staying beyond 8 o clock at night. All women affirmed their commitment to the activity pursued and their preparedness to work overtime during seasons. Graph : 4.2.2 Number of hours spent for work by the survey women

Working Hours/day

< 5 > &< 5 8 55% 23% > 8

4.3 Financial Aspects 4.3.1 Source and Level of investments It was found that women though were running enterprises no doubt with a level of investment ranging from Rs.10, 000 to Rs.2,00,000. All except eight of them did not look at their activity as a business proposition with concepts of investment and return on investment. Most said that it was “their money” meaning from the family account or taken from mother or father without any clause of repayment or interest payment. These women mostly maintained details on receipts due from customers and payment due to suppliers in an informal system or had no accounting system at all. A few among them said that the husband is taking care of the accounts (also informal). They had no clue on


the implications of financial management in running the enterprise. The eight of them who were clear about the investment had taken bank loan for the enterprise but they too said that all other financial matters were looked after by the husband. 4.3.2 Net Earnings Except in the case of very low earning activities like selling vegetables, 83 % of women who participated in the survey gave an average and approximate figure of their earnings as a minimum of Rs.3000 and earnings exceeded Rs. 20,000 per month in about 14% of the cases. As indicated earlier, because of diversity of activities and scale of operations earnings were also not uniform. One activity which earned a high income is running hostels. Enterprising women realizing the value of prime space in city have utilized the assets they possess in the form of flats or apartments have put their effort to run hostels mostly for working women and girls who have come to Hyderabad to study but hail from other places. Women running hostels reported their earning of more than Rs.30,000 and even up to one lakh per month. Graph :4.3.1 : Percentage-wise earnings per month of survey women

Earnings per month
14% 13% < 3000 13% 3000-5000 5000-10000 29% 10000-15000 15000-20000 24% 7% > 20000

4.3.3 Linkage to Financial services. 78 % of women said they did not have an individual savings bank account and felt that their income was not big enough to warrant a savings bank account. Their earnings all got merged in the family income and savings if any are reflected in the name of the husband. Bank loan was availed by a few of them and few of them possessed a pan card. (seeTable below)
Table : 4.3.1 - Percentage-wise financial indicator details S No. Financial indicator No. of Units Percentage 1 Savings Bank Accounts 31 21.83 2 Pan Card 22 15.49


3 Bank Loans



Telephone or mobile facility was enjoyed by women with earning even less than Rs. 3000. 4.4 Strengths and weaknesses Women who were surveyed felt that extreme commitment to work undertaken is their foremost strength. The strength of women having own enterprises is, the loyal customers they have built over a period of time through committed services and networking. As for weaknesses, women who were employers faced difficulty in getting good labour for their tailoring unit or beauty parlour. In beauty parlours initially inexperienced women were taken as helpers. They were then trained in the skills and allowed to take up the specified job. Some times these trained persons leave and start own business. Another weakness is the loss of customers because of employee’s carelessness. Most women had no support to take care of the work, in their absence from the occupation when they or their family members were sick. Women possessing specialized skills like intricate embroidery work, who lived in interior locations, felt that they could not earn what they are capable of because of their invisibility. 4.5 Conclusions and recommendations The pilot sample study of home based women workers who are own account workers (employer or purely self employed) points to the following conclusions. 1. Their attitude towards work is equal or more than equal to that of a formal employee. The women themselves do not consider the work they do as leisure work. 2. They tend to undervalue the work they do. Surprisingly, the women surveyed have a notion that their earnings are only secondary even in cases where women earned more than men.. This may be one of the reasons why they didn’t take charge of their finances, (Rural women seemed to be better in this case) 3. They want to focus on their specialization or use of skills. On account of lack of support system and paucity of time their entrepreneurship qualities were limited. While they effectively managed their enterprise they lacked financial literacy to realize the full fruit of their effort. 4. They are isolated since there is currently no facility for networking these home based women workers. One may conclude that lack of information exchange can be one of the reasons for dismal reporting of financial inclusion. 5. If the basic criterion of financial inclusion is having a savings account with bank, home based women workers need to be targeted. The success of SHG Bank linkage can be attributed to two main reasons. From the supply side the pro active polices and initiatives and from the demand side the group dynamics. These two factors are missing in the case of the segment under study. The immediate concern would be how this could be achieved. Since both require availability of usable data, it is recommended that a usable data base of own account women workers in the city be prepared as the first step.





In his budget for 2007-08, the Finance Minister provided for setting two funds namely “Financial Inclusion Fund” and “Financial Inclusion Technology Fund” with Rs 500 crores each. Information and communication technology especially internet technology can be appropriately leveraged to prepare the data base of own account workers, network them and design and implement systems to further financial inclusion. Banking services need to be taken to the door step of the targeted group. This requires a joint effort of the many stake holders in this business. End Note: The ILO Home Work Convention No.177, adopted in 1996, refers exclusively to home workers, a category not included in the International Classification of Status in Employment, ICSE-93. It defined a home worker as a person who carried out work for remuneration in premises of his/her choice, other than the work place of the employer, resulting in a product or service as specified by the employer, irrespective of who provided the equipment, material or inputs used. This is a sub-category of a broader category of home-based workers. The home workers fall in an intermediate position between the self-employed and the wage workers, or the employee. Consequently they may also Report themselves as either wage workers or as self-employed workers in a survey. (Report on conditions of work and promotion of livelihoods in the unorganized sector, 2007 ) References : Ajai Nair, (2005) Sustainability of Microfinance Self Help Groups in India: Would Federating Help? World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3516, February 2005. Badatya K.C, Wadavi B.B & Ananthi S, (2006), Microfinance for Microenterprises An Impact evaluation study of self help groups , Evaluation study series No.13 2006, NABARD. Christopher Dunford , (1998) Micro Finance : A means to what end ? Presentation, Freedom from Hunger, Global Dialogue on Microfinance and Human Development. 1-3 April 1998, Stockholm, Sweden. Malcolm Harper , (2002) Promotion of Self Help Groups under the SHG Bank Linkage Programme in India Paper presented at the Seminar on SHG-bank Linkage Programme at New Delhi on 25th and 26th November 2002. Mandira Sarma , (2008) Index of Financial Inclusion , working paper no 215, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. ________(2006) Self Help Groups in India : A study of the lights and shades EDA Rural Systems Pvt Ltd in association with APMAS (Andhra Pradesh Mahila Abhivruddhi Society . Jeemol Unni, (2006) Informal Employment: Estimating Home-based and Street-based Workers in India, Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (Delhi Group) 11th &12th May 2006 ,New Delhi, India. Rajiv Sharma and Sunita Chitkara,(2006) Informal Sector in the Indian System of National Accounts , Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (Delhi Group) 11th &12th May 2006 , New Delhi, India


Rekha Pande, (2008) Women and Children Workers in the Old City of Hyderabad, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, Issue 17, July 2008. Robin Burgess & Rohini Pande, (2005). "Do Rural Banks Matter? Evidence from the Indian Social Banking Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 780-795, June Saha V ,Kar A & Baskaran T (2004) Contribution of Informal Sector and Informal Employment in Indian Economy , 7th Meeting of the Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (Delhi Group) . New Delhi. Shalini Sinha, (2006), Rights of Home-based Workers, National Human rights Commission Usha Thorat, (2007), Financial Inclusion – The Indian Experience Text of speech at the HMT-DFID Financial Inclusion Conference 2007, Whitehall Place, London, UK on June 19, 2007.


Appendix –A Study objectives and Methodology The objectives of the study 1) To identify occupations undertaken by own account home based women workers in Hyderabad city . 2) To examine the characteristics of these women and the activities they undertake. 3) To look into extent and scope of financial linkages of these women 4) To investigate into the status of coordination, organization and networking of these women. Methodology Secondary data and information regarding this topic were not available. So it was necessary to undertake a pilot survey to frame the issues in the proper light. To see the status of financial inclusion of women of our interest it was felt that a top down approach would be appropriate. Eight residential and residential cum commercial localities situated in the heart of the city were selected for this purpose. As sampling frame did not exist the survey units were selected based on convenience sampling. The method was unconventional in that, up to 30 own account home based women adjacent to and with a radius of one kilometer from an identified spot in the locality were selected for the purpose with a total sample size of 150. An interview questionnaire was prepared covering the following aspects 1) nature of the work undertaken 2) place of work to ascertain whether the woman selected was HBW 3) average income earned 4) average number of hours spent on the occupation, 5) formal bank linkage in terms of individual savings account, loans taken , possession of PAN card and 6) inherent strength and weakness of the occupation they perceived.. Ten investigators, who were oriented about the back ground of the research and the survey objective, carried out the survey within a period of 10 days. Out of 150 samples eight samples were invalid so the sample size was 142 only. Analysis of the survey was both quantitative and qualitative. Localities covered 1) Somajiguda 2) Panjagutta 3) Himayatnagar 4)Yousufguda Begumpet 5) West Marredpally 6) Narayanguda 7) Jubilee Hills 8) Kukatpally.


Annexure-1 1)Special embroidery skills, work is tedious but per piece work earning is high 2) widows and destitute and lower middle income taking up both trade and services like preparing of dosa and idli batter on order, selling pickles and papads, Ghee and selling puja items etc. These required low investment and services provided were low valued 3) one lady chose to prepare festival sweets and savories where neighborhood consisted of aged population who prefer her shop and regional taste 4) ironing of clothes in a small affordable rented place provided by the community by a women who is aged 5) Running a beauty parlor and also being an insurance agent using the net work) 6) Music and dance teachers classical and western- utilization of special skills 7)Home tuitions for students of lower classes taken up women from home with educational qualification of intermediate and above and also by engineering and graduate college students in the evenings after college hours from home –effective time and resource utilization 8) putting up small canteens – with investment in locations where commercial establishments and offices do not have in house canteen facilities which is also frequented by residents in that locality. 9) One lady had tie up with select beauty parlours where she used her own specially prepared herbal oil for hair massage.


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