Handloom Weaving.

Cottage industries are very important as a source of employment to the thousands of unemployed or underemployed artisans. This is particularly so in the rural area. Among the cottage industries in the district, handloom weaving is more important as it provides employment to a considerable number of persons in the urban as well as rural areas.

India had a rich tradition in textiles and her handicrafts were known far beyond the borders in the past.

The following was the position of the handloom weaving in 1880:―

Cotton weaving.

"Cotton Handloom weaving has gained by the fall in the cost of yarn, and though the competition of European and country steam-woven goods has greatly reduced prices, the industry is still of considerable importance. The weavers are partly Hindus and partly Musalmans of the Momin class. The Hindus belong chiefly to the Khatri, Sali and Koshti castes. They are found in small numbers in most sub-divisional towns, and in greatest strength in Dhulia, Kasoda, Dharangaon, Parola, Erandol, Savda, Faizpur, Varangaon, Pimprala, Nasirabad and Jalgaon. Though many of them are small capitalists, handloom weavers arc generally employed by men of capital, most of them Vanis and some Bohoras and Khatris, who supply them with vain chiefly spun in local and Bombay steam mills. They are paid on an average from 3d to 9d. (2-6 annas) a day. Both men and women weave.............. The cloth is taken by the master weaver who advanced the yarn, distributed by him through the chief trade centres, fairs, and weekly markets, It is estimated that about nine-tenths is consumed in the district, and rest, sold and resold at markets and fairs, finds its way over the Ajanta pass in bullock carts to Berar and the Nizam's dominions, or by rail to Bombay and the Central Provinces. The chief handwoven cloth goods are women's robes (lugdas), from Erandol, Dharangaon, Parola, Chopda, Pimprala, Nasirabad, Faizpur, Savda, Varangaon and Jalgaon; floor cloths (jajams), cotton sheets (pasodi). stamped dirty-red coverlets (phadkis) smaller sheets and cushions (toshaks) from Nandurbar, Shahada, Barsi, Betavad, Sindkheda, Chopda, Jalgaon. Jamner, Faizpur and Chinaval; long white floor cloths jores, cot tape (navar), bullock cloths (jhuls), from Nandurbar. Shahada, Barsi, Kansi and Kasoda; and coarse cloth (khadi) from Jamner, Savda, Faizpur, Jamti and Chopda."

Indian handicrafts were at their zenith during and after the Moghal period. Especially hand-woven cloth was famous for its superfine quality and texture.

With the advent of the British regime the Indian handicrafts, touched their lowest ebb. The Britishers exploited the Indian markets by pushing industrialised cloth at competitive rates consequently Indian handloom industry was hard pressed and declined to a considerable extent.

To-day handloom industry is the major cottage industry in the district. A majority of the weavers were momins from Muslim community. Machine-spun yarn was used for weaving cloth. Country blankets were woven by dhangars in the district. However, many difficulties were faced by the industry in respect of raw-materials, finance, marketing of the product etc. during the subsequent years.

By the end of 1964. there were 4120 handlooms in the district most of which were located at Dhulia and Shahada. The Census Handbook. Dhulia district 1961, records, 4094 persons as employed in the handloom industry. In the interest of proper growth of cottage industries the Government encouraged the formation of co-operative societies of the artisans. Accordingly a number of co-operative societies of handloom weavers were formed. Steps were taken by the Government to organise such societies by giving them every possible aid in money and in kind.

Before the implementation of the Handloom Development Scheme, there were only four primary co-operative Handloom Societies. But they were stagnant. The economic position of the handloom weavers had very much deteriorated. They had to lace the competition from mill and powerloom products. They also suffered for want of capital and marketing facilities. However, after the introduction of the Handloom Development Scheme, the working of the old societies was revived. The Government itself promised main facilities to the handloom industry right from the contribution to the share capital to the sale of the products. Number of handloom weavers came forward to take the benefit of the scheme.

There were 18 weavers co-operative societies with a total membership of 1403 in the, district in 1964. They possessed 1482 hand looms of which 731 were actually put to use. Out of 18 societies, four were not working. Only three societies were in rural areas. There were 3,500 and 250 handlooms at Dhulia and Shahada respectively.


The main sources of finance of a co-operative society are, (1) capital raised by the society itself (2) Government loans out of the cess funds and (3) Reserve Bank of India's scheme of financial assistance through District Central Co-operative Bank. By 1962-63, the aggregate capital raised by all the handloom societies in the district amounted to Rs. 1,35.030. The credit sanctioned by the Dhulia District Central Co-operative Bank was to the tune of Rs. 1,45,000. The loans sanctioned by the bank are guaranteed by the Government.

The products of handloom weavers are placed in the market through Industrial Co-operative Association, prominent weavers or through their association and Gujars. Co-operative societies get loans from the Apex institution for marketing the products of their members. They also employ hawkers and salesmen. The total sale of the handloom products effected in 1962-63 amounted to Rs. 19,62,420. Some of the weavers give their products to Adtyas in return for the yarn received from them.

To increase the sale of handloom fabrics and to secure a larger market for them, Government grants rebate to societies on the sale of handloom cloth. A handloom sales depot at a taluka place gets a rebate of Rs. 2,500 every year for the first four years and of Rs. 3,600 if the depot is situated at other towns.

Raw Material.

Besides dyes, chemicals and thread, the most essential raw- material required by the handloom industry is yarn. The Sholapur Federal Association which has its branches in almost all the districts of Maharashtra supplies yarn at a rate lower than the market rate. However, the supply of yarn by the aforesaid institution was found to be inadequate. As a result, societies still experience hardships in getting the yarn in required quantities and of a specific quality. In the year 1962-63, while the aggregate demand for yarn for a period of one month stood at 113 bales, the total supply by the said institution during eight months amounted only to 115 bales. The value of yarn supplied was Rs. 9,59,036 in 1962-63.


The handloom societies in the district are engaged mainly in the production of saries of 26, 32 and 40 counts. Recently, with the government encouragement, they have started producing saries of high counts i.e. 60 and 80. The value of total production was of the order of Rs. 15,79,987 in 1962-63.


The system of payment of wages in handloom industry depends upon the preliminary processes, the number of counts and texture of the cloth the weaver is supposed to deal with. A weaver gets, on an average from Rs. 2 to Rs. 7 daily. The following are the wage rates quoted for different counts of saries.


With design





26 X 26

0.75 to Re. 1

40 X 40

3 to 3.50

2.50 to Rs. 3

60 X 60

5 to 5.50


80 X 80

6.50 to 7.00


The total amount of wages paid to the handloom weavers in the district was Rs. 1,34,823 in 1962-63.


Dhulia and Shahada were the two centres where most of the power- looms were to be found. Most of the powerlooms were in the possession of Momins from Muslim community.

Powerlooms require the same raw-materials as used by handloom weavers. The essential raw-materials like yarn and dyes are brought from Bombay. Many a time they are supplied by the middlemen in exchange for the finished products. Each powerloom turns out on an average 5 to 6 pieces per day. Though the labour charges for handloom and powerloom are invariably the same, a weaver on powerloom earns much more than a handloom weaver.

In 1962-63 there were 3000 powerlooms working in Dhulia town alone of which 155 were under the co-operative fold. There were 6 powerloom weavers' co-operative societies with a total membership of 155 and with a share capital and reserve fund of Rs. 96800 and Rs. 381 respectively.

The Dhulia. District Central Co-operative Bank has granted loans to these societies to the tune of Rs. 1,15,094. The value of total production amounted to Rs. 3,57,951 and the sales to Rs. 4,18,556.

Blanket Weaving.

The Khandesh Gazetteer (1880) gives the following account on blanket weaving in the district:―

"Blanket-weaving is almost the only woollen manufacture. It is carried on all over the district, but chiefly in Dhulia, Nasirabad, Jamner, Amalner, and Virdel. The weavers are almost all of the Dhangar caste. Sheep are generally sheared twice a year, in March and in November. The wool, chiefly black with some threads of dirty white, washed several times and cleaned with the bow, is collected by the Dhangars, some of it set apart for their own use, and the rest taken to the chief district trade centres and sold to wool dealers, also Dhangars by caste. From these dealers it is bought by the weaving Dhangars, who, though of the same tribe as the shepherd Dhangars, do not rear sheep but spend their time in blanket-weaving. Most of them buy the wool and work it into blankets. Others, employed by dealers as labourers, are paid from 2d. to 3d. (1-2 annas) a yard, rates representing to a fairly good workman about 4d. (3 annas) a day. The weaver who works his own wool earns on an average about 6d. (4 annas) a day. They weave generally in the open air, and rain forces them to stop. They work from six to eight hours a day and keep about thirty yearly holidays. Their women and children help in spinning the wool, and the men generally spin when it is too wet to weave. The blankets are offered for sale, either by the weavers themselves or by the trader who has employed them, at all fairs and markets, and in the shops of most large villages. They are in demand among all the lower classes, and almost the whole local produce is used in the district. A little goes to Berar and the Nizam's provinces. But the quantity imported from Marvad, Sholapur, and Pandharpur, is generally more than what leaves the district. There is a considerable sale of English blankets in Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Dhulia and nearly all the larger towns. Blanket weavers have no guild or trade association. There is a good, and on the whole a growing demand for their wares. A blanket generally measures from0 three to six cubits and costs from Is. to 3s. (annas 8 to Rs. 1). Almost all plain."

Besides the societies of powerlooms, there were two wool weavers' societies in the district with a total membership of 28 persons and a share capital and other funds equal to Rs. 2,350 and Rs. 1,211 respectively. There were also five Khadi weavers societies. They had not gone into production but had confined their activities only to the purchase and sale of Khadi cloth.

Oil pressing.

Oil pressing is one of the important cottage industries in the district. [For details refer to section on Oil Industry in this Chapter.] This industry has attracted Government attention as a major channel for giving employment to the unemployed in rural areas. Almost in every village, there are tel-ghanis found to be working. These tel-ghanis are hereditarily owned and operated by Telis, a sub-caste among Hindus. Besides extraction and sale of oil, they also get the oil extracted for farmers who bring groundnut, castor or sesamum seeds, as the case may be, to them. They charge from Re. 1 to Rs. 2 per ghana.

Most of the oil-men still use antiquated ghanis, A stone mortar lined inside with wood or a wooden mortar and a wooden lat (pestle), yoke, bullock, peg, an iron bar and tins are the equipment required in the extraction of oil. These cost from Rs. 800 to Rs. 900 to an oil-man.

Leather working and leather tanning

An account of the leather industry as it existed in the last century in the district is given below.

"Shoemaking goes on in most large villages. The workers are Mochis and Chambhars and the industry supports about 100 Mochi and 1200 Chambhar families. The leather is bought chiefly from local tanners, and as a rule the shoemaker works with leather he has himself bought. Most of the Mochis and Chambhars are both tanners and shoemakers. They are paid from Is. to 4s. (as. 8-Rs. 2.) for a pair of slippers, representing, to a fair workman, from 3d. to 6d. (2-4 annas) a day. The demand for his work is steady throughout the year. He works about eight hours a day and takes no holidays. The women of his family help in the lighter parts of his work. He makes shoes, sandals, buckets and water bags. The shoemakers of Dhulia, Tarsod, Erandol, Chopda and Nandurbar have a good name for their native shoes, and in Dhulia, Bhusaval, and Jalgaon are some men who can make neat and useful English shoes and rough pony harness. Most shoemakers keep a small stock of slippers and sandals for sale, or send them by an agent to local markets and fairs. The whole supply is generally used in the district, and small quantities of English shoes and boots are brought from Bombay, and native shoes from Poona and Ahmednagar. The demand is on the whole steady, and the business prosperous."

The artisan in the industry is mainly concerned with tanning and shoemaking. The industry cannot be regarded as an organised industry and tanners and shoemakers could be found almost in all villages. Tanners, however, have established themselves in big villages. Recently there has been some effort to organise the industry. Accordingly a factory has been started which employs 70 artisans. Moreover; three co-operative societies working at three different places viz., Dhulia, Borkund and Pimpalner, have also been formed.

The process of tanning is as follows:―

The hide is first put in lime water so as to separate the hair and fleshy part of it. When it is well soaked, the hair is scrapped off with knives. After it is washed, the hide is soaked for three days in a solution comprising three parts of babul bark and one part of hirda water. To tan the hide thoroughly, soaking is repeated thrice. Then it is tied into a bag with a stronger solution of babul bark and hirda water and hung up. It is then exposed to the sun for seven days. The process is completed when on eighth day the hide is washed again, dried and oiled.

The products include tanned leather and various soles, like buff soles, wax soles and press soles. These products have a good local market. Shoemakers are the main customers. Shoemakers make different types of chappals, sandals, shoes, and the like. In 1961, the proportion of shoemakers to the population of 1 lakh people was 130 in the district.

The leather workers in this district could not make much headway in their traditional occupation owing to their depressed economic conditions.

Soap making.

The industry is of very recent origin. The first factory was started in the early fifties and was the only factory in 1964 when the survey was conducted. This factory was situated in Dhulia town and was located in rented premises. Its fixed capital was about Rs. 1,00,000 and the working capital was Rs. 2,01,000. It employed only 12 labourers. The overall production capacity was reported to be 250 tons.

The raw-materials required for the production were oil (coconut, cotton seed, mahua and groundnut), sodium silicate, rosin, colour and perfumes. The total purchases in 1963-64 were valued at Rs. 2,00,000, In the absence of competition, the products of this unit had a good demand in the district.

Hand-made paper industry.

There is only one hand-made paper manufacturing unit in the district which is located at Khandbara. It was started in 1961. It received financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 39,000 from the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, and was established with the initiative of the Nawapur Taluka Vidhayak Samiti.

The machinery and building formed the major share of the total investment which amounted to Rs. 80,000. The working capital requirements were of the order of Rs. 12,000.

Waste paper and rags, chemicals such as caustic soda and rosin water are the raw material necessary for the manufacture of handmade paper. Waste paper is obtained from various sources. Rags are secured from Ahmedabad and Bombay at the rate of Rs. 80 per quintal. The total purchases of raw-material in the year 1963-64 were valued at Rs. 12,000.

The machinery used comprises a beater, oil engine, calendering machines, cutting machine, pressing machine and an electric motor. Other equipment used includes drill, grinders, pressing boards, paper moulds, paper lifting vats, cloth for paper separation etc. The whole equipment costs approximately Rs. 35,000.

The industry manufactures a very high grade of blotting paper and utility paper in three different sizes, viz. 26" X 24", 23" X 22" and 20" X 18". The total production of paper in 1963-64 was 12178.50 kg. valued at Rs. 42,328.35 at the then prevailing rates.

Process.―The mixture of waste paper, rags etc., is sorted out into each individual unit and non-fibrous materials, sand, stones, brash etc., are altogether rejected. The sorted material is reduced to small bits so as to facilitate the subsequent chemical treatment. These bits are cleaned afterwards. Chemical treatment consists of treating the material either in cold water or in boiling water or by pressure, digesting with a solution of alkalis, soda, caustic soda or lime according to the nature of the materials. Afterwards, the treated material is washed in plenty of water to remove the last traces of alkalis. The cellulose fibre is then reduced to small length or pulp. Paper sheets are then formed by mixing the pulp with plentiful of water vats. Then a layer of diluted pulp is taken on screen and the excess of water is drained-off. Each sheet is couched on a table and when sufficient number of sheets are piled one over the other they are pressed to squeeze out the water. Then the wet sheets are separated and dried on ropes or on walls. The sheets obtained thus are called water leaves. They are like blotting paper. In order to make them impervious to ink the sheets are sized with starch paste or glue mixed with alum. The paper even after sizing is not fit for writing as its surface is not smooth for the free flow of the pen. It is then rubbed with an agate stone, conch shell or smooth flint on a burnisher or by pressing sheets interleaved with zinc or copper plates in two roll calenders.

The workers employed were both skilled and unskilled workers including women. The beaterman, vatsman, coucher, calendering workers and cutting men belonged to the category of skilled workers and were paid a monthly wage of Rs. 75. Unskilled male and female workers were paid Rs. 1.50 and Re. 1 per day respectively. The industry provided employment to 22 persons inclusive of managerial staff. The total wage bill in the year 1963-64 came to Rs. 8,775. The products of this industry are demanded all over the country. Inspire of keen competition from the modern pulp and paper industry, this industry has survived mainly due to the superior quality of its products and the patronage of the government.


Pottery-making is one of the important cottage industries of the district. It is undertaken by persons from Kumbhar caste for whom it is an hereditary occupation.

The Khandesh Gazetteer (1880) makes the following observation about this industry: ―

"Pottery and brick-making go on in most towns. The workers are Kumbhars, Beldars, and Kunbis. The clay is generally dug from some suitable field, pond bed, or old village site. Besides bricks and tiles, the chief articles made are earthen water pots, flower pots, jars, and water jugs. Potters are paid chiefly in grain. They do not work in the rains and generally cultivate small plots of land. In the fair season they are busy preparing their wares, taking them to market in carts, and with their asses, gathering rubbish to burn in their kilns. The Savda potters have a name for their skill in colouring their wares. To colour the clay small particles or grains of lac, dune lakh, are mixed with the dye in the proportion of two' to three and pounded with stones, till, from the heat caused by the pounding' the lac melts and mixes with the dye. The coloured lac is then moulded on the end of an iron rod, and the pot heated and smeared with the lac. The potters earn enough for their daily wants."

There were, in 1961, 1953 potters in the district of whom 753 were females. At important centres like Dhulia, Nandurbar, Shahada, Taloda, Kumbhars are found to have prosperous business.

The tools required for this industry were simple. They included wooden or earthen wheel, brick kiln for baking earthen pots and wooden moulds of various shapes and sizes for making clay toys. The process of making pots was as follows-Red earth was at first mixed with horse dung and soaked in water for some time before earthen pots were finally produced. The mixture was kneaded properly and trodden twice. The clay was then given the required form by pressing it on the rotating wheel. The pot was enlarged and strengthened by continued handling, turning and application of fresh mud till it acquired the requisite shape. The pots were then dried and a solution of red chalk and black earth was applied externally. The pots were finally baked in the kiln. Rice husk and cow-dung were spread at the bottom of the kiln and the pots were buried in rows below the husk. The kiln was set fire to and the pots were taken out after the husk and cow-dung were completely burned out.

For the preparation of pots, the earth required was brought from adjoining village at the rate of Rs. 1.50 and Rs. 2.00 for a cart-load of black and red earth respectively.

The products prepared included ghagars, deras, and khujas and small sized madkis. They had local markets and hardly were exported to other districts. Most of the demand came from the poor. Generally the earthen ware was low priced.

With a view to improve the condition of potters, co-operative societies of potters have been formed. In 1964 there were seven societies with a total membership of 140 persons and a share capital and reserve fund of Rs. 5835 and Rs. 142 respectively.


Like the pottery industry brick-making is also carried on at many places in the district. It is a seasonal industry. It meets the day-to-day demands for bricks arising out of constructional activities. The raw-materials required are earth and ash whereas coal and wood are used as fuel. Bricks are baked in furnaces which are either rectangular or square in size with a capacity of 50,000 to 75,000 bricks. The length, breadth and height of the rectangular furnaces is usually 15 feet, 12 feet and 7 feet respectively. The bricks with a length, breadth and height of 9", 4", 3" respectively are produced. The cost of producing 1,000 bricks varies between Rs. 80 and Rs. 100 and their selling price between Rs. 125 and Rs. 150. Dhulia, Nandurbar, Shahada, Dondaicha, Sakri are the important market places where large turnover is recorded.

Bricks are made with the help of moulds. Labourers who are well-experienced are usually hired. The 1961 Census recorded 2,340 persons in this occupation in the district. Of these, 2,230 were men and the rest women. In few cases, besides bricks, tiles are also produced.


Another major cottage industry, found commonly and dependent to a great extent on the availability of cheap supply of wood, is carpentry. In almost every village there are carpenters, who make and repair agricultural implements and carts. In towns and cities, carpenters have specialised themselves in furniture making and construction of houses. With the increasing expansion of construction activities following the implementation of developmental plans, this profession received a stimulus.

The old Khandesh Gazetteer (1880) has the following to say about this industry: ―

" Of industries connected with vegetable products, carpentry is carried on in most of the larger villages. The workmen are chiefly Sutars and others who learn the craft, of whom there are altogether about 2,500 families. Most of the timber comes from the forests in the west of Khandesh, and as a rule belongs to those who engage the carpenters to work for them. The work is fairly steady, brisker in the dry season than in the rains. For about ten months in the year they earn from Is. to 2s. (as 8-Re. 1) a day. Their wives add nothing to the family earnings. Of the local carpenters, those of Dhulia, Chopda, Taloda and Pimpalner, and of Burhanpur are said to be the most skilful. Taloda carpenters build excellent carts and those of Dhulia, Taloda, and Chopda make good boxes."

Carpenter had long been a part and parcel of the society since times immemorial. Under the baluta system, he was paid in kind. Every year after the harvest he was given a fixed quantity of grains in-exchange for which he had to make and repair agricultural implements. In 1961, there were 2,255 carpenters scattered all over the district. The proportion of carpenters to 1 lakh of population is 195.

The material required by the carpenter like teak wood is available in ample quantity. Its cost varies according to the quality from Rs. 12 to Rs. 20 per cubic foot. Other accessories include nails and polish of which nails cost Rs. 3 per kg. and polish Rs. 5 to 6.50 per bottle. These prices are of course subject to variations.

The tools and equipment consist of wasala, patasi, ari, girmit, whet-stone, karneat, hatoda, gunya, chhani, randha, screw-drivers, pakkad etc. The value of all these tools for a carpenter comes to about Rs. 200 to Rs. 225. The investment of a carpenter is mainly confined to the purchase of equipment and in few cases to the purchase of wood. Much of the work is undertaken on contract basis in which the raw-material, i.e. wood is supplied by the owner.

The carpentry in the district seems to be a flourishing industry as could be seen from the fact that the products had rising and continuous demand not only in the local markets but from Bombay, Ahmedabad and other markets in Gujarat.

The daily earnings of a carpenter in cities and towns ranged between Rs. 3 and Rs. 8. However, in most of the villages the baluta system is still prevalent. Now a days in villages the system of paying the carpenters their wages in terms of money is coming into vogue as grains are becoming costlier.


Cart-making is also a prosperous industry in the district. The Khandesh Gazetteer (1880) gives the following account on cart-making. " Cart-making is an important industry. Wood is cheap and good, and the Dondaicha, Taloda, Chopda and Navapur carts are so marked an improvement on the old cart that they have become most popular. The manufacture flourishes, the price having been raised, without lowering the demand, from 2 to 4 (Rs. 20-Rs. 40). They are made by Deshi and Pardeshi Sutars. The iron parts are the work of local blacksmiths, the material being supplied from Bombay through local shopkeepers, Bohoras, Vanis, and others."

Dondaicha, Taloda, Nawapur, Dhulia are the main centres of cart-making. Taloda carpenters have acquired such a dexterity and skill in the making of cart that they are widely known and are famous in the adjoining districts. There were in 1964 as many as 417 persons who had specialised themselves in cart-making.

There were three co-operative societies of carpenters with a total membership of 83 persons and the share capital and reserve funds of Rs. 12,007 and Rs. 3,838 respectively. They undertook on contract the work of making furniture for government offices, Zilla Parishad, Municipalities, etc.

Cane and Bamboo Working.

This is also a major cottage industry in the district. A good quality bamboo is available in Akrani and Nawapur ranges on which the industry thrives. The important places where this industry is located are Akrani, Nandurbar, Nawapur, Shehi, Kathi and Akkalkuwa. The work is done mostly by persons belonging to Burud community among Hindus. Besides, a number of tribal persons have taken up bamboo working as their means of subsistence. There were 2,261 persons engaged in this industry in 1961.

Recently, there had been some efforts to bring the scattered artisans under the co-operative fold. Accordingly, three co-operative societies were formed with a total membership of 75 persons. However, co-operation has not entirely succeeded in solving their problem. Especially, in the field of marketing, it did not create ready market for their products. As a result the artisans had to go from village to village for the sale of their products.

Bamboo is the main raw-material required. Men take out strips and strings with a sickle and women make the various articles such as karandis, baskets, duradi, rovli, hara, sup and tattya. The tools and equipment are of old type and comprise sickle, knife, chisel, cutter and wooden blocks.

The artisans, however, receive a very poor reward for the work they put in. The prices of the articles are too low and consequently have adversely affected the economic condition of the artisans. The following statement of prices will help to sum up the position of the industry:―










Winnowing fan










Being an inland district, fishing activities in the district are Fisheries, naturally confined to inland sources of water such as rivers, tanks, ponds etc. The total length of the perennial rivers is about 770 km and there are 13 tanks which together provide on area of 2,000 acres approximately.

The commercially important varieties found in the district are: Kirkit, Marrel, Shivda, Chamar or Chalat, Pal or Dandaonya, Khavya, Khaval, Kolshi, Zinga, Boi, Kalunder, Kharbi and Muri. Under the Five Year Plan schemes, quick-growing ' Bengal Carps are stocked annually in the perennial water tanks. The varieties stocked are catla-catla, Roha and Mrigal. In the first two years of the Third Plan 0.59 lakh of carp fry was stocked.

The total number of persons. engaged in the industry as per the 1961 Census was 411 of which 352 were males and 59 females. Fishermen generally belong to Bhoi caste among Hindus. Some of the persons from Bhil and Adiwasi communities also take to fishing. However, with the limited scope for fishing, the fishermen either fall back upon agriculture or do some odd jobs such as cultivation of water-melons.

Fishing is undertaken with the help of gill nets known as Tangad, cast nets called Sikadi, drag nets or Pandhi, bag nets (Tol) and chela nets or Tangadi. The nets are mostly made of cotton twine. However nylon is increasingly used for making nets. Under the fishery requisite scheme financial assistance in the form of subsidy is given for the purchase of nylon and cotton twines.

Gur and Khandsari.

The Khandesh Gazetteer (1880) has the following observation on this industry:―

"The industry is carried on by all the better class of cultivators. Great stone sugar mills, found in many of the Satpuda valleys, show that sugarcane used to be more widely grown than it now is. The molasses is sold by the maker to the village shopkeeper at the rate of from 1 d. to 2d. (1-1 annas) a pound. The dealer generally gathers a considerable quantity and forwards it to one of the district trade centres. Pimpalner and Ner in Dhulia are the chief producers of sugar, and the supply is gradually distributed among the district shopkeepers and travelling pedlars. The yearly outturn is estimated at about 1109 tons. Almost all classes used it, and little leaves the district".

There were 71 gur factories in Dhulia district in 1961. Most of the factories are located in Shahada and Sakri. They provided employment to about 1,400 persons. The industry was of a seasonal nature, working for about 85 to 90 days in a year. Only one factory reported working throughout the year.

Of the factories surveyed, the aggregate fixed capital of 14 units was Rs. 1,97,760. It gave an average fixed capital of Rs. 14,125 per unit. The working capital requirements amounted to Rs. 129100 per year with an average of Rs. 9,221 per unit. These units employed 392 workers paying them as wages about Rs. 46,662 in aggregate.

The fourteen units surveyed spent Rs. 22,800 in aggregate on power consumption giving an average of Rs. 1,643 per unit. The consumption of raw material amounted approximately to Rs. 1,00,000. The product of these units was marketed in Jalgaon, Dhulia and Nasik districts.

Sugarcane is crushed by a mechanical cane-crusher. The juice collected is mixed with lime so as to remove dirt from it and boiled in an open large pan. On cooling, it is poured in a pit where it is solidified. Finally it is filled in bucket-type moulds to give them the required shape and is made ready for market. Sugarcane juice is extracted by sugarcane-crushers worked on diesel engines. A few sugarcane-crushers are still run by bullocks.

The co-operatives have undertaken gur and khandsari production. There were as many as 23 gur and khandsari co-operative societies, concentrated mostly in Sakri taluka in this district during 1964.

The following statement gives the position of co-operative societies in 1963-64:―


Number of societies



Number of members―



(a) Agriculturists



(b) Artisans



Share capital

Rs. 68,745


Reserve and other funds

Rs.     450





(a) Bank

Rs.  5,000


(b) Khadi Board

Rs. 85,075


Income received from proceedings

Rs. 39,345

From this it will be seen that these societies are organised mostly by agriculturists who grow sugarcane to take advantage of the scheme of financial assistance from Khadi and Village Industries Board. These societies produce gur from sugarcane brought for crushing by members and non-members and earn by way of charges.


The forests in the district occupy an area of 1564.72 square miles, which is about 32.26 per cent of the total geographical area of the district. Commercially important tendu and apta leaves which are useful in bidi industry, mohwa flowers and fruits, kadai for gum, palas for propagation of lac and khair for manufacture of kath are found in ample quantity in the district. Bamboo is also found in a sufficiently large quantity.

In afforestation and exploitation of the above-mentioned valuable articles, as per 1961 Census, 1,647 persons were engaged.

The following table shows the quantity and value of the produce exploited in 1964-65:―

Name of produce







2,60,669 C. feet



9,610 tonnes



1,556 tonnes


Grass (fodder)

26,071 quintals


Apta and tembhurni leaves.

12,393 quintals



502 quintals


Rosha grass

5 quintals


For the work of exploitation of the forests, forest workers' cooperative societies are given preference. In 1963, there were 45 such co-operative societies in the district. They are given the work of exploitation at concessional rates. The Government also contributes to the share capital of these societies by granting Rs. 3,000 as long-term loan, Rs. 1,200 towards management expenses in the first two years and also contributes Rs. 1,500 in the initial period of 3 years to be spent specifically on welfare activities. Till 1963-64 work of 93 forest coupes was completed by the forest labourers' societies.