Socio-Economic status of Punjab
Punjab is financially based on farming. Farming is the main occupation of the Punjabis. Wheat and rice are the major crops and rice is the commercial crop of Punjab. Punjab is a major wheat producing state of northwest of the India. The other crops are cotton, oil seeds, sugar cane, pulses, bajra and maize. Punjab agricultural university Ludhiana has developed various agricultural techniques, hybrid seeds to increase productivity and the researchers of the university played a most important role in the advancement of the agricultural methods as well as increased production of milk in Punjab.
Punjab is the centre of various types industries such as processing food grains, cotton ginning, brick kilns, agriculture related industry, textile, hosiery and garments industry, rubber and plastic products, etc. Many of the districts of Punjab are famous for their industrial setups in particular fields, as Mandi Gobindgarh is famous for steel mill plants. Ludhiana the Manchester of India is well known for the industries of production of bicycle and hosiery material, Ludhiana and surrounding areas of it emerged as a natural cluster for the bicycle industry with medium, small and tiny units. Sports material and auto-part accessories manufacturing is a well developed industry in Jalandhar district of Punjab.
The socio- economic conditions of Punjab reflects heterogenic variations in the status of different strata’s of population. In Punjab there are total 22 districts and 12673 villages. Moving from the industrial centre (well developed districts) to the agricultural core (villages and developing districts and small towns) standards of living varies from perfect to worst. The upper stratum of population is spending the life happily and enjoying all the latest facilities in cities, small towns and even in villages. But on the other hand the lower stratum population is spending the life in dreadful conditions, whether they are slum residents of big cities or the poor people of the villages. In the cities the occupation is jobs at private centres, companies and self employment i.e. large, small and very small industries. The life is full of hurry and in villages life is very slow and stagnated. The main occupation is farming in fields of others, daily based labour, brick kilning etc.
Conditions of the poor-peasants, dalits, scheduled caste and people of other lower socio-economic status are very pathetic. In their daily routine life they are being oppressed and exploited by the capitalists. The male to female birth ratio is still so much biased in favour males in Punjab. In addition to child sex ratio at birth, the distortion in ratio comes from excessive female child mortality and preference of male child. Social status of the women is very pathetic especially in villages of Punjab. Early-age child bearing, infant and childhood mortality coupled with female disadvantage, sex-selection during conception, practice of female foeticide, extensive son-preference are the major social evils responsible for pitiable condition of the women in society. Scheduled caste population, migrant groups, landless households, slum dwellers, etc. are spending their lives in fatal conditions. The rural population of Punjab both males and females are prone to acute illnesses and the duration of illness of communicable diseases is very high because of poor treatment facilities as compare to the urban areas of the state. The females from scheduled castes and dalit groups are not safe in their own community. Drug-addiction, early marriages, child labour, dowry system and deaths due to dowry, suicides by the poor farmers and the poor-peasants, female foeticide, female infanticide, child and female trafficking and are the social aliments in Punjab.
The people of rural Punjab are still fighting for the basic facilities for living i.e. clean water, proper sanitation, electricity and shelter. All these problems are the common problems of the slum residents of major cities. Education facilities are very poor in villages. Today in developed Punjab people dies because of lack of primary health centres in rural areas, lack of transportation is the another reason for this. People are not aware about the health schemes. The uneducated rural population of Punjab believes in myths. The poor farmer is not aware about the new methods of the farming and their economic conditions not allow them to invest on advanced farming.