Earning Money Through Odd Jobs in Rural India

Kalaiselvan is a person with multiple impairments, including visual impairment, intellectual impairment, and speech difficulties. He lives in a small village called Muthavathur which is in Tamil Nadu, India.

Kaliaselvan earns his living by doing various wage jobs, which are also called "odd jobs". For several years he earned money through different jobs in rural areas, including the following: 

Farm work

  • Watering
  • Applying pesticide and fertilizing crops/plants
  • Harvesting corn, cotton and vegetables (chilies, pumpkins, Ladies finger or okra, and spinach)
  • Selling vegetables in the shandy (weekly village market ) 
  • Cleaning or clearing fields 

Picking corn

Applying pesticide  

Clearing the fields


Caring for Domestic Animals

  • Rearing goats and cows
  • Feeding  goats and animals
  • Selling milk
  • Participation in 100 days wage employment (which is a rural employment scheme of the Government of India)

Taking care of domestic animals

Bringing food to the animals

Rearing goats and cows

Community Participation

Our community-based worker said that in addition to earning enough money to support himself, Kalaiselvan also developed good relationships with village people.  By working with many people, he was able to do the following:

  • Gain new friends
  • Travel to various locations
  • Visit the bank and maintain his account

Personal Qualities

Many employers were willing to provide jobs because they saw the following values in Kalaisevan:

  • Honesty
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Dedication/Hard Working/ Work Ethic
  • Dependability/Reliability
  • Responsibility
  • Loyalty
  • Self-Confidence
  • Professionalism
  • Energetic
  • Ability to work with little or no supervision
  • Willingness to learn

The family members of Kalaiselvan are happy because he is able to live independently and support himself. 

If we achieve in our Rehabilitation plan for supporting the development of work ethos and work-related skills, people with disabilities (PWDs) are not only employable, but also can be contributing members to the family and community.