Background: Beedi rolling is one of the principal occupations of women residing in coastal Karnataka. The beedi worker’s welfare fund consists of a combination of schemes to improve the living conditions of beedi workers and their families. On the other hand, the government is introducing several anti-tobacco policies, which could lead to insecurity among beedi rollers about their future. As a result, majority of the trade unions believe that alternate livelihood must be provided to the workers. In the midst of economic benefits and stringent tobacco control policies, this study explores the perception of beedi rollers to quit tobacco rolling and engage with an alternative livelihood. Objectives: The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to explore the opinion of beedi workers toward alternate means of livelihood and (2) to identify the benefits availed by the beedi workers. Methodology: The study was conducted with a semi-structured questionnaire by interview method in all the seven blocks of the Udupi district of Karnataka with a total of 381 respondents through convenience sampling. The interviewer administered the survey with the help of a predesigned user application which was developed through Kobo Toolbox, and the analysis was carried out using IBM SPSS version 26. Results: Although 69% of the respondents believed that beedi rolling is not a secured job, three-fourth of the respondents were not ready to quit the beedi rolling job due to low education, higher age, and lack of financial support to invest in other occupations. Conclusion: Our study showed that most of the participants were full-time beedi rollers and most of them were not ready to shift to other jobs due to old age, lack of experience with other vocations, and benefits availed. There is a need to focus on strengthening skill development programs and introduce sustainable economic alternatives to the beedi rollers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health