Darkest India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about Darkest India.

For instance, supposing that a number of the destitute were employed in making coarse cloth, baskets, mats, or cow-dung fuel, these could be retailed at a nominal figure to those who presented our labour tickets at our food depots.

The most encouraging feature in the establishment of labour yards is that nearly every Indian has been brought up from childhood to some trade.  You can rarely meet the most ignorant and uneducated Native without finding that he is thoroughly expert at some kind of handicraft.  In brigading the poor we should be careful to make the best use of this knowledge by putting each as much as possible to the trade with which he was most familiar.

The following industries, the majority of them directly connected with various branches of our work, could be started at once and would need scarcely any outlay to begin with.

1. The Potters Brigade—­Would furnish us with the earthenware, for which we should from the first have a very large demand.  The Household Salvage Brigade would require some thousands of pots to start with and in connection with our food depots we should be able to dispose of thousands more.
2. The Weavers Brigade—­This would give employment for a large number of skilled hands.  Their first object would be to supply the kinds of clothes, blankets, &c., which would be most suitable for the use of the submerged tenth.  In catering for their wants we should avoid, however, anything prisony, or workhousey, or charity-institutiony in appearance.  As our numbers increased we should find plenty of work for our weavers, at any rate for many years to come without entering into any sort of competition either with the market or the mills.

    3. The Basket Brigade—­Would supply us with all sorts of cheap
    baskets, for which we should have a constant demand.

    4. The Mat Making Brigade—­Would find employment for many more
    hands in supplying us with mats for sleeping and household purposes.

5. The Fuel Brigade—­Here we have an industry which requires no skill.  There would be two branches of it—­the woodchoppers and the Oopala makers.  For the latter women and children could be largely employed both in the collection of the cow-dung and in the preparation of it for use as fuel.

    6. The Tinners Brigade—­Will be kept busy making receptables and
    badges for the Salvage Brigade, and also probably emblems for the
    Labor Bureau.

    7. The Ropemakers Brigade—­Will furnish employment to a number
    more and the results of their labour will find an ample market in
    our various colonies.

    8. The Tanners Brigade—­Will supply all our departments with such
    leather as may be required for various purposes, and among other
    things will be attached to.

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Darkest India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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