NCERT Textbook - Urban Livelihoods Class 6 Notes | EduRev

Indian Polity for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Urban Livelihoods Class 6 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Chapter 9
1. What do you see in
this illustration?
2. You have already
read about the work
that people do in rural
areas.  Now compare
the work that people in
this illustration are
doing with the work
that people do in rural
areas. 
3. Some parts of the
city are different from
others. What differences
do you notice in this
illustration?
Urban
Livelihoods
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Chapter 9
1. What do you see in
this illustration?
2. You have already
read about the work
that people do in rural
areas.  Now compare
the work that people in
this illustration are
doing with the work
that people do in rural
areas. 
3. Some parts of the
city are different from
others. What differences
do you notice in this
illustration?
Urban
Livelihoods
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 77
Working on the Street
his is the city where my cousin
lives.  I've been here only a few
times.  It is very big. Once, when I came
here, my cousin took me around. We
left the house early in the morning. As
we turned the corner onto the main
street we saw that it was already
buzzing with activity. The vegetable
vendor was busy arranging tomatoes,
carrots and cucumbers in baskets at
her stall so that people could see what
T
There are more than five thousand towns and twenty seven big cities in
India. Big cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc. have more
than a million people living and working here. They say that 'the city
never sleeps!' Let's visit one and find out about the work people do in
the city. Are they employed by someone or are they self-employed? How
do they organise themselves? And do they have similar employment
and earning opportunities?
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Chapter 9
1. What do you see in
this illustration?
2. You have already
read about the work
that people do in rural
areas.  Now compare
the work that people in
this illustration are
doing with the work
that people do in rural
areas. 
3. Some parts of the
city are different from
others. What differences
do you notice in this
illustration?
Urban
Livelihoods
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 77
Working on the Street
his is the city where my cousin
lives.  I've been here only a few
times.  It is very big. Once, when I came
here, my cousin took me around. We
left the house early in the morning. As
we turned the corner onto the main
street we saw that it was already
buzzing with activity. The vegetable
vendor was busy arranging tomatoes,
carrots and cucumbers in baskets at
her stall so that people could see what
T
There are more than five thousand towns and twenty seven big cities in
India. Big cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc. have more
than a million people living and working here. They say that 'the city
never sleeps!' Let's visit one and find out about the work people do in
the city. Are they employed by someone or are they self-employed? How
do they organise themselves? And do they have similar employment
and earning opportunities?
© NCERT
not to be republished
78 / Social and Political Life
Bachchu Manjhi – A Cycle-Rickshaw
Puller
I come from a village in Bihar where I
worked as a mason. My wife  and three
children live in the village. We don't own
land. In the village I did not get masonry
work regularly. The income that I earned
was not enough for our family. 
After I reached this city, I bought an old
cycle rickshaw and paid for it in
instalments. This was many years ago. 
I come to the bus stop every morning and
take the customers wherever they want to
go.  I work till 8.30 in the evening. I take
rides of up to 6 kilometres in the
surrounding area. Each customer gives
me Rs. 5-10 per trip depending on the
distance. When I'm ill I can't do this work,
so on those days I don't earn anything. 
I stay with my friends in a rented room.
They work in a nearby factory. I earn
between Rs. 80-100 every day, out of
which I spend Rs. 50-60 on food and rent.
The rest I save for my family. I visit my
village two or three times a year to see my
family. Though my family survives on the
money I send, my wife also earns from
agricultural work that she gets once in
a while.
she had to sell. Next to her stall was a
lovely, colourful one that sold all kinds
of flowers.
We bought a red rose and a yellow
rose. On the pavement opposite we
saw a person selling newspapers with
a small crowd of people around him.
Everyone wanted to read the news!
Buses whizzed past and there
were auto-rickshaws filled
with school-children. Nearby,
under a tree, a cobbler sat
taking his tools and materials
out of a small tin box. Next to
him the roadside barber had
begun his work: he already
had a customer who wanted
an early-morning shave!
A little way down the
road, a woman was pushing
along a cart with all kinds of
plastic bottles, boxes,
hairpins, clips etc. in it while
another person on a cycle trolley was
carrying vegetables to sell to people in
their houses.
We came to a place where
rickshaws were standing in a row
waiting for customers. We decided to
take one to the market, which was
about two kilometres down the road.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Chapter 9
1. What do you see in
this illustration?
2. You have already
read about the work
that people do in rural
areas.  Now compare
the work that people in
this illustration are
doing with the work
that people do in rural
areas. 
3. Some parts of the
city are different from
others. What differences
do you notice in this
illustration?
Urban
Livelihoods
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 77
Working on the Street
his is the city where my cousin
lives.  I've been here only a few
times.  It is very big. Once, when I came
here, my cousin took me around. We
left the house early in the morning. As
we turned the corner onto the main
street we saw that it was already
buzzing with activity. The vegetable
vendor was busy arranging tomatoes,
carrots and cucumbers in baskets at
her stall so that people could see what
T
There are more than five thousand towns and twenty seven big cities in
India. Big cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc. have more
than a million people living and working here. They say that 'the city
never sleeps!' Let's visit one and find out about the work people do in
the city. Are they employed by someone or are they self-employed? How
do they organise themselves? And do they have similar employment
and earning opportunities?
© NCERT
not to be republished
78 / Social and Political Life
Bachchu Manjhi – A Cycle-Rickshaw
Puller
I come from a village in Bihar where I
worked as a mason. My wife  and three
children live in the village. We don't own
land. In the village I did not get masonry
work regularly. The income that I earned
was not enough for our family. 
After I reached this city, I bought an old
cycle rickshaw and paid for it in
instalments. This was many years ago. 
I come to the bus stop every morning and
take the customers wherever they want to
go.  I work till 8.30 in the evening. I take
rides of up to 6 kilometres in the
surrounding area. Each customer gives
me Rs. 5-10 per trip depending on the
distance. When I'm ill I can't do this work,
so on those days I don't earn anything. 
I stay with my friends in a rented room.
They work in a nearby factory. I earn
between Rs. 80-100 every day, out of
which I spend Rs. 50-60 on food and rent.
The rest I save for my family. I visit my
village two or three times a year to see my
family. Though my family survives on the
money I send, my wife also earns from
agricultural work that she gets once in
a while.
she had to sell. Next to her stall was a
lovely, colourful one that sold all kinds
of flowers.
We bought a red rose and a yellow
rose. On the pavement opposite we
saw a person selling newspapers with
a small crowd of people around him.
Everyone wanted to read the news!
Buses whizzed past and there
were auto-rickshaws filled
with school-children. Nearby,
under a tree, a cobbler sat
taking his tools and materials
out of a small tin box. Next to
him the roadside barber had
begun his work: he already
had a customer who wanted
an early-morning shave!
A little way down the
road, a woman was pushing
along a cart with all kinds of
plastic bottles, boxes,
hairpins, clips etc. in it while
another person on a cycle trolley was
carrying vegetables to sell to people in
their houses.
We came to a place where
rickshaws were standing in a row
waiting for customers. We decided to
take one to the market, which was
about two kilometres down the road.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 79
Like Bachchu Manjhi a large
number of people in the city work on
the streets. In a survey of Ahmedabad
city it was found that 12 per cent of all
the workers in the
city were people
working on the street.
They sometimes sell
things or repair them
or provide a service.
They work on their
own. They are not
employed by anyone
and therefore have to
organise their own
work. They have to
plan how much to
purchase, as well as
where and how to set
up their shops. Their
shops are usually
temporary structures:
sometimes just some
boards or papers
spread over discarded
boxes or maybe a
canvas sheet hung up
on a few poles. They may also use
their own carts or simply a plastic
sheet spread on the pavement.  They
can be asked to dismantle their shops
at any time by the police. They have no
security. There are certain parts of the
city where these hawkers are not
allowed to enter.
Vendors sell things that are often
prepared at home by their families
who purchase, clean, sort and make
them ready to sell.  For example, those
who sell food or snacks on the street,
prepare most of these at home. 
1. Why did Bachchu Manjhi come to
the city? 
2. Why can't Bachchu Manjhi live
with his family?
3. Talk to a vegetable vendor or
hawker and find out how do they
organise their work, their way of
preparing, purchasing, selling etc.
4. Bachchu Manjhi has to think
twice before taking a day off from
work. Why?
Often workers who make a living in the city are forced to set up their
homes on the street as well. Below is a space where several workers
leave their belongings during the day and cook their meals at night.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Chapter 9
1. What do you see in
this illustration?
2. You have already
read about the work
that people do in rural
areas.  Now compare
the work that people in
this illustration are
doing with the work
that people do in rural
areas. 
3. Some parts of the
city are different from
others. What differences
do you notice in this
illustration?
Urban
Livelihoods
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 77
Working on the Street
his is the city where my cousin
lives.  I've been here only a few
times.  It is very big. Once, when I came
here, my cousin took me around. We
left the house early in the morning. As
we turned the corner onto the main
street we saw that it was already
buzzing with activity. The vegetable
vendor was busy arranging tomatoes,
carrots and cucumbers in baskets at
her stall so that people could see what
T
There are more than five thousand towns and twenty seven big cities in
India. Big cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc. have more
than a million people living and working here. They say that 'the city
never sleeps!' Let's visit one and find out about the work people do in
the city. Are they employed by someone or are they self-employed? How
do they organise themselves? And do they have similar employment
and earning opportunities?
© NCERT
not to be republished
78 / Social and Political Life
Bachchu Manjhi – A Cycle-Rickshaw
Puller
I come from a village in Bihar where I
worked as a mason. My wife  and three
children live in the village. We don't own
land. In the village I did not get masonry
work regularly. The income that I earned
was not enough for our family. 
After I reached this city, I bought an old
cycle rickshaw and paid for it in
instalments. This was many years ago. 
I come to the bus stop every morning and
take the customers wherever they want to
go.  I work till 8.30 in the evening. I take
rides of up to 6 kilometres in the
surrounding area. Each customer gives
me Rs. 5-10 per trip depending on the
distance. When I'm ill I can't do this work,
so on those days I don't earn anything. 
I stay with my friends in a rented room.
They work in a nearby factory. I earn
between Rs. 80-100 every day, out of
which I spend Rs. 50-60 on food and rent.
The rest I save for my family. I visit my
village two or three times a year to see my
family. Though my family survives on the
money I send, my wife also earns from
agricultural work that she gets once in
a while.
she had to sell. Next to her stall was a
lovely, colourful one that sold all kinds
of flowers.
We bought a red rose and a yellow
rose. On the pavement opposite we
saw a person selling newspapers with
a small crowd of people around him.
Everyone wanted to read the news!
Buses whizzed past and there
were auto-rickshaws filled
with school-children. Nearby,
under a tree, a cobbler sat
taking his tools and materials
out of a small tin box. Next to
him the roadside barber had
begun his work: he already
had a customer who wanted
an early-morning shave!
A little way down the
road, a woman was pushing
along a cart with all kinds of
plastic bottles, boxes,
hairpins, clips etc. in it while
another person on a cycle trolley was
carrying vegetables to sell to people in
their houses.
We came to a place where
rickshaws were standing in a row
waiting for customers. We decided to
take one to the market, which was
about two kilometres down the road.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Urban Livelihoods / 79
Like Bachchu Manjhi a large
number of people in the city work on
the streets. In a survey of Ahmedabad
city it was found that 12 per cent of all
the workers in the
city were people
working on the street.
They sometimes sell
things or repair them
or provide a service.
They work on their
own. They are not
employed by anyone
and therefore have to
organise their own
work. They have to
plan how much to
purchase, as well as
where and how to set
up their shops. Their
shops are usually
temporary structures:
sometimes just some
boards or papers
spread over discarded
boxes or maybe a
canvas sheet hung up
on a few poles. They may also use
their own carts or simply a plastic
sheet spread on the pavement.  They
can be asked to dismantle their shops
at any time by the police. They have no
security. There are certain parts of the
city where these hawkers are not
allowed to enter.
Vendors sell things that are often
prepared at home by their families
who purchase, clean, sort and make
them ready to sell.  For example, those
who sell food or snacks on the street,
prepare most of these at home. 
1. Why did Bachchu Manjhi come to
the city? 
2. Why can't Bachchu Manjhi live
with his family?
3. Talk to a vegetable vendor or
hawker and find out how do they
organise their work, their way of
preparing, purchasing, selling etc.
4. Bachchu Manjhi has to think
twice before taking a day off from
work. Why?
Often workers who make a living in the city are forced to set up their
homes on the street as well. Below is a space where several workers
leave their belongings during the day and cook their meals at night.
© NCERT
not to be republished
There are almost one crore 'street
vendors' in the country working in
urban areas. Street vending was till
recently looked upon only as an
obstruction to traffic and to people
walking. However with the effort of many
organisations it is now recognised as a
general benefit and as a right of people to
earn their livelihood. The government is
thinking about modifying the law that
banned street vendors, so that they have
a place to work and that there is also a
free flow of traffic and people. Hawking
zones have been suggested for towns
and cities. It has also been suggested
that mobile vendors should be allowed to
move around freely.  Hawkers need to be
part of committees that are set up to
take these and other decisions relating
to them.
In the Market
When we reached the market the shops
were just beginning to open. But the
place was already crowded because of
the festival season. There were rows
and rows of shops selling sweets, toys,
clothes, footwear, utensils, electronic
goods, etc. There was a dentist's clinic
also at one end. 
My cousin had an appointment with
the dentist. We went there first so that
we would not miss our turn. We had to
wait for a while in a room before she
was called inside. The dentist
examined her and asked her to come
back the following day to get a cavity in
her tooth filled.  My cousin was scared
because she thought the process would
be painful and was upset that she had
allowed her teeth to go bad.
From the dental clinic she took me to
a new garment showroom because I
wanted to buy some readymade
clothes. The showroom had three-
floors. Each floor had different types of
clothes. We went to the third floor
where clothes for girls were kept.  
Harpreet and Vandana:
Businesspersons
My father and uncle worked in a small
shop. During festival times and on
Sundays my mother and I helped them
in the shop. I started working there
only after I completed my college.
(Harpreet)
We opened this showroom some
years ago. I'm a dress designer. Our
business has changed. These days
people prefer to buy readymade
clothes, rather than have them stitched.
The trend these days is for readymade
garments. You also need an attractive
display for them. (Vandana)
For our showroom, we buy things
from different places. We buy most of
80 / Social and Political Life
© NCERT
not to be republished
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