MISCELLANEOUS OCCUPATIONS COMPRISE THOSE ECONOMIC PURSUITS which come under the regulation of the Shops and Establishments Act but not under the jurisdiction of the Factories Act, and are called so due to their miscellaneous character. In fact, most of them occupy an important position in the present-day economic system. The previous chapters have given an account of the principal sectors of the economy which reflect general economic growth and employ a large majority of the working population of the district. They do not however exhaust the field of economic activity, and a fair percentage of population is still left undealt with. Persons forming this percentage are engaged in public administration, professions like law, medicine, education, religion and fine arts. These occupations also consist of many other categories of workers who cater to the various needs of the people such as hoteliers, tailors, barbers, tin-smiths, gold-smiths, launderers, etc. The rapid growth of such occupations is an indication of growing urbanisation and economic prosperity. Many occupations included in this chapter such as hotels and restaurants, laundries, tailoring, lodging-boarding and hair cutting saloons render some useful services to the people of the district such as providing food, shelter, clothing, educational and medical facilities.

The last few decades saw the establishment of many such occupations and a marked change could be seen now in their structure, composition and size. Even the number of persons seeking employment in these occupations has increased considerably with the increase in their number. Many factors such as the growth of population, change in the pattern of living, change in the out-look of the people and spread of education have contributed towards this development.

A sample survey of the selected occupations in Ahmadnagar, Karjat, Shrigonda, Pathardi, Parner, Kopargaon, Shrirampur and Sangamner talukas was undertaken. Findings of the survey were based on on-the-spot observations, while no statistical accuracy is claimed for the same. Information was collected as per a questionnaire prepared for that purpose.

The occupations selected for the survey included: hotels and restaurants, tailoring shops, lodging and boarding houses, cold-drink houses, pan-bidi shops, hair cutting saloons, flour mills, laundries, bicycle repairing, sweetmeat shops, watch-repairing, frame-making, repairing of sewing machines, and the learned professions like education and research, legal services, recreation services, medicine and religious services. In what follows is a brief description of a few of them.