The Socio Economic Caste Census 2012 has come under controversy once again, as women enumerators have been left vulnerable with the new order issued by the state government as an extension to the compilation of the census.
The details of street dwellers have to be added to the census and the work has to be carried out on Sunday between 6 pm and midnight.
The order does not provide any other details on how to implement the order. As the work has to be carried out after day-light, the enumerators, especially women, are apprehensive as it leaves them vulnerable.
“As the order does not talk about how to carry out the work, we are forced to presume that we have to go alone for the work,” a woman enumerator said.
Another woman enumerator said that she had to cover the blocks which were earlier assigned to her.
“I have to cover five blocks. One block consists of 100 to 125 houses. I will have to cover around 500 blocks to collect the details during night hours,” she said.
The order does not make it clear as to how to identify street dwellers either. “Presumably, we have to do it by ourselves. We are clueless on how these people will react when we approach them. There could be drunkards and anti- social elements among them,” they said.
Shanthappan Nair, Joint Development Commissioner, Commissionerate of Rural Development, Thiruvananthapuram, admitted that such an order has been issued.
“The time can be made flexible,” he said. But the enumerators said that such an information was not communicated to them.