Role of Women in Sericulture and Community Development: A Study from a South Indian Village

In any discourse on sociology and anthropology, one fact that clearly emerges is that women can generally be trusted to perform their duties with utmost care and attention. This is more so in the case of agriculture and allied activities. No wonder women are playing a very important role in the sericulture industry. Their qualities like maternal instincts and loving care of those under their charge prove to be very helpful in the successful breeding of silk worms. The sericulture industry has opened up phenomenal employment avenues and helped women to become important players in the decision-making process—whether in the household or in the community at large. The active involvement of women is very essential for the success of the any community development initiative. This has been proved on many occasions all over the world—more so in the developing countries. For instance, the success of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Andhra Pradesh and other states of India is all due to the active role played by women. The thrust of this article is on the role of women in promotion of sericulture activities in the village, and how their participation has led to community development. Given the above backdrop, the present article is based on an empirical work undertaken in Kotha Indlu village, Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh in South India. Sericulture is an important means for generating employment, income enhancement crop enterprises, and is a most appropriate household activity. In all these activities, women have shown their mettle and performed their tasks most skillfully. In the village under study, women are playing an important role in silk rearing and processing activities. This article will endeavor to show how “sericulture,” an agro-based activity, has brought about overall development of individual households, the village, and the community at large.

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