Amartya Sharan


This article is written by Amartya Sharan, a Fourth BA. LL.B. (Hons.) Student at School of law (UPES Dehradun).

Unorganised sectors in our country provide jobs to numerous people. Under this Article the author tries to cover all the aspects that the unorganised sector is facing because of the covid-19 pandemic and the measures that can be used to help them.


India has a very big market for unorganized workers; more than 82% of the workforce in India is employed in the unorganized sector. Unorganized sector in India varies from agricultural activities to construction and in small scale manufacturing also. In this sector there is no formal employer employee relationship, one day you were working at a place and there is no guarantee that you were going to work in the same place tomorrow. There is no seasonality of employment in this sector. The work place is scattered and fragmented. There is very large no. of unorganized labour in India e.g. in a city such as Mumbai which is the economic capital of India, there were lakhs of unorganized laborers doing various kinds of jobs and they were relying on job for their livelihood, such as housemaids, guards, construction workers, garment worker, cobblers, beedi makers agarbatti makers, drivers etc. they all were such laborer that were dependent on their daily income, they  all were hand to mouth people which means that they earn and eat, they don’t have proper savings that can be used in future if necessary and because of the pandemic covid-19 all their income sources is closed and they all were facing various difficulties in this period.


India takes various measures regarding this thing, programs such as made in India are started with a vision to reduce the imports from different countries and to manufacture in our own country. But this is not a single problem caused by this virus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, India also exports a very large amount of organic chemical, minerals fuels, cotton etc. to different countries and the lockdown of countries will lead India to a trade deficit. India’s pharmaceutical industry is also facing a very difficult time because of covid -19 outbreaks, as India imports almost 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients from china. 


Many agencies were saying that the travelling abroad normally will start in January 2021, even if the international travel starts then the first people to travel abroad will be students and laborers. Tourists will not be able to travel freely till the virus outbreak is controlled by the world. This sector is the second fastest growing sector in the world after the manufacturing sector. This sector grows at a rate of 3.9% and manufacturing sector grows at a rate of 4% in 2018-19.[1] Due to this pandemic the Asia –pacific region nearly loss 49 million jobs causing a nearly of $ 800 billion loss to this sector, more than half of the jobs were in the same country china where this covid-19 virus originated.[2]


Aviation sector also plays an important role in the economy of our country. It is also linked with the travel and tourism sector, because it is one of the ways of transportation for people from different places. A total loss of nearly Rs. 27000 crore is there in the first quarter of 2020-2021. [3] The government of India suspended tourist visas for an indefinite period of time. Almost 600-700 international flights to and from India were cancelled till the lockdown period, only in special cases flights were allowed to travel and cargo flights have permission to fly during this time. India’s aviation sector was struggling for the past many years; there was a tremendous amount of loss in operating air India. After the lockdown there were many difficulties for this sector such as there were travel restrictions by the government, people will fear to travel etc. the government will also bring some new guidelines for this sector to ensure the safety of the people.


There is another unorganized industry that is also not doing quite well in this time, known as handicraft industry of India. Our country is rich in its resources and this industry is one that is dependent on the talent of the people that they possess from their ancestors. In this period where all the industries were shut then there were these artists who work in their home alone and make things but the problem is that there were no people whom they can sell their products to. Our government is doing all that they can do, they cleared all the dues that were there.[4] The period of March to July is supposed to be a good time for all the weavers, tailors and for all the handicraft industry because in this time of the year the business was at its peak. Due to this virus outbreak it is also expected that a loss of Rs 8000 crores will be there on this industry.[5]


Another unorganized sector that faces a very large amount of loss because of this virus outbreak is the Fishing sector. According to a report nearly 1 lakh tones of fish were went to waste, the main problem in this industry is they need a support from different sectors which they can’t get in this time, they needed of ice that was not available there were no cold rooms available they all were facing many difficulties in transportation as well because of all the factors a large amount of fishes were went to waste.[6] The government also fails to add fish in the necessary items so that they can transport their but government did that on 31st of March but it was too late till then the fishes were went to waste because it is a perishable item and can’t be stored for a large amount of time without proper means.  


There is a lesson that we learn from each disaster and we improve ourselves for future and this pandemic covid-19 teaches us quite a lesson. Many of the companies started work from home from the very beginning; this is a nice and safe way that the work is also not affected. Colleges, schools have also started online classes, so that the study of students will not hamper this time. Many colleges also schedule exams online for their final year batches so that they get their degree on time. There were some limitations to this also; it cannot be carried out by sectors like retail, hospitality or manufacturing, so they all have to face business interruption from this.

[1] According to world travel and tourism council

[2] According to world travel and tourism council

[3] According to centre for Asia pacific aviation

[4] Export promotion council for handicraft

[5] According to Export council for handicraft

[6] According to purse seine Fishing welfare association