State of Deprivation: Census Bursts Odisha's Growth Bubble

The census found at least 66 per cent of the households in deprived category

Published: 04th July 2015 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2015 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: The Government claim of an annual growth rate over 6 per cent notwithstanding, more than 23 lakh households live in one-room houses made of kutcha roof, whereas 34 lakh households (HHs) earn their livelihood from manual and casual labour in the State.

The provisional report of the first ever Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), which was released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at New Delhi on Friday, has brought to fore acute economic deprivation in Odisha. The census, which focused on rural areas, found at least 66 per cent of the households in the deprived category.

According to the SECC report, 54 per cent of the 86.22 lakh households possess no land while 87 per cent households manage Rs 5,000 or less as monthly earning. The percentage of households depending on alms for livelihood in the State is also found to be among the top four in the country.

Of the 20.62 lakh Scheduled Tribe (ST) households enumerated during the census, 6.51 lakh were found to be living in one-room kutcha houses. For the Scheduled Caste (SC) category, the figure stood at 5.43 lakh out of the total 15.55 lakh households.

While 63 per cent of land remain unirrigated in rural Odisha, the SECC 2011 shows that just about 1.5 per cent households of the State __ predominantly agrarian in nature __ have Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs)with more than Rs 50,000 as their credit limit against the national average of 3.6 per cent. Among the STs, 0.82 per cent households have KCC with a credit limit of Rs 5,000 or more.

Besides, only 20 per cent of the land gets assured irrigation for two crops a year, whereas about 1.42 lakh households use irrigation equipment such as DG sets and sprinkler kits.

The economic condition of ST communities was found to be particularly poor. Close to 40 per cent ST households (over 8 lakh out of a total 20.62 lakh HHs) are landless casual labourers and more than 95 per cent have a monthly income of less than Rs 5,000. Just 33,905 households, recording about 1.65 per cent, have a government job which fetches a salary of Rs 5,000 and above.

In rural Odisha, the SECC found that at least 10.61 lakh families are female-headed of which 4.52 lakh (about 45 per cent) have no adult male members in the age group of 16 to 59.

The census, which had courted controversy because of the caste-based enumeration, found only 2.20 lakh rural households to be paying income or professional tax. In terms of day-to-day domestic assets, just about 4.83 per cent own a refrigerator while a whopping 65 per cent do not possess a phone of any kind. Interestingly, landline possession among rural households of the State is just 0.38 per cent, whereas 33 per cent own mobile phones. Only 0.68 per cent households own both.

Among the Scheduled Tribe households, over 16 per cent have mobile phones whereas over 0.23 per cent possess landlines.

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