This article provides an insight on the work lifebalance of Indian women beedi workers. This would highlight the various values,attitudes and beliefs of women regarding job anxiety in their unorganized workprocedure and particularly balancing their work and personal life. Beedi (ahandmade cigarette) manufacturing is more than a century old and an unorganizedsector in India. Ever since the introduction of tobacco cultivation in India, asizeable segment of women labor force is engaged in production for consumptionof tobacco rolled in the form of beedi. The Indian market of smoking tobacco isdominated by beedis, which outsell cigarettes by 10:1 ratio. Women being thethreshold of a family, extend their support in earnings for the mobilization ofincome for their children’s education and better living.
Beedi manufacturing isthat sector in which the poor and the oppressed, especially rural women folkare exploited. The majority of women are working about 90-95 hours per week;the only comfort is that women beedi workers enjoy freedom in the work placeand also flexible working hours. Beedi rolling reasonably contributes as anincome in the interior regions of Vellore and Tirunelvelli districts,Tamilnadu, India, where the study was carried out to analyze the satisfactionlevel of work life and work life balanceof women beedi workers. The study is undertaken to have an in-depthunderstanding of the work life of women beedi workers and throws light on theproblems and issues of the beedi workers.Key Words: Beedi Rolling,Work Life Balance, Women Beedi Rollers. *DR.C.
THILAKAM., Head and Professor,Department of Commerce, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.* M. PRIYAANGEL., Full Time Research Scholar, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
INTRODUCTION Wok life balance is one of life’s’greatest challenges, while men often feel conflicted between work place anddomicile demands as well. Women usually suffer from more than their fair shareof the burden of balancing family and work life. Home workers had no fixedhours of work since they combined household duties with beedi rolling. Theywere found to be working for as long as up to ten hours a day and as little asthree hours a day.
Beedi rolling work at home offers flexibility of workarrangements within households in respect of allocation of working time. Forexample, children can roll beedi after coming home from school. Elderly womenassist younger women in beedi rolling during agricultural off-seasons. Itbrings employment to the doorsteps. Secondly, they could attend the work intheir leisure time, thereby enabling them to adjust their activities on apart-time, full-time, occasional or seasonal basis as well according to theirconvenience. The women beedi workers are found to be happy with the nature ofthe job since it is home based.
The women easily manage the household work and beedirolling together in a better way. The income earned by beedi rollingcontributes to the family and that make the women to get satisfied with the beedirolling job. Since there is flexibility in the job, women could plan for theirdaily domestic work. Most of the women beedi workers receive a reasonableincome as per their expectations. Rolling 1000 beedis approximately fetchesRs.
45- 50 a day. The women workers appreciate their contribution to theirfamily that provides a dominating status for them and they are satisfied withtheir social status.SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDYPeople who are engaged in Beedi work are facingserious problems including poverty, health hazard, family problems, poor housing facilities, insufficientnutritious food, unhygienic theenvironment, illiteracy, physical stress and debts etc. The researcher is keento learn about the conditions of Beedi workers and their job satisfaction. Thefindings of the study will be useful to NGOs working for the development of thebeedi industry.SCOPE OF THE STUDY The study whichrelates to the level of satisfaction of work life and work life balance of womenbeedi workers. The study covers the Tirunelveli District.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMThere is presence of work life imbalance among womenbeedi workers in Tirunelveli district.OBJECTIVES1. Tostudy the Profile of women beedi workers in Tirunelveli Distinct2. Tomeasure the level of satisfaction of work life and work life balance of womenbeedi workers in Tirunelveli District.METHODOLOGYAn exploratory study was conducted for more preciseinvestigation. Women beedi workers of select villages of Tirunelveli districts,Tamilnadu were the target population of the study. A convenience samplingmethod was adopted and the primary data was collected from 100 respondents(women beedi workers) using a structured interview schedule.
Under this studytwo groups (east and west) of Tirunelvelli district were considered. Percentageanalysis and weighted average was used to analyze satisfaction of the work lifebalance of women beedi workers. After the classification, the data have beenprocessed (analysis) by using various statistical tools (SPSS)LIMITATION OF THE STUDYThe period of the study is 6 months only, so theresearcher has to confine the scope of the study with 200 members. The data for the present study were collectedthrough personal interview method since the beneficiary groups did not maintainproper accounts and most of them were uneducated. The researcher has collectedprimary data directly from the beedi rollers.
The researcher made an analysisonly on the information supplied by the beedi workers, which may or may not betrue. The study was conducted only inthe selected place in and around. So the sample may not be the truerepresentation of the population. The validity and reliability of the datadepends on the truthfulness of responses from the respondents.FINDINGS 1. Demographicprofile of the respondents Profile Variables Percentage Age Below 25 years 13 26 years – 35 years 28 36 years – 45 years 42 Above 45 years 17 Marital status Unmarried 18 Married 82 Community SC/ST 20 BC/BCM 53 DNC/MBC 17 OC 10 Educational Qualification No formal education 35 Primary level 32 Middle level 14 High school 12 Graduate 7 Size of family Below 2 5 3 – 5 90 6 – 8 5 Above 8 Nil Family income Less than Rs.3000 9 Rs.3001 – Rs.
5000 17 Rs. 5001 – Rs. 7000 35 More than Rs. 7001 39 2. Levelof satisfaction of Work/ Life Balance Level of S.
No Satisfaction Highly Satisfied Average Dissatisfied Highly Work / life Satisfied dissatisfied Weighted score Rank Balance 1 Work and 10 71 17 2 – 3.89 I personal life 2. Satisfy both job 2 67 22 7 2 3.60 III and my family 3. Reasonable work to balance my 3 43 45 9 – 3.40 IV daily family life 4. Employee has reasonable work 2 31 43 24 – 3.
11 V Expectations 5. Employee are 2 71 17 10 – 3.65 II treated fairly 6. Status for me and 4 22 29 45 – 2.85 VI my family Source: Primary Data From the table informs that 71.4% of womenbeedi workers are satisfied with the work and personal life.
The weighted scoreis 3.89. So give first rank. 10% of women beedi workers are highly satisfiedbecause it contributes better for their basic family needs.Beedi workers enjoy thebalance between the work and personal life as it is purely home based.
About 67%of the workers have interest in beedi rolling, and completely satisfied withboth the job profile and family The weighted score is 3.60. So give third rank.7% of them are dissatisfied due to very poor work environment and low wages. Majority of women workersare either satisfied or reasonably satisfied with beedi rolling that offer thema reasonable work to balance their daily family chores. 9% of the workers needmore work to contribute still better for their basic needs.About71% of women beedi workers have the opinion that they are treated fairly interms of providing raw materials (tendu leaf and tobacco dust) by thecontactor.
The wage disbursement system, the medical facilities provided andthe loan facility. 10% of the women beedi workers are dissatisfied with thepoor quality of raw materials, no fixed wages for non-pass book workers, themedical and the loan facilities provided by the contractor/middleman. Thisshows that there is a good relationship between beedi manufacturers and women workersas the industry brings satisfaction to both parties in terms of monetarybenefits and the workers did not demand more.Nearly45% of the respondents are of the opinion that beedi rolling does not give anystatus and social concern for them .Only 22% of women beedi workers aresatisfied with their status as a beedi rolling worker as it contributes forbetter living. So beedi rolling gains to offer a reasonable status to theindividual and family The weighted score is 2.85.
So give sixth rank.SUGGESTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The following suggestions can be given to theexecutives to manage the work life balance:Ø Oneof the best solutions is time management. Which can help to reduce theimbalance between the personal and the work life of the Women employees.Ø Planningthe activities and prioritizing the tasks can help to take out some free timewhich can be utilized for other purposes.Ø Takingsome time out for hobbies and leisure activities, spending time with loved onescan help to beat the stress.
Ø Worklife balance will helpful to manage the responsibilities and sharing. Ø Utilizingthe „flexible working hours? option of the organizations to get some free time.CONCLUSIONSWomenhave contributed to the beedi sector right from its inception till date andalso for the continuous improvement of the sector. The working hours are veryhigh, and they spend 14-16 hours a day earning income to support theirfamilies.
The wages they receive is less than the wages set by the minimumwages act. The women were less aware on the claims against health insurance,loan allowance provident fund which adds benefit to the beedi sector.Thewomen being home based workers do not claim for better working conditions.
There is no considerable investment made by the beedi industry on such laborforce. The women supply a continuous and stable work force to industry. Thework is learnt by every member of the family and thus continues withoutinterruption.Thebeedi industry employs large numbers of women workers. It adopts exploitativepractices, which affect women workers in general. The home workers areexploited more since they have no operative trade union forum as in theorganized sector.
Worklife balance of the women beedi workers was explored and it was found that differentdimensions on work and life of women beedi workers based on the nature of workand present employment is reasonably satisfactory.Inthe conventional method of working in an organization the employees experience a personal,professional, and monetary need to achieve, making work-life balance complexand challenging. Whereas the home based working convenience offered by beediindustry assist majority of women workers toexperience work-life balance by offering opportunities like flexible workschedules, reasonable time and commutation, and symbol of status for the familyand individual. This means that the women beedi workers establish abalance between work and personal lifeamidst poverty and other family constraints. In addition, the women workers preferredbeedi rolling as a home maker than that of an industrial worker.Thusthe work life balance achievement of these women workers is better than that ofblue collared or white collared women working in the organized industry.
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