The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) released by the government reaffirms the underlying fact again that, in spite of the political speak, it is a winding road ahead. It is an underlying fact that runs across the strata of the social fabric of the country.
Sample this – of the total 17.91 crore rural households, 5.37 crore have landless owners. They derive their livelihood from ‘manual labour’. So, some 30% of our rural households need immediate attention for a sustained livelihood.
What aggravates the scenario is the prevalent illiteracy in these households.
According to the tables of SECC, 4.21 crore (23.5%) of the households have no literate adults above 25 years, i.e., a male in a stable earning age. And being illiterate means these households are devoid of the most stable earning tool when land is not there, i.e., education.
So, 30% of them, in rural India, they don’t have the primary needs to earn livelihood, i.e., land and education.
The need to support them should be on the primary agenda of any socially-engaging political dispensation – especially in a populous country like India.
The class, that cuts across different states of India, needs genuine support from our policy-makers, going beyond the political rhetoric.
And these two figures are just the beginning.
SECC, that is not final yet, with data from some districts are yet to be uploaded, gives us many worrying indicators that once again reaffirm the scale of human challenge in the world’s largest democracy.
Especially, when we have a legacy of controversy on deciding poverty line – especially when we have, so far, failed to count our poor the way society needs – and not the way economists and statisticians propose.
Especially, when we have rural poverty line of Rs. 972 a month – especially when the Rangarajan Panel report says those earning above Rs. 1407 in urban areas are not poor.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/